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Tips for searching non-English content

When questions in the various languages supported by QuestionPoint are indexed, the indexing rules may vary from language to language. The search engine used by QuestionPoint includes many "analyzers" that are specific to a language. Usually developed by linguists native to the language, they attempt to make searching in that language simple and intuitive for the lay person.

The French analyzer, in particular, has been developed with the lay person in mind and may not always treat terms in the way experienced bibliographic searchers expect. Here are some tips for searching if you use the French interface of QuestionPoint:

  • A search term typed in lowercase only or in uppercase and lowercase is converted to its stem for indexing and searching. So the search term gallica (or Gallica) searches for words with the stem gallic and finds terms such as gallica and gallicismes when searching for French content. When not searching for French content, only words that match the stem exactly are found. So only English records containing the word gallic or Gallic would be found.
  • However, terms that are in uppercase only are excluded from the stemming process during indexing and searching. So, to search for French questions that contain the word GALLICA, use the search term GALLICA, which will find terms such as gallica or Gallica or GALLICA but would not find terms such as gallicismes.
  • A search term typed with an * (asterisk) uses truncation to find all words that begin with the letters typed, regardless of case. So gallic* (or Gallic* or GALLIC*) searches for words that begin with gallic and finds terms such as gallica and gallicismes. It also finds terms, such as gallica.bnf.fr, that are part of a URL.

When searching in any language, you can exclude diacritics when you type search terms. Words are indexed without diacritics, and diacritics typed in a search term are ignored. Diacritics have no effect on search results.



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