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Ger Bosma

Using Tags in Other Languages Than English

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Basically I'm wondering how many search queries are made in English and how many in other languages. Anyone having an idea?

 

Of course most contributors will tag their images mainly with English terms. As a bit of a polyglot myself (I speak 8 languages), I have become used - besides English & Latin - to tagging my wildlife images with the vernacular names in Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Polish as well.

 

A habit I started a couple of years ago on my Flickr-stream for the benefit of my many foreign contacts . ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/gerbosma/ )

 

In the search queries that generate hits I hardly ever find non-English search terms though, ocasionally the odd German, Dutch or Polish one. Tagging in languages other than English could of course have the advantage of a lot fewer images showing up and mine often constituting a considerable portion of them.

 

Still I don't really have the idea that too many Alamy customers search in other languages than English. Considering the fact that Alamy has a German office as well, I had expected a lot more German searches (I translate all the main keywords in german as well), but so far that has been rather disappointing.

 

Does anyone else have good experiences with tagging in other languages? If so, do they result in sales?

 

Would like to have your feedback on this, thanks!

Edited by Ger Bosma

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My understanding is that Alamy asks us only to tag in English.  I can't remember where I read it though.

 

Pearl

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Alamy and the stock industry in general are run in English with American spelling, Ger—much like the international airline business. (We just had this discussion in another thread: "My Alamy Homepage" in Alamy.) 

 

Indeed it is very impressive that you speak 8 languages. I struggled to learn Italian. But I see you doing two things wrong if you want a good position and sales: (1) You are uploading way too many similars, and (2) you are cluttering your keywords with all those languages . . . that will almost certainly not be used in a search. Try to think like a buyer who has just three minutes before an important meeting. Do use Latin as well as English on all animal life. 

 

Ed

Edited by Ed Rooney

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I add some German keywords to my German stock, and so on, and there has been the odd search in German, or in mixed terms, and it has led to a sale, but one would have included the word anyway as it's the German name of the attraction in question.

Certainly translate the esskeys, at least.

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Yes, proper nouns should always get the original word, Mark. So it's München as well as Munich. On the other hand, it has always set my teeth on edge to see Livorno called Leghorn. Che cos'è?

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Alamy and the stock industry in general are run in English with American spelling, Ger—much like the international airline business. (We just had this discussion in another thread: "My Alamy Homepage" in Alamy.) 

 

Indeed it is very impressive that you speak 8 languages. I struggled to learn Italian. But I see you doing two things wrong if you want a good position and sales: (1) You are uploading way too many similars, and (2) you are cluttering your keywords with all those languages . . . that will almost certainly not be used in a search. Try to think like a buyer who has just three minutes before an important meeting. Do use Latin as well as English on all animal life. 

 

Ed

 

 

Thanks for your reply, Ed.

 

I'd say that 90-95% of my tags are English anyway, I just add the common name of the species in those other languages in case someone does not know the (correct spelling of the) English name. I add more German tags because there are substantial number of German-speakers out there and I figured Alamy set up an office in Germany for a reason. 

 

About cluttering keywords: is there a penalty for adding too many keywords? In other words, does it help if images have a minimum number of only the most relevant keywords? (Downside being of course that using only very commonplace terms will result in queries coming up with  many thousands of images)

 

Your comment about posting series of (somewhat) similar images. I firmly believe in giving customers choice, different people will  find different crops, poses and overal compositions the most appealing. Also in the case of the Alamy-model,  it's a numbers game, the more images you have out there, the better the odds of potential customers stumbling onto at least one of them (-;

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In response to Pearl.....

 

Very interesting as I have just captioned some images with the word moisturise [English] spelling which flags up as a misspelling in the Alamy box. However, 'moisturize' [American] spelling does not.

 

I do recall many years ago Alamy saying no foreign spellings and there was also a change on the site when we all had to go back over our captions and enter 's' if you wanted plurals. I have vivid memories of this time as I then had 18,000 images to check!

 

peter t

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In response to Pearl.....

 

Very interesting as I have just captioned some images with the word moisturise [English] spelling which flags up as a misspelling in the Alamy box. However, 'moisturize' [American] spelling does not.

 

I do recall many years ago Alamy saying no foreign spellings and there was also a change on the site when we all had to go back over our captions and enter 's' if you wanted plurals. I have vivid memories of this time as I then had 18,000 images to check!

 

peter t

Alamy does use an American English spellchecker. I don't want to get into a debate as to whether American English is a foreign language or not  :D 

 

Pearl 

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Our keywords are automatically translated into German if the buyer has selected the German language option on the Alamy homepage. I'm not sure how accurately it does this but it does appear to negate the need to include keywords in German (and I do recall Alamy saying this when the German language option was introduced).

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Crumbs, so they are. That'll save some time this week. Seems fairly accurate. It translates on the fly- you can see the esskeys change as the image loads- and ignores what it doesn't know.

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Our keywords are automatically translated into German if the buyer has selected the German language option on the Alamy homepage. I'm not sure how accurately it does this but it does appear to negate the need to include keywords in German (and I do recall Alamy saying this when the German language option was introduced).

 

Okay, thanks, that more or less answers my question, I'd say, using only English tags will probably do the trick just as well then.

 

Since German declension with 4 cases plus singular and plural is a nightmare anyway, I won't bother anymore, apart from the occasional species-name itself (-;

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