Search engines: Alltheweb

This is an entry from the weekend I am posting to see, again, whether posting causes the server to throw me out again.

It gives a concrete example of a search problem that was handled better by Alltheweb than Google and Vivisimo. Hence it is a bit longwinded.

I didn’t intend to write so much about search engines. But having started, I think I should give a few concrete examples of how a search engine helps when a particular problem comes up. This time, Alltheweb did the trick: it has clustering at the end of its results, something I’ve never noticed before. It also gives examples where the word is declined: I entered ideell, it also gives ideeller, albeit not at the top of the list.

Problem sentence:

bq. Die vermögenswerten Bestandteile des Persönlichkeitsrechts bestehen nach dem Tode des Rechtsträgers jedenfalls fort, solange die ideellen Interessen noch geschützt sind.

It’s actually the use of vermögenswert as an adjective rather than a noun I am wondering how to translate. It is contrasted with ideell, but when I try to put that into words I remember that ideeller Firmenwert (goodwill) is something you can put a figure on.

There are some times in translation when only a book will do. In my case that book is often the three-volume Deutsches Rechts-Lexikon. I also think of Markesinis on the German law of torts, and Palandt’s commentary on the Civil Code – but I haven’t got the latest edition of either.Entering vermögenswert ideell into Google and Vivisimo produced some results but was not particularly helpful. But AllTheWeb produced not only the results, but a subsequent short list of clusters:

Clusters: • satzung, verein führt, vereinsregister eingetragen (7)
• österreicher, rede richtet (6)
• demokratischen republik, vertrag, bundesrepublik (4)
• allgemeine persönlichkeitsrecht, recht, schutz (3)
• hausratversicherung abgeschlossen, fünf haushalten (3)
• pfadfinderbund weltenbummler, bund, satzung (3)

The fourth cluster, allgemeine persönlichkeitsrecht, recht, schutz, gives three links. Two are to versions of the earlier Marlene Dietrich judgment (I am translating a later one). One of them is to Professor Ruessmann’s notes on allgemeines Persönlichkeitsrecht. Under the heading ‘Rechtsformen der Verletzung des APR’, it goes into great detail about compensation, which I won’t repeat here.

Alltheweb also found not just ideell but ideeller – it seemed adapted to German (I think with Alta Vista I used to be able to enter ideel* and get all forms – I say ‚used to’ because the results are so much better on Google that I have stopped using it).

This was definitely the best search engine in this case. I do miss the Google toolbar’s feature of repeating the search words so you need only click on them to find them in the document, rather than opening a menu in IE to search, but I may be overusing the mouse.

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