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I'm setting up flash cards with the word in the L2, and an image of the object, as suggested in "Fluent Forever". The book suggests doing the search in the L2:

If you’re actually learning a word like chien, rather than a more complex sentence, I strongly suggest you search in French. You’ll almost always find some differences between your expectations and what you actually see. These differences make the image search process a lot more interesting, and as a result, the word becomes a lot more interesting. In the case of chien (dog), the differences are pretty subtle, but they’re there. Chiens are cuter, are more often puppies or silly looking lap-dogs, and don’t tend to be photographed with their owners. Sure you could use chien to refer to Lassie, but generally, chiens are little foofy French dogs.

However, when I search for words, sometimes I get hits of a word, often unrelated, spelt the same way in another language. For example, searching for "гол", which is river in Mongolian, gets a lot of hits in Russian and Ukrainian for their translation of the sporting term "goal".

How can I do an image search for a given word for languages with a weak internet presence?

I've tried using a country-specific search engine site (google.mn rather than google.com), and it's helped somewhat, but isn't foolproof.

The Fluent Forever website suggests using English as a fallback, but I want to know if there's any hacks that can help further.

  • @bytebuster updated question in response. – Andrew Grimm Jul 31 '16 at 1:35
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    I absolutely agree your motivation, it is very clear. Still I believe that for the purpose of flash cards, this may be a bit of over-perfection. Keep in mind that flash-cards is a tool for associative memory, which memory is inaccurate by its nature. Personally. I would totally tolerate some minor inaccuracies, like having a mature dog on the picture instead of chien. :-) – bytebuster Jul 31 '16 at 3:11
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There are several ways to accomplish that:

  1. Bing has language: search filter. This screenshot is pretty much self-evident:

    Bing search for гол

  2. Google: After the search, click "Search tools" and then choose to filter your language.
    Caveat: Only your browser's primary language can be chosen, shame on Google.

  3. Google's Advanced Search has a drop-down for language selection.
    Caveat: Mongolian isn't there, shame on Google.
  4. Google's Search also accepts lr parameter like this:
    https://www.google.com/search?as_q=гол&lr=lang_be
    But again, Mingolian isn't there, note I've chosen Bielorussian here.

Further reading:

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For a few languages (sadly, not Mongolian), you can tell Google Image search to search results in your target language (note that English is always included):

Click on the Settings gear icon in the top right corner, then Languages. From that page, click 'Edit' under Currently showing search results in:. You'll see a list of languages you can choose.

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If your language is associated with a particular country, try adding a search restriction for images only from that specific country.

google.mn гол versus google.mn гол site:.mn

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