Search tip: Finding answers for obscure, localized error messages

Here’s a wonderfully circuitous way to use the Language Portal Search to solve hardware and software problems.

Imagine you are using a German version of Windows and get an error message such as the following:

Die Wiedergabe der Diashow wird aufgrund eines Fehlers verhindert.

Now, you may find help on what this error message means in the German Microsoft Answers site or elsewhere on the internet, but the reality is that there is vastly more English content available that offers answers to technical issues.

With the following clever workaround, you can find the English equivalent of the German message:

1. Pop the German message into the Language Portal Search and search from German to English. That gives you the original English error message:

An error is preventing this Slide Show from playing.

2. Go to the English Microsoft Answers site and search for the English error message. Unlike the German Microsoft Answers site, there is, in fact, a possible solution on the English site (and probably elsewhere on the web and other Microsoft support sites such as the main Microsoft Support site).

Granted, it’s somewhat of a roundabout way to find an answer, and it may be a niche scenario, but this option can come in handy if, for example, you work in Product Support assisting users/customers that are running localized language versions of a Microsoft product and encounter error messages in their local language.

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