Ventanas Mexico

Books and resources for life in Mexico

Provides a blog promoting living in Mexico and promotes books on learning Spanish and how to rent in Mexico.

What You May Be Doing Wrong in Your Google Searches About Mexico


Not long ago a woman who had read my blog on plasma therapy sent an email asking if I knew any good spa in Mexico City that performed it. I didn’t, as I go to a doctor here in Mazatlán.

Hearing her disappointment, it reminded me that when I moved to Mexico, it took me six months to realize that my Google searches would need to be queried in Spanish to find the best information on services and information there. I quickly translated platelet therapy to Spanish, Googled it in Spanish and sent her the link of a list of upscale spas in Mexico City.

Thinking that you can find a gym in Oaxaca by doing a query “gyms in Oaxaca”  is another example how common sense at times escapes us the moment we confronted with researching information from another country or trying to find a service in a foreign town. Americans are so used to finding what they need originally written in English, on American websites, that many have never even noticed the “translate” tabs on websites, courtesy of Google. It’s a wonderful world!

I know that people might say, “it’s easy for her, she speaks Spanish,” so I thought I’d demonstrate the process in German, a language I don’t know a single word in.

The first step is to type your question into Google Translate, choosing the language you need to translate to from a drop-down.

google searches

Google will bring up your search results, which might vary greatly from your results if the query is made in English. Click the “translate” link to convert the web contents into English.

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The translations into English will be pretty amusing sometimes, but will take you 70% there. As the translations in Google Translate are, in a sense, crowd-sourced, they will get better and better (besser und besser) as time goes on.

German step 3.png

There are probably even easier ways to do research that a 20-year old would embarrass me with. Just don’t forget this basic step if you feel you are not getting the results you need or want the perspective of foreign sites.

Related links:

Researching Mexico used to drive me crazy when I was planning my move until I realized I didn’t need to know it all, but rather just a few things.

A syndicated columnist has been giving out the real deal on Mexico to humorous effect for years. You should know him.

Most recent: One thing you won’t be doing much of in Mexico is baking.

Coming up: Well, I liked ‘em…my favorite overlooked blogs.

About the author:

Kerry Baker is the author of several books. The first is the “Interactive Guide to Learning Spanish Free Online” offers the best free learning tools on the web, many you will never find in a Google search, all curated by level and organized into lesson plans with interactive links. Learning Spanish is crucial to living expat life to the fullest. Use the Guide’s lessons or create your own unique lesson every day.

“If Only I Had a Place, is a guide to renting luxuriously for less in Mexico. It provides the pitfalls and special opportunities open to you as a expat. Newly updated, the book also contains a listing of rental concierges in the most popular expat destinations. Her most recent book is “The Mexico Solution: Saving your money, sanity, and quality of life through part-time life in Mexico.”