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why should i not rely on google translate

Hey everybody, i been sort of building a bad habit with using google translate instead of relying on my own translation/knowledge. I usually translate french-->english to make sure i am correct with the phase i came up with, 9/10 i am correct in what i want to say.

I know google translate isn't always going to be there when i need it, So what would be your advice to me ?

thanks in advance

November 16, 2017



Like you said, you're relying on it instead of your own knowledge. Also, Google Translate is notorious for being mostly incorrect in handling grammar of any language. It makes a great dictionary, but other than that it's quite bad.


Indeed, it's only reliable for several words and sentences, not everything.


another consideration, I have translated from English, my first language, in google translate between other languages and then back into English to see the difference. Try it and see for yourself.


Here is one:

Hunden er fantastisk

Translates to "The dog is amazing"

It was actually pretty close. The original sentence was: "The dog is awesome"


As others have said, Google translate's accuracy is spotty. I totally used it when I started out with Swedish and French, since it's not a bad way to double-check that a sentence you constructed makes sense, but you gotta be careful--Google will give definitions that are technically correct but not, y'know, what you wanna say.

Best example: If you try to say "I am excited" in French, Google generally gives "je suis excité", which has... ahem different connotations.

So! If you're worried about making a habit, check out a different French/English site, something like http://www.wordreference.com/enfr/ that gives you necessary grammar details along with verbs, etc. usually.


I'm a big fan of wordreference. Its forum is excellent, and the dictionary itself gives you all kinds of idiomatic meanings along with direct translations. It's a great resource.


don't use google translate unless if you're really good at English then you can fix the slight mistakes it does and likewise for the French.


It's really not very good. It's usually overly literal, and often not grammatical. The longer the phase you enter, the worse it is, as it isn't in any way naturalistic.

And although it's pretty fabulous in a pinch - if you are traveling in a country when you don't know a jot of the language; or if you need to translate some arcane technical term you don't understand; or as a quick dictionary look up - it develops bad habits if you use it instead of developing your own familiarity with the language.

As an example. I put a sentence from a book I am reading (medium length, not too complicated) into Google Translate, translated it into Russian and then back into English: "He continued to herd people to the safety of the east end, knowing that every person he moved might be a life saved."

This results in the following: "He continued to betray people to the security of the eastern end, knowing that every person he moved could be saved by life."

So - pretty far off. Understandable? Kind of. But elegant, fluent, coherent? No.

Using Google Translate will get you in bad habits, so it's best avoided...

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