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Oh Google Translate...

My boyfriend (he is native to Algeria) learned English from Google Translate. I am not even kidding. It is ridiculously annoying but also very humorous. He had to take classes when he was younger but he hated his teacher. Then one day he just randomly decided he was going to learn English so he did. I can attest that he speaks it really well. While this wasn't his only source, he watched a lot of American movies and read books in English. He didn't have any text books to help him so he only used Google Translate to figure out what something meant. There's hope for us yet! Though it might have been easier for him to learn a language because growing up he had to learn 2 languages (Standard Arabic and French) on top of his native tongue (Algerian Arabic which is a mix of Arabic, Berber, Turkish and French). Now he is fluent in French, Arabic, Algerian Arabic (duh), German, Russian, English, his family also has their own language, and he's now learning Greek. When we first started talking I thought that he wouldn't know much slang so I did my best to use proper English. However, I soon found out I was sorely mistaken.

I thought people would find this entertaining since most of us are taught to never trust Google Translate xD

-Have a good rest of your day!

December 15, 2017



I rather use a good online dictionary to be honest. Of course, you might argue that you can use Google Translate as a dictionary, but I prefer more nuanced definitions. But if your boyfriend managed to use it successfully, then all the more power to him!


I'm the same way. He used it as a dictionary and just to translate complete sentences.



I'm too shocked...


By how many languages he knows? Or that he used google translate? Or both? xD


That he used google translate, but the amount of languages he knows is really impressive and surprising.


Well French is the language used in administrations and it is the language of business so nearly all schools teach French, and Arabic is also taught for practical reasons. So he grew up with 4 languages, his native tongue, the language is family made up as well as the French and Arabic he learned in school. After that he pursued German at university. Russian, English and Greek are the only ones he has learned on his own.


I've been bit a few times by Google Translate, but it has improved. Overall, I find it does a decent job and it is not nearly as bad as some say. Your boyfriend sounds highly intelligent. Good for him! He picked a smart Girlfriend as well.


Agreed, it just depends on the language your translating to and from. He is really good at languages, I'll give him that :p And ha! Thank you, I'm just a language nerd in all honesty.


It is " efforts " which makes achievements not definitely google.

[deactivated user]

    Great Story!


    Google translate is good if you stick to single words i recently had a very bad time trying to find out how to say seal (the animal) in Spanish but it gave me the wrong translation sello which means something different so then i tried to translate it from dutch to Spanish the dutch word for seal is zee hond and the result google gave me was still sello.


    It's beacuse seal has more than one meanings in English.

    According to spanishdict.com

    1. (animal) la foca

    2. (emblem) el sello

    So Google Translate simply picked the "emblem" meaning and translated that.

    When you translated from Dutch zee hond, it translated it Dutch -> English first, than English -> Spanish. So you got the same problem.

    Don't trust Google Translate especially when you translate from non-english to non-english. It will go through English.


    It depends on the language, he would use it for complete sentences. I have no idea how but he did xD


    I use Google translate for individual words, but not whole sentences because the grammar gets skewed.


    You would think he would have had the same problem. But that's what he did. However he was also going from French to English which is usually pretty accurate. There are a few times I've had to correct him for a certain word order and I've taught him some new slang (ehehe) but for the most part he speaks English really well.


    Fun story! Yeah, Google Translate works pretty well. Not so good for single words, but good to create a usually-comprehensible version to work out what a foreign-language text means, sort of providing a "contextual dictionary" for whatever you feel like copy and pasting in. With the recent switch to neural networks, it's even doing pretty well with Russian. There are some grammatical things it still routinely misses, but they're predictable.


    I was surprised at how well deepl.com works. It's only for English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Polish, though.


    You might like this video on google translate in Japan - https://youtu.be/SyAENGPcRe0

    Aiko's suggestion for using Google translate with Japanese? Learn Japanese :)

    Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.