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Google Translate: Why It's No Match for Learning A Language


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I ran across an article I would like to share - Google Translate: Why It's no Match for Learning a Language. Link: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/shortcuts/2013/oct/08/google-translate-no-match-learning-language

The author of this piece makes really good points. The one I like is:  exchange trips would become a thing of the past. You'd miss that mutely chain-smoking 14-year-old Belgian boy with a full beard who glowers at you from the kitchen table.

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Absolutely right!  This article shows that Google Translate is a waste of time.

It has improved when compared with previous versions throughout the years but it's still totally inaccurate, not to mention that it takes it "literally" hence sometimes a expression that in one language has a specific connotation, Google translates "as is" without realizing the context of it.

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That's kind of stating the obvious isn't it. Google translate simply cannot be a replacement for actual learning. I personally think that it's use is limited to translating things that you may suddenly come across online. It also translates websites decently enough.

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Agreed, it's certainly no replacement for human intuition and knowledge, at least not yet. Google Translate and other translation software are still at their early stages though, and I don't think it's fair to judge it harshly yet. After all, even Google searches were once not as efficient as it is now, and look at how dependent we've become on it now.

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It is direly useless if you are trying to translate large chunks of text and many sentences. For individual words though, I find it pretty helpful. Translation algorithms will probably take a long time before they become standardized to the grammar rules and syntax of each language. When that happens though, communication barriers will be smaller than ever.

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It also translates websites decently enough.

I always thought that was its original intent anyway. I never saw, or used, Google translate as a learning tool. You can pick up a few things here and there while in the process of doing something else, but that type of "peripheral learning" isn't very useful if you're a serious student.

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Now that just makes me wonder if anyone really thinks it COULD be a substitute for actual learning. It's alright for the occasional web translation or trying to get a word or two right, but otherwise? It's not terribly effective for much more than that. Nor do I think it really tries to be.

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Awesome article, but I really don't need an article to know why Google Translate is no match to learning a language and knowing it well.  To be honest I only use Google Translate when I'm truly desperate or to check single groups, but rarely full phrases and paragraphs.

Because I know Google Translate does a very funny job when translating full texts.  I'd never trust it... not even in a very casual conversation.  I'd rather not talk to the person, since Google Translate makes translation mistakes that would make the autocorrect mistakes look like nothing, lol.

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Google Translate is a sort of robot. It does direct translation. Different languages have different sentence structures so it's never accurate. If you want to fully understand a language, there's no other way than to learn it yourself. I only use Google Translate for single words and terms, a long sentence only when I've got no choice.

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Google translate would never, ever become a substitute for manually learning a new language since it's computerized, and it can't process translations the way a human brain does. A good example would be the number 4 point in that article. "Sixty two" in Tagalog is "animnapu't dalawa, obviously not "62".

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Google translate is not that reliable.  :) It sort of just translates phrases literally and at times loses the essence or real meaning of a group of words. It should not be recommended for those who are just beginning to learn a new language. It is still way too better and much more effective to learn the language. :)

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  • 1 month later...

That's kind of stating the obvious isn't it. Google translate simply cannot be a replacement for actual learning. I personally think that it's use is limited to translating things that you may suddenly come across online. It also translates websites decently enough.

^This. Google Translate is just a quick translating solution that translates languages word for word without taking grammar into consideration. We have to admit though that it can be helpful when visiting a website that is using unfamiliar letters/characters. I remember trying to register an account in a Korean MMO game and I was able to get by with the translation of Google to fill up the required fields and complete my registration.  :grin:

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I think it's pretty obvious that Google translate is no substitution for learning a language. Until translation technology develops quite a bit, this is going to continue to be true. If you've ever spent time messing with Google translate there are lots of ridiculous things that come of it that make no sense. It is a really cool tool though.

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Well it has surely improved over the years, but it's still not at the level I'd want it to be, especially with less popular languages - such as Croatian. As Mydigitalpoint said, it translates things "as is", and ignores context behind it, often giving wrong (and humorous) translations as a result.

But knowing Google, I think they will bring it to perfection in the upcoming years.

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Google translate is frustrating, it's so bad sometimes. I use it for one or two words at a time, and even then it can mess up. I would not at all recommend it for full sentences, or using it for an actual class or anything.

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Google translate is only good for translating words. If you input sentences, it would be hilarious to read since the grammar, context and the meaning of the words are all jumbled-up. A computer cannot process grammar, context and the correct meaning of words that is why we have problems like this. In order for you to translate what you want you must enter it word per word which is really futile and tiring since we do not have the luxury of time for those.

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I wish Google would actually update Google Translate because it's super not accurate! I'd rather go for the dictionary or some other translating site if I want to translate something. It's funny how some words turn out there though.

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