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Andy
Community Tutor
Google translate
....do you use it to help you learn?
May 8, 2020 10:05 AM
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Comments · 31
I only use it to talk to my wife.... I don't understand what she wants...
May 8, 2020
I utilize it to get a general idea of what is being said.

However, to rely on it as accurate is not a good thing. While it can translate a word, it might not translate thought correctly. Certain words or phrases might not carry over into the target language, yet Goggle Translate could use those words, causing problems.
May 8, 2020
One interesting thing to do with Google Translate:

Take the English phrase: "Break a leg."
Translate it to German
then from German to Spanish
then from Spanish to Chinese(Traditional)
then from Chinese (Traditional) to Thai
then from Thai to Turkish
then from Turkish to Italian
then from Italian to Czech
then from Czech to Japanese
then from Japanese to Filipino
then from Filipino to English

The result is "The foot was broken."

This is a far cry from the intent of "Good luck."

The only words I typed in were "Break a leg" and then basically played the telephone game with Google Translate. Once I got the German translation, I pressed the Swap languages button and then selected Spanish as the target language. I repeated this process until I thought I went through enough languages to get it totally off track, and then translated it back to English to see the results.
May 9, 2020
And even for single word translations it's not always suitable (as it gives no context) .... it was just yesterday that I saw things that will most likely have come out of google translate here:

Fr => En
"un correspondant" was translated to "correspondent", which is one possible translation of the French word, but they actually meant "someone to talk to".

For more common European languages:

https://deepl.com/en/translator is pretty good with words and phrases (I typically find it does a slightly better job than google at sentences/phrases, but isn't always right, either).

https://leo.org ... it's a great dictionary with a wealth of translation options, often with accompanying use-cases and a discussion forum which often can shed some light into uses and meanings (and I have felt compelled to submit corrections very rarely (unlike google, I keep revising their offerings [and deepl doesn't accept correctvie feedback, which is a shame]).

https://pons.de - similar to leo, not quite as good.
May 8, 2020
@Stephany
I can assure you that, at least for English <=> German and German <=> Spanish quite a few of the "verified translations" are off.
May 8, 2020
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Andy
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin), Russian, Spanish