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Google Translate isn’t going to help students cheat

By Peter v. Farrelly,

I believe the article on Google Translate and other translators has it wrong. These translators produce satisfactory translations, but too often they make terrible errors consistently. For example, in translating from French to English, adjectives and numerals used with nouns are always placed after the nouns and sometimes much later in the sentences, even when the adjective in the original French preceded the noun. Here is an example of a sentence in French: On parle également souvent de coupe de la main secondaire. As translated by Google Translate into English, it reads: Another often cut off-hand. As I translate it: One may refer equally often to the technique of the secondary hand.

As a former sometime academic, I would have no difficulty in unearthing such poor translations at graduate level. Usually, students who plagiarize works do not understand (or haven't read them carefully) and therefore apply them badly. Prepositions and postpositions in languages are applied differently and sometimes regionally (e.g. German) and indicate the level of the writer's understanding.