Stop Using Google Translator

Just another rant…

I hope I won’t come off as arrogant or something… it’s just that whenever I come across an obviously Google translated sentence (whether it’s Korean to English or English to Korean) I cringe. I’m not talking about anything or anyone in particular. I just happen to browse some random websites and SNS and came across one of those horrors once again.

If you like a language enough for you to want to use it, then study it properly. Slowly or not it doesn’t matter. But properly. Doesn’t have enough knowledge yet but wants to use the language? Then use what you know no matter how simple it is. Knowledge is really very limited and not enough to write a sentence by yourself? Then don’t write/use it (yet). Use the language you are comfortable with if you can.

I’m not saying not to try and practice. By all means go ahead and try! Make mistakes! Make lots of mistakes and learn from it. Making mistakes because you don’t know yet but you tried is way more awesome than copy-pasting a machine translated sentence that you don’t even know no one can even understand.

I know how frustrating it is when we are still starting. Been there, done that. And yes I’m guilty of using Google translator to translate my English thoughts to Korean many years back because I was both desperate and excited to talk write. And I hoped someone told me to get off Google Translate (or any other online machine translators) then. When I try reading what I have written before using Google translate not only I can’t understand them, I don’t even know what I was trying to say.

And yes, I still use Google translate up to this day. When I’m too lazy to input words I do not know on Naver dictionary one by one. Or when I quickly want to recall a word I already know but have forgotten. Or to double check my spelling. Or to quickly scan through a long written text. But please, do not copy-paste machine translations and label them as translations! Or make it appear as if you’ve personally written it.

Do you think it’s understandable? English (or any other language) when machine translated to Korean is as gibberish as the English machine translation of Korean (or any other language).

Stop using Google Translator people!


11 thoughts on “Stop Using Google Translator

    I get really annoyed when people (esp. fangirls) who clearly don’t know anything about Korean but pretend they do. It’s even worse when they try to “teach” people. If you’re on tumblr, there’s a bunch of Korean language blogs run by people who obviously don’t know a lick of Korean. I don’t understand why people do things like that.
    Google translator can be a good tool, but it’s not meant to be used as a reliable translator and certainly not as a tool for people to use to show off their language “skills”. -_-
    I hope I don’t come off as arrogant either. I’m really only a beginner in Korean- been studying for nearly a year now. But I’ve been studying French for four years and have seen people do the same, so this is something that really annoys me.
    Like you, I think it’s better to write candidly what you know in a certain language even if it’s limited. It’s better to learn that way and even if there are mistakes, people will respect you more that way. And maybe even be more willing to help out.

    Whoo sorry! I went on a minirant there OTL

    • Oh god! I’m just so happy that someone feels exactly the way I do. I was hesitant to blog about this but it just got on my nerves yesterday I needed to vent out! Hahaha!
      I have a soft spot for fans of any artist since I’m a fan myself but… but… I also don’t understand. ㅠㅠ
      Oh and good thing I haven’t come across someone who “teach” others using Google translate!!!!

      • I definitely understand wanting to understand one’s favorite idol/artist/actor (a lot of mine happen to be Korean too lol), but yeah I don’t understand either. ;;;; And I definitely do not understand teaching others when you aren’t fluent yourself. o.o That’s just odd…

  2. Haha, I use Google Translate as a dictionary (per word basis). If you use it for whole sentences or even phrases, the results are really barok. In terms of European Languages, Google Translate does not use the subjunctive. Haha. You’ll probably get the message across but it will sound really unnatural.

    • But it’s still “dangerous” to use it even on a per word basis (especially on highly inflectional(?) language such as Korean). Say for example you don’t know what is pretty, Google Translate will give you 예쁜. So now you think pretty is 예쁜, so you will say 나는 정말 예쁜! OTL

      • Haha, will take note of that. Although in this example I totally get what you are saying, because Korean also treats what would usually be an adjective in English as a verb, and would thus conjugate it to come up with 나는 정말 예뻐여 to make a coherent sentence, right? It does help if one knows how the language works, hehe. As for European Languages, sometimes it even works as a Thesaurus of sorts, although I still double check at Wordreference forums just to be sure, LOL.

  3. Some sentences come turn out really strange when you use google translate. For instance when you translate “he mowed the lawn” from Danish to English, it comes out as “he hit the grass” . When translating “lawn mower” on it’s own it turns out right, but when using the verb form in a sentence, it is just bound to go wrong. Directly translated from Danish it’s actually a “grass hitting machine” and therefore in Danish you “hit the grass”. Most English speakers would probably think you are in need of anger management if you tell them that you “hit” your lawn…

  4. As a teacher, I really can’t stand translation software. Once a student wanting to contact me re: his grade typed something like 성적 연락 (grade + contact) and used translation software and emailed me… the English translation was very inappropriate!

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