Grammar and Translation software - a WARNING

English grammar and usage issues

Moderator: Susan

Posts: 528
Joined: 21 Apr 2008, 13:38
Status: Other
Location: UK, France, & Thailand

Grammar and Translation software - a WARNING

Unread postby systematic » 02 Feb 2009, 00:00

Before investing a lot of money, students should consider their choice carefuly.
While spell checking software is a great tool - especially for editing typing errors - no grammar or translation software can be a substitute for the human brain. Most students with a basic academic knowledge of a language will already have a better knowledge of the language's grammar and can also resort to using some of the excellent, and inexpensive grammar books that are available.

Spell checking and basic grammar correction suggestions come as part of most word processing programmes, and is therefore already free. While machine translations, such as the free one in Google which is one of the best, (they pretty well all use the same engine) may be helpful for grasping the basics of a short text in a foreign language, using them for a target language from your own language can provide nonsense or even have dangerous consequences. The resulting text is often worse than a student's own first draft, and will always need heavy editing by a native or highly competent bilingual speaker.

Some expensive grammar software might need to be avoided completely:
I offer any information or advice 'as is' and hope that it has been of help. I am not an admin of this board, and my postings do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the board management.
Thailand TESOL forum

Registered Member
Posts: 2
Joined: 08 May 2009, 09:27
Status: Teacher

Re: Grammar and Translation software - a WARNING

Unread postby Learn10Nicola » 08 May 2009, 09:44

I just wanted to add...

We have a friend who does not speak English and has bought an expensive translator programme (Expensive, ergo Good - he is convinced of it's quality even when we say we don't understand!!!).

"The small man enunciates a pretty face at the corner" err...

It's like communicating with a spy! Some type of code that's incomprehensible without a mysterious key. We keep having to ask him to use Czech because we'll understand that better.

In general, we use Google Translate, however, with the warning that it is only for words and common phrases.

Return to “Grammar & Usage”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests