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Would anyone Recommend Online Translators to Assist in Learning?

 

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Old July 14, 2012, 10:15 PM
El Gato El Gato is offline
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Would anyone Recommend Online Translators to Assist in Learning?

Would anyone recommend online translators for learning new phrases or do they not get the word order right?

If so are there any in particular that are especially good?
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Old July 14, 2012, 11:09 PM
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AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
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Noway. They work for very simple structures/meanings, and very few idioms, but their sentences normally turn out wrongly. Sometimes they help to understand the general idea expressed in another language into your own, but they often make it even more confusing or downright wrong.

In my opinion, translating is a wrong strategy for acquiring a language. There are many structures or words that can have many different meanings, and intentions that can be expressed in many different ways. That richness of a language can never be given by a translator, and hardly by a dictionary if you are a beginner.

A combination of a bilingual dictionary and a Spanish-spanish one might help, despite it's being rather effortful, but it's not likely to help in teaching you any grammar or syntax rules. ;(
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Old July 14, 2012, 11:27 PM
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chileno chileno is offline
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Actually, an online translator is useful if you use it as a dictionary instead. I know it is tempting to write a whole phrase/paragraph etc.

The good thing about this, is that most electronic translators/dictionaries come with a way to hear the pronunciation.



I didn't have that feature with a paper dictionary back when I started to learn English and no electronic translator was easily available at that time.

Last edited by chileno; July 15, 2012 at 08:50 AM. Reason: added "it" and deleted "is that they "
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Old July 15, 2012, 12:56 AM
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I agree with AdA. Stay away from the online translators. They will often fail you.

I'm surprised chileno didn't tell you his strategy for learning. It's written elsewhere, but basically he suggests getting a novel written in Spanish (it may be a translation of an English novel you've already read), transcribing it and then translating it into English.

You'll be using online dictionaries and other tools to get the job done, but it'll help you learn how Spanish works (grammar/syntax intact and correct).

In order to learn how to understand the spoken language, you'll need to watch movies/clips and television. Listen to the radio.
To become conversant, you'll need to open your mouth and speak. Befriend native speakers.
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Old July 15, 2012, 01:52 PM
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I did come across a "phrase translator" a few weeks ago which works by finding bilingual websites and displaying the English and Spanish versions of the text. So you can search for an English phrase and it will show you examples of the phrase in context in both languages, highlighting the Spanish words which it thinks correspond. That could be a useful tool, provided the translations it finds are reasonably competent. And since it shows a few dozen matches you can assess how confident you are that a phrase is a good fit.

It's certainly not perfect, as a simple example will show: http://www.linguee.com/english-spani...n+the+way+here

Last edited by pjt33; July 15, 2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old July 15, 2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjt33 View Post
I did come across a "phrase translator" a few weeks ago which works by finding bilingual websites and displaying the English and Spanish versions of the text. So you can search for an English phrase and it will show you examples of the phrase in context in both languages, highlighting the Spanish words which it thinks correspond. That could be a useful tool, provided the translations it finds are reasonably competent. And since it shows a few dozen matches you can assess how confident you are that a phrase is a good fit.

It's certainly not perfect, as a simple example will show: http://www.linguee.com/english-spani...n+the+way+here

This is where I say no. Simply because we have to allow our mind to do the work of the translation. In this case you see several translations and still have to choose from something is still faulty.

By using one or several dictionaries, you do the work in your mind and still arrive at the same possible faulty translation, but the whole work was done inside you and not outside.

You can watch thousands of people exercising but that is not going to make you any bulkier.
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Old July 17, 2012, 10:46 AM
Raindog Raindog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Gato View Post
Would anyone recommend online translators for learning new phrases or do they not get the word order right?

If so are there any in particular that are especially good?
What I use when reading online material in Spanish is the WordReference add on for Firefox. If I come across an unfamiliar word I just highlight it and WordReference gives the translation.

Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; July 17, 2012 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Removed link
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Old July 24, 2012, 04:05 PM
bryanilee bryanilee is offline
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Yes, I'm also surprised at how bad the online translators seem to be. Especially since one has a Google name on it. I suspect no one is working too seriously on them.

One thing you can try is to do is use the translator to come up with a probably-faulty phrase. Then Google that phrase, and sometimes if it's not uncommon you can actually find a correct version of what the phrase should be on sites that are using that language natively. It's kind of painstaking though.
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