Pros and Cons of Using Google Translate to Help you Learn a Language

So, you’re learning English and you found a good article on the internet to read.  It’s a little difficult for you to read so you open up google translate to let it do the work for you.  Is this bad? Is this good?  In this post I will try to go through the pros and cons of using Google Translate when you are learning a foreign language.

Pros –

1.  Quick – Google Translate is very quick and if you are in a rush and you need the information fast, then it might be what you need to do.

2.  Aid in learning – Maybe your foreign language skills aren’t perfect and you need help with a few of the words.  You might only use google translate as a dictionary or as a way to guide you in the right direction with your own mental translation.

3.  Opens up a whole new world to you – If you are just beginning to learn a foreign language, Google Translate will help you gain insight into the culture of the people you are studying.  Instead of you having to wait to be able to read articles about that country’s economy, history and current events, you can read them right when you start learning their language especially if you have Google Translate installed on your browser to automatically translate web sites that are not in your native language.

Cons –

1.  Using it as a crutch – Some people use Google Translate with the intention of just helping them a little while they have the intention of doing the bulk of the translation themselves.  But, over time, they just rely on Google Translate more and more until they don’t even try to translate the words themselves any more.

2.  Incorrect translations – Google Translate is only as smart as its code.  It cannot detect the nuances of a language and sometimes it’s just plain wrong!  But, for what it is, it is simply amazing, but it will never be as good as the human brain.  (I know, never say never.  But, this is just my opinion.)

It’s really up to you, what will you do the next time you want to read an article in your target language?