Starting a diary using google translate

I usually don’t start speaking or writing in a language until I have had a lot of exposure. I am reluctant to have my hesitant and mistake-filled writing corrected too early, and I don’t like being tongue-tied in front of a tutor. I prefer to wait until I am a little further along. I have a lot of work to do on my own yet before I bother a tutor.

However, with google translate I am going to take a different tack this time with Czech. I have started a diary collection in my Import section. I write in English in google translate. I have some idea if the translation is correct, but only some idea. I then record the translation. After that I import the Czech text, and my recording of it, into LingQ as a lesson.

I will continue doing this for a while. I hope that within a month or two I will be able to write directly in Czech. At that time I will submit my writing for correction at LingQ.

This is to provide more Czech to listen to, is that right? It is a very interesting idea. Please keep us posted as to how this works

Google translate doesn’t produce very grammatical translations, however. Will that be a problem?

It is a very interesting idea.

I have the same question about the grammar

I’ve tested English to German translation with Google translate, and the result is really poor. I cannot imagine how this should help.

Do you mean is better not bother any tutor until we do mistakes? I do so many mistakes but I still have to write because I think for now is the better way I can learn.

So you are studying a Czech lesson from Google Translate that hasn’t been corrected?

Assuming mediocre grammar and pronunciation, I guess the benefit is learning individual words that are meaningful to you. Although I imagine reading corrected material would be more beneficial, I do no think this would hurt. Maybe in the end you can have them corrected and recorded by a tutor and share them as Steve’s diary.

@jnvn: I think you should write if your mistakes don’t bother you. Tutors are here to help. I like it when I can explain mistakes and grammar rules, even if it can take me a day to correct a long text with a mistake ratio of 1:4 or 1:3 (one wrong word out of 3/4). And I surely agree that writing is the best way to improve in a language.

I really do not understand this obsession with getting things corrected or even correct. If a child worried about being correct, the child would never start speaking. The google translate from English to Czech (and most languages I use it for) is actually very good, in my view, better than I could do on my own. In time, I will be better able to see the odd mistake in these artificial texts.

The bulk of my exposure to the language comes from the other content that I am listening to and reading. I will gradually learn to correct myself, just like a child, based on what I am exposed to. Of course it is important to get a lot of exposure.

When it comes to output, especially at the beginning, the important thing to me is to create the output, not how correct it is. We cannot possibly have every mistake corrected when we start to speak. When it comes to writing, it is mostly important to write. Receiving corrections is secondary. If we only have 10% of our writing corrected, that is more than enough.

Our learning happens incidentally, through listening and reading and using the language, not through any deliberate attempts to perfect grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation.

I am going to put this comment into google translate and then record in Czech and import it is the second entry in my diary.

I don’t have a problem with you writing, Steve. I understand that we need to write in order to get better at writing. I am wondering why you would be studying the writing.

And actually, you’re not even writing it, so you aren’t getting that output practice. You’re using google translate. I just don’t get it, I guess.

The whole thing would make more sense to me if what Steve has written would be corrected by a native speaker and only then recorded (also by a native speaker) and studied. Angela is right, translating something via Google Translate is not writing in the target language and hardly can be called language practice. To my mind it’s more like playing with the target language, but not giving too much benefits for the learner. But I just have a different attitude towards learning languages, more perfectionistic, I guess.

I agree with Angela and Piotr.

I am actually quite excited about this and think it will greatly accelerate my learning of Czech and especially my transition to output. I see my thoughts expressed in Czech, albeit imperfectly. I save words and phrases. I tinker with the text to improve it. I record it. I hope I have the discipline to stay with it. It will be a record of my progress as well. I will be able to listen to some of my earliest efforts a few months from now.

This is interacting with the language to a greater extent than I would otherwise be able to do. We will see how it goes. Whether the texts are correct or not is not, in my view, all that relevant. It is the interaction with the language that matters, not any amount of perfection. I have far more exposure to correct Czech in my regular listening and reading.

Steve, please don’t put stuff in the library that has been created by Google-Translate!

In my opinion this would be very unfair to other learners (many of whom would assume that they were getting good well written Czech!)

In reality, up to 40% of the texts created by GoogleT are complete junk!

If other people started doing the same thing for other languages, this could very quickly destroy the whole credibility of the resources in the LingQ library! :frowning:

I suggest that other people who are in the beginning stages in a language try this. Tell us what you think.

Of course I am only importing for my own use and do not intend to share this with our library, Rank.

I see - so it’s just a kind of personal experiment.

(However, if you DID get it corrected and then recorded by a native speaker, it might ultimately be a very good collection for the library…)

If Steve finds this approach interesting and realizes that it will be riddled with mistakes, what’s the problem? Making a mistake doesn’t lock in that mistake forever. Often I’ve found the opposite! When I find out I’ve been saying/writing something incorrectly, then I can remember the correct form more easily, not less. This strategy only requires a self-forgiving mindset. I say go for it, Steve (not that you need my support).

Steve, I did what you are describing here with German and now with Portuguese. After the Google Translator translated a text, I corrected it a little bit and submitted here at LingQ. Then I got the corrected Text which was also recorded.
I do not have so much experience with Portuguese, therefore I do not correct the text from Google translator at all and submit it right away (I send the English translation to the tutor and he or she corrects it according to the English translation if something does not make sense). I’ve tried to correct some text written in German a little bit, because I already had some experience with German before.