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An unusual use for google translate: as a spellchecker

Google translate has advantages and disadvantages. For a computer I think it does an alright job, especially for European languages, but it’s no substitute for a human and should be used in moderation.

A problem it does have is that when it doesn’t recognise a word, it won’t translate it. In fact, this can be a handy problem.

I often use google translate as a quick spell checker when I don’t have a spell check facility on hand. If I’ve written an email in Vietnamese for instance, I post my text in google translate.

I then quickly read through the English side and look for any words that haven’t translated. Most likely it’s because I’ve made a spelling mistake, so I can look at the word and see if it needs fixing.

Whoops, that should have been 'chưa' (yet).

Whoops, that should have been ‘chưa’ (yet).

This does seem to work better for European languages such as French or German, as a lot of the time google translate seems to skip over missing tones and translate it anyway. It can also be a bit hard to read through google’s English translation.

I’d still say you can catch some errors with your Vietnamese this way, though I do use it more for other languages.