Test an online translator and indicate the problems encountered.


Hand out a worksheet with the sentences to be translated and an introduction such as “Please understand that using an online translator is, in my eyes, tantamount to cheating. I would certainly rather you write to me five sentences that you translated than a hundred sentences that a computer program translated for you.”

Instructions for students

Open a blank document in Microsoft Word. In the header please put your first and last name and the date (in French).

Type the following sentences into Microsoft Word, making sure that you insert all of the accents (see accent lesson).

Il y a de la neige en Afrique ? Mais oui ! Voilà une vue superbe de la vallée d’Ourika au pied de l’Atlas, une chaîne de montagnes en Afrique du Nord. Ce petit village isolé est situé au Maroc. Remarquez le minaret de la mosquée. Les Marocains, qui parlent arabe et français, sont des musulmans.

L’île Maurice est dans l’océan Indien à l’est de Madagascar. Ces petites Mauriciennes sont dans la cour d’une école primaire à Port-Louis, la capitale de l’île Maurice. Ici on parle deux langues : le français et l’anglais.

Find an online translator. Copy a sentence into it and have it translate the passage from French to English.

Skip two lines and paste the resulting translation into Word. At the end type the name of the translation service that you used.

Read through the translation, underlining the errors and oddities that come from an online translator.

Skip a line and type a paragraph that explains why you think it would obvious to your teacher if you used an online translator for a homework assignment.

After your paragraph, skip two more lines and type the following:

“I understand (name of teacher)’s policy on online translators. I agree that I will not use an online translator for assignments in his/her class, without his/her prior knowledge and consent. By signing below I acknowledge that if I use a translator on my assignments that I will be dealt with according to (name of school)’s policy on cheating.”

At the end of that please skip five lines and type your name and the date. Please print out this assignment, sign above your name, and return to your French teacher.

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