March 2, 2024

Stop using Google Translate!

Please stop using Google Translate!!

I know, I know….it’s a quick and easy way to find a definition.

BUT, when you’re an intermediate level or above, this could be making you MORE confused.

What’s the problem? 

Let me explain with a story….

One day, I was in a session with a client of mine, who works as a project manager in a structural engineering company in the UK. She is a very experienced and talented project manager; however, some of the English construction-related vocabulary is new to her.

So far, she has been using Google Translate and Chat GPT to translate these words into her first language. I get it: she has deadlines to meet so she needs to understand new words quickly.

However, as we discovered yesterday, this has been confusing her even more!

You see, online translation apps only translate the word to the most common meaning.

But in English, words have different meanings in different contexts, especially when it comes to technical language.

A word that came up in an email from one of her colleagues was ‘thread’.

Her online translator tool told her the meaning was the material you use for sewing.


However, ‘thread’ in the context of the email meant part of a screw. 🔩

There are also other meanings of ‘thread’ (just to add to the confusion!).

One of those is a ‘thread’ on social media. This means the conversation in the comments of a post.

As you can see, it can lead to confusion!!

So what’s the solution?

Use a dictionary OR an app that gives you several definitions of the word AND examples of how the word is used.

If possible, use an English to English dictionary like this one: Oxford Advanced Learners’ Dictionary

Or if you really need to, use an English to your first language dictionary.
Although this website: Reverso is not officially a dictionary, searching in ‘context’ gives you examples of different ways the word is used.

If you work in a specific industry, invest in an industry-specific dictionary. There are some great dictionaries by Cambridge for engineering, construction and business.

Stop confusing yourself with unreliable translation apps!!

Do you use Google Translate too much? What could you use instead?

If you want to feel more confident in your English skills so you you can achieve your goals at work in the UK, let’s have a chat.

Book your trial session here.