Help, I Need Great English Writing Skills

Unfortunately, there are few shortcuts to language learning. While it really can be a fun and creative journey full of self-discovery, it undoubtedly still takes an investment of time and effort. There’s no magic pill.

The good news is that there are quite a few ‘hacks’ for improving your learning techniques and making the most of the skills you do have. Keep an eye on our blog as this season, we’re going to be sharing our best ESL language tips with you.

We’re starting this series with good ol’ Google Translate.

It gets quite a bit of stick – but Google Translate is a great tool if you use it right. If you haven’t used it for a while – you might be pleasantly surprised by how much better it has got.

Language Hack #01 | Google Translate

Absolutely DO use Google translate to help you get your written English right – but there’s one more step to the copying and pasting than you might realise…

DON’T just copy, paste and send without checking what Google just wrote for you.


How Do You Check a Google Translate Translation?

First, read it over. Read it out loud. 

Use the English skills you have to check for errors. Trust your knowledge – really, you know more than you think you do. There’s a good chance that you’ll spot an error.

THEN open a new browser window, paste the text Google gave you – and re-translate it back into your own language. 

The language will be clunky – but that’s ok. 

Check for any words that have translated oddly, badly – or not at all. 

You need to go back to the original Google Translate page and edit these words and repeat the second step until you get it right.

Remember: Google Translate translates words, while human translators translate ideas 

Google Translate is a great tool but you must be aware of its limitations. The more you use the checking process – the more you will understand its quirks and be able to work quickly around them.

Eating Carpet Strictly Prohibited’

If you want a chuckle at some of the worst ‘Google Translate fails’, try:

Babbel Magazine’s: 15 Google Translate Fails That Will Make You Never Trust Computers Again here.

Or for anyone seriously procrastinating:

Bored Panda’s : 139 Translation Fails That Will Have You Rolling On The Floor Laughing here.

Get Help With Your English

To summarise, Google Translate is a great tool in your English learning toolkit – but consult an expert for important/formal documents & communication – especially before sending giant posters off to the printers (#06 Bored Panda) – or getting that neon sign ordered (#38 Bored Panda).

Alternatively, you can always invest in improving your own English through one of our online English coaching services. Talking about art and design concepts is one of the hardest things you can do in another language: don’t leave it to a computer to get your words exactly right!

We’ll help you shine in English!

We have a system to help you find the best Online English teacher for you. Take our Free Needs Analysis or pay £99 to know how to get results. 

Illustrations on this page by Gan Khoon Lay & are used under license & with permission.