Word Play

Amazing! The Language Arts teacher of my 7th grader insists he does not know the parts of speech. But we were playing with Google Translator [type a sentence in English and ask the translator to convert the sentence into one of a hundred foreign languages and then ask it to translate the resulting sentence back to English.] Sometime you get the original sentence, sometimes you get a ridiculous reconstitution.

It didn’t take 7th grader long to figure out that some parts of speech get “lost in translation” quicker than others and make for amusing phraseology. Turns out he does know the difference between an adjective and an adverb and that a word that can be both a verb and a noun sometimes gets translated incorrectly more often than one that is not. Also, more effective for this purpose are languages that have different origins than English such as oriental or middle eastern.

I’m thinking this has application for middle schools everywhere. Fun AND learning.


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