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When I need to write in English, I usually write (in English) on Google translator, trying to get a translation that means what I want. So, I've written the text below, but I made a typo: I wrote "the" instead of "that". The strange thing is that the text with the typo returns the correct meaning, while the the text with "that" gives an incorrect meaning.

This is the text that gives the correct meaning:

It seemed to me that the writing was too poor and so I thought that what I was reading wasn't exactly the same that the author had written. So I looked for the original english text of the novel I was listen to, and I noticed the it was indeed different.

This is the text that gives the wrong meaning:

It seemed to me that the writing was too poor and so I thought that what I was reading wasn't exactly the same that the author had written. So I looked for the original english text of the novel I was listen to, and I noticed that it was indeed different.

Can you please explain me if I'm wrong (and where and why) or if it's a google translator bug?

Edit

I'm listening to a book reading and I'm trying to say that the text seems not to be the original text of the novel. Edit II My question is: What is the right way of writing?

  • Would you explain (as best you can) what the correct meaning is and how using "that" changes it? – ColleenV parted ways Jul 14 '17 at 15:45
  • @ColleenV i thought that "that" was the correct word but google translator returns a wrong meaning when I write "that" instead of "the". (I'm translating to italian) – genespos Jul 14 '17 at 15:48
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    Relying on Google Translate is not a good idea; while it does fairly well at handling simply-constructed sentences using common words, more complex constructions, or those using less-common words, often fail to give usable translations. – Jeff Zeitlin Jul 14 '17 at 15:49
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    It's still a bad idea, because with Google being unreliable, getting what you want in your native language from what you think is correct in English only reinforces your errors in English. The best use for Google Translate is to take material that you can reasonably assume is correct in a language you don't speak, and translate it back to your native language. It may be wrong in your native language, but close enough to understand what the writer was saying - and you, as a native speaker, can then offer Google a more accurate translation. – Jeff Zeitlin Jul 14 '17 at 16:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it asks about translation between languages using automated methods (translate.google.com). It is not about learning English in this context, as the OP clearly understands which version in English is correct. – user3169 Jul 14 '17 at 20:54
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The correct way to write this is:

It seemed to me that the writing was too poor, [and] so I thought that what I was reading wasn't exactly the same as the author had written. So I looked for the original English text of the novel I was listening to, and I noticed that it was indeed different.

"And so" is improper, so I removed the "and". [CONTENTIOUS]
"Same that the author had written" is unidiomatic. It should be "same as".
"Was listening" is the correct form.
And "noticed that it was" is correct.

I chalk this up to a Google Translate bug.

  • You say the correct way to write this is, and then you put the yellow paragraph in your answer with mistakes. You should post either the correct or incorrect paragraphs but not an edited paragraph with a mistake. "And so" is not a mistake. – Lambie Jul 14 '17 at 16:10
  • "And so" is a mistake, in this case. There are situations where "and so" can be used, such as connecting a dependent clause that results from a previous independent clause (though "therefore" is better). But the first sentence is two independent clauses. Such clauses can be their own sentences, connected by a semicolon, or connected by a comma and a single conjunction. "And" and "so" are both conjunctions. As for the other mistake I left in by accident, "was listen to" rather than the correct form "was listening to", bruh I'm human and made a mistake. I also corrected it 3 minutes later. – Nathan Young Jul 14 '17 at 16:16
  • No, it isn't "a mistake"; The OP has posted two separate sentences linked by and. "It seemed to me that the writing was too poor. And so I thought that what I was reading wasn't exactly the same that the author had written." That is another way to write it. But the OP's way is fine. – Lambie Jul 14 '17 at 16:18
  • Okay, fine. I have always been taught that "and so" is improper, but if you hold differently, I've made it clear in my answer that my feelings on it are contentious. – Nathan Young Jul 14 '17 at 16:21
  • Yeah, I think register, dialect, shades of meaning etc. can justify "and so" in some cases. I don't see what it contributes here, but I can imagine hearing it. – Luke Sawczak Jul 14 '17 at 16:59

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