Babelfished Student Email

A student just sent me a completely garbled, incomprehensible email that had obviously been written in Korean and translated using a service like Babelfish. So here’s what I put in my response:

너가 이 원본에서 볼 수 있는다 대로, 전산화한 번역은 흔하게 아주 잘 일하지 않는다. 형은 불가해한 나오고, 기계가 사용된 독자에게 명백하다. 너가 그같은 프로그램을 사용하면 외국어 교사를 이메일로 보낼 때 특별하게 좋지 않다. 간단한 형 너자신을 쓰는것은 낫다. 이해하기 간단한 형은 쉽다. 너가 나에게 보낸 무엇을 어떤 이해되지 않는다.

(As you can see from this text, computerized translation usually does not work very well. Sentences come out incomprehensible, and it is obvious to the reader a machine was used. It is especially not good when emailing a foreign language teacher if you use such a program. It is better to write simple sentences yourself. Simple sentences are easy to understand. What you sent me doesn’t make any sense.)

I included the English original, perhaps hoping he’d read both. The guy doesn’t have bad English, actually, and probably will understand if he does bother to read it.

Ah well, at least he made some effort, however useless, to send me an email in English. Every semester I get one or two emails from kids, written completely in Korean, asking why their English grade is not better. When I ask them if they really have to ask, considering they emailed me without a single word of English in the email, they usually seem not to grasp the irony.

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