Two things: I looked up the suggested words and phrases on Google Translate, and a bunch of them ended up being marked wrong. Why not just give us a vocab list at the start?
Also, the phrase "He is very good" is followed by the hint ("good at basketball "). I'm not sure why a hint was given, since the answer was "Il est très bon". Because of the hint I thought the answer must need something more, when it didn't. Maybe eliminate that hint from the exercise? It doesn't serve a purpose.
Freeform Writing Exercise A1
there's one thing burning on my tongue to get out: ditch Google Translate and use one of the many free online dictionaries. In fact, use several of them and compare what they have to say on a certain word or phrase. Google Translate is NOT a substitute for a dictionary. It doesn't give you a feeling for the "flavor" nor give examples of its use. So, please, leave Google Translate for those who want a quick hack rather than a meaningful answer.
Bonjour Stéphanie et Mia !
Thanks to your feedback, I had a look again at that hint, and indeed, here by trying to be over cautious, I ended up making it confusing :) I've now removed the hint.Regarding using Google Translate, I will have to agree with Chris and Mia's assessment: as an automatic tool, it can only go so far, mostly because of its lack of context and struggle to deal with idioms :) Chris's suggestion would be mine also, that is to favour online dictionaries (I quite like reverso myself), especially the ones that give you contextual framework.
I hope that's helpful!
Bonne journée !
The hint tripped me up too! I self doubted myself into thinking the simple answer "Il est très bon." was a little -too- easy. I had to be missing something! These tricky hints remind me of many of my school teachers! (That's not a bad thing, just a throwback lol)
I'm also guilty of using Google Translate as a dictionary (ahhh, my laziness) but I've found that often it picks phrases that are "technically" correct that no one would ever use. If you can distill the sentence to the most literal form, it works better, but otherwise it will leave us stranded.
Thank you, Aurelie, for looking into this.
Regarding Google Translate--I use it as one tool among many. I also use Linguee , online dictionaries and the French learners thread on Reddit to get proper translations. Personally, I think GT does a surprisingly good job most of the time.
The reason I use it here is because when I go to do a dictée or writing exercise, I don't usually have the time to look up 10 vocab words individually beforehand. So I copy and paste the whole list in GT and do my best with it. Not to mention, online dictionaries aren't good at translating colloquial phrases. I spent a lot of time one night trying to figure out how the French would express "fit the bill" to no avail. Also "upper corner" (of a goal net)--turned out the word was lucarne, but no online dictionary will tell you that.
Seems like it would be more effective, and educational, to just give us the vocab in advance. Don't you think?
If you must use an online translation tool, I suggest you go with deepl.com. It does a much better job than Google Translate, most of the time.
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