This is a suggestion based on discussion from this comment onwards, where there is some suggestion of a tag specifically for incorrect Google Translate translations.

Such a tag could be used to quickly check suspicious translations, and could be potentially be used by Google to help identify and correct them.

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    Thanks for bringing this up! I took the liberty to feature this meta post, which gives it more visibility on the main site for about a month.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Sep 26, 2020 at 14:07

1 Answer 1


A tag should describe the question, not the answer. Some translations by Google are actually correct, especially if you take a direct quote from the Vulgate or something similar. Therefore I think the relevant tag would be , asking "is this translation given to me by Google Translate correct?".

We already have the tag with a good number of questions. The new one would be a "subtag" in the sense that it specifies it further. It is not a problem to have tags at different levels of generality.

I am not fully convinced that such a tag would be useful, for three main reasons:

  1. You can already search for questions containing the word "Google" and the tag by typing [translation-check] google is:q into your search bar. You can indicate tags with square brackets and words as plain words, and the flag is:q restricts it to questions.

    If you need any help using the search tool, don't hesitate to ask a meta question or drop a message in our chat room. You can also read the manual.

    There is also a list of questions linked to the one about Google Translate. Actually one of my goals when asking that question was to create a universal reference to which we can link whenever Google Translate nonsense shows up. A similar list exists automatically for all questions.

  2. Are such questions really all that different from other translation checks?

  3. I'm not aware of Google using information like this from non-Google sites to improve their translations. If with suitable tagging and formatting of our questions and answers we can make the popular online translation tool more useful with Latin, then I support it. Machine-reading might not be all that useful, as answers are often more nuanced than "here's the right translation". And context often matters a lot, and neither a machine nor a human can consistently translate mottoes right or even sensibly without context. If someone knows how Google Translate learns, I'd be happy to read more. If SE tags play a role in Google searches, maybe adding the tag would help.

If there are users who would find such a tag useful for their own personal use (thus making no assumptions about Google), then it sounds like a good idea. Or if you think it would make it easier to answer questions if translations by Google are tagged as such, that is a sound reason as well.

Finally, I should mention that there is little to no harm in adding a new tag. There shouldn't be any major cons. What would be the pros to you, the users? I am not against creating the tag, but I wanted to make sure it's created for the right reasons: describing questions and helping users, not describing answers and helping Google.

  • I think your reasoning is fair. It was just a thought I had, after seeing a number of questions in a row, but maybe not that many in the grand scheme of things. I like your [translation-check] google is:q suggestion. I suppose maybe we could just keep it in mind in the future if these kinds of questions keep popping up
    – Nacht
    Sep 27, 2020 at 3:30
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    Minority vote: I see the 'no-harm' as a strong argument for a tag (more so for a sub-tab of a massive one), the tag does describe many questions (specifically, the research-effort part), and, as a side effect, it even could help newcomers get the idea that GT isn't very good faster.
    – Rafael
    Oct 7, 2020 at 13:35
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    @Rafael Indeed, there's very little harm in adding a tag. If you indeed think it would be useful, I have nothing against it being created. I just wanted to make sure it's created for the right reasons: describing questions and helping users, not describing answers and helping Google (unless we know it actually works).
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Oct 7, 2020 at 14:50
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    @Nacht I added a little extra remark at the end in response to Rafael's comment. I didn't mean to say I'm against such a tag, just that I want it to be created for the right reasons. If there is a purpose for it, I won't stand in the way.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta Mod
    Oct 7, 2020 at 14:53

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