translation error phenomenon and the phenomenon behind

received this advertisement pamphlet by singtel selling 3G services in view of the impending 2G termination:

as a CL teacher, the choice of term in the blue bubble immediately caught my eyes – “赶忙”. in the same moment, i hypothesised it’s #ThankUGoogleTranslate problem. indeed, a quick check on Hurry, the term used in the EL bubble, yielded 赶忙 as the 3rd translation. anything in the top 3 must be good right? (:

posted the photo on fb, and we observed different reactions, with mostly sympathy of the error’s occurrence.

while such occurrence of error is not a first, nor will it be the last, i think we should look beyond the phenomenon itself, and ask WHY it occurs at all. the reasons could be many.

as a CL teacher (educator), my immediate question is how did these grown-ups learn CL when they were in schools? Were they taught to become a lifelong learner of CL, or were they taught to inherit the language (contents) from the teachers? to become a lifelong learner, it means that one is able to learn and to use the language when my teacher-guru is no longer around me. but, the over-reliance on Google Translate (or some other online translation tools) appears to suggest otherwise. it appears to me that these grown-ups are using Google Translate in place of the trust-me-all-guru who is no longer around. in short, they lack the know-how of learning the language in life beyond schools (and exams).

in terms of know-how, if a Science teacher is to teach students to think like a real-world scientist, what is a CL teacher teaching his/her students to think like? a writer, a poet, a linguist, or an exam-Acer/passer? the outcome goal is critical; with only the outcome goal clearly set can a teacher possibly design his/her lessons to enable students to learn to being and becoming the goal.

if you are a CL teacher reading this, what is your goal? what are you already doing to enable your students to learn, and to use the language lifelong? the transmission of large amount of knowledge has probably proven to be futile as the singtel pamphlet has revealed.

现象一则

saw this post shared on fb this morning:

(credit:zaobao.com)

这里边所描述的现象其实如果我们有关注的话,是一点也不新鲜的。换句话说是已存在多时的。 just to quote some words:

“…包括教师在内的一般国人,仍持有这样轻视和不以为然的学习态度,令人费解,更令人担忧…我真切地希望时间还站在我们这一边”

着眼这些现象,我们在各自不同的岗位能做些什么、应该做些什么? #timeNotOnOurSide #未为晚也