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Picture of Kalleh
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Have you heard of translation plagiarism? The student translates an essay from one language to the next, thereby it isn't detected by regular plagiarism methods.

It seems to me that it would be easier to write the paper!
 
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I've not come across it but I would have thought it would be relatively easy to detect unless the student is fully fluent in both languages and blatantly obvious if the student had used electronic translation.
 
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Given the disregard for/ignorance of written structure among people nowadays, I wonder if that's the case, Bob.
 
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From the article:
quote:
As of now, there are no reliable methods for spotting translation plagiarism. However, solutions will surely emerge in the near future. Researchers at Plagramme are trying several new approaches, and great progress is being made. Don’t leave translation plagiarism in your assignments—it may become detectable at the very moment that you submit your paper.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Geoff:
Given the disregard for/ignorance of written structure among people nowadays, I wonder if that's the case, Bob.


What disregard/ignorance are you referring to?
 
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quote:


Of these 20 items, only 9 are syntax related: 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 20, 15-16 (which are the same). 17 does not appear to be a problem at all. 1, 5, 8, 14, 19 are spelling issues. The rest are about how to handle quotations. None of these errors seem to prevent the reader from knowing what the writer means. Surely a worse error would be one where the reader has no idea how to correct it.

But more importantly, you said disregard/ignorance of written structure *nowadays*. How do we know that the 9 syntax-related issues are more common now than they used to be?
 
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Most importantly, none of these errors are as bad as the errors introduced by machine translation. "Weather brisk October marked the football season was in full effect."
 
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And the quotation "mistakes" that they talk about are considered correct in England, or other English speaking countries, right?

While certainly not syntax or grammar, I will say, as an undergraduate professor, the writing I saw at a top-rate university was mediocre, at best. They had trouble with clarity, getting their point across, and generally in presenting their case. They also did not accurately support or cite their positions. This, of course, is less about linguistics and more about critical thinking.
 
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Universities have style guides for academic writing and Harvard Referencing is pretty much the worldwide academic standard for referencing quotes.

But as we all know a style guide is not the same thing as grammar.
 
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quote:
Originally posted by BobHale:
I've not come across it but I would have thought it would be relatively easy to detect unless the student is fully fluent in both languages and blatantly obvious if the student had used electronic translation.

True dat. I imagined myself as a lazy bilingual (Sp-Eng) hs student assigned an essay on Hamlet. I found several online sources in Spanish for free homework essays on Hamlet. And even without downloading translation sw, you can feed them a sentence at a time through google translate & this is typical of what you get:

"La obra discurre vívidamente alrededor de la locura (tanto real como fingida), y de la transformación del profundo dolor en desmesurada ira." ... translation ...

"The play runs vividly about madness (both real and fake), and the transformation of deep pain in excessive anger."

OTOH, the lazy student could just do his own Eng translation & pass it off w/o detection. But at least he would have been forced to read the essay in depth Wink
 
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My husband tells the story where the student handed in an essay he had found on the internet. The professor gave him an A on it, but called the student in. Turns out, the essay had been his when he was in college. The student said, "Why did you give me an A then?" The professor said, "Because the professor gave me a C+ and I deserved an A!"
 
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I like it.

I once had a piece of work turned in to me from a student that was considerably beyond his capability. (He was a good student but not THAT good). I can't recall the topic but it was a cogently argued, grammatically perfect essay of around a thousand words, all done in the students own handwriting.

Keep in mind this was an EFL class.

A few minutes googling some of the phrases turned up the original on the internet. He had actually gone to the trouble of copying it out by hand to disguise that he Googled it.

He admitted it - rather sheepishly - but couldn't understand how I knew to even check. From an Intermediate EFL student it would be astonishing to get a thousand word essay with literally no grammar or spelling mistakes and using a lot of uncommon vocabulary.

It was quite common for EFL students to misunderstand the purpose of their homework. The teacher in those classes isn't looking for - doesn't care about - the content. The important thing is the language used.

Of course being able to use Google (in English) to find the essay, establish that it is appropriate and make an error free copy of it are all significant language skills in themselves. Just not the ones I was looking for. After he had handed in the replacement I explained all that to him.
 
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Sometimes students are so stupid when they cheat. I had a student who handed in an exam, along with the exam she had used to copy from!

On the other hand, as a new professor, I was a bit naive. I was teaching nutrition to more than 100 new nursing students. We were going over their exam, and a couple of them asked to see their answer sheets so that they could see what they did wrong. Like a complete fool, I said fine. They all got their answer sheets, and I expected them to just see where they went wrong and hand them back in. Duh! I looked out as I was reading answers and saw a sea of erasures going on. I deserved it!
 
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I love it when two different students hand in identical work with identical errors and then try to maintain that it's just coincidental.
 
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