Adventures in Google Translate

Adventures in Google Translate

Amazingly, back-to-school season has begun. The school-supplies list arrived in last week’s email. With the return to school, many of our children will resume their study of Hebrew. And in our generation, beyond the groans that we inflicted on our parents, comes this cutting edge kvetch: Why do we need Hebrew (or, for that matter, any foreign language) in this age of Google Translate?

Parents: Clip and save this photo of an ordinary serving tray of goulash.

It was photographed in Israel by someone whose photo credit, alas, has been lost to the alienating nature of the Internet.

And if you can read Hebrew, you can make out the letters that spell “goulash.”

So why the translation: “surf”?

Because the Hebrew for surf is “golesh” and Hebrew is notorious for not having vowels.

All of which is to say: No, you don’t want to stake your reputation on Google Translate. Yes, you have to do your Hebrew homework.

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