Plagiarism in French Courses

In French courses, over-use of translation software (like Google Translate) is considered plagiarism.  These translation programs are useful tools for figuring out individual words or short phrases, but when used to write sentences or paragraphs, it is plagiarism. What learning occurs when Google Translate is overused?  Usually, not much. A few things generally occur: students who overuse Google Translate generally do not adequately learn/study the vocabulary and grammar that accompanies the course. The students usually write long, complex sentences, which makes it easier to make more mistakes. Google Translate does not make you more fluent/literate. In fact, it often has the opposite effect of making you more reliant on the technology to "save the day".

What if I don't know how to say something?

Tips for better writing:  If you aren't sure of a vocabulary word, or a short phrase (e.g. "to school"), you can use a dictionary or online translator to figure it out. If you're needing to use the translator a lot, you might be trying to write at a more complicated level than the French you have learned so far. Try rewording your sentence or paragraph to something you know how to say. You'll get a better mark writing simple sentences that you have learned than if you write complicated sentences with lots of mistakes in them. After you're satisfied with your work, have a friend who knows French edit your work and highlight parts that need fixing (without making corrections...) then you make the corrections yourself.  If you still aren't sure, ask your teacher for help!