dabroots (dabroots) wrote in linguaphiles,

translation software or simply bad grammar?

This post is my first at linguaphiles.

I'm a relatively new English Composition instructor at a university, and I have a few students whose native language is not English. Nearly all have achieved an acceptable fluency, but one particular student whose native language is Russian has not achieved fluency that I consider sufficient. I'm grading his answers to several prompts that were assigned to the whole class. What I'm going to copy and paste here is a brief excerpt from one answer, and I'd like you to tell me whether you think his wording sounds more like someone not very good in his use of idioms, or if perhaps a translation software was used. I'll appreciate your opinions. Here you go:

A travel is useful for the students because it helps to learn unique knowledge of foreign countries and to bring back the understanding of the characters and ways of those nations, which would rub and polish pupil's brains.

LATER NOTE: It was my feeling that what we're seeing in this excerpt is a matter of poor word choices. Another reader suggested that I run it past this community and see if you agreed, or if it might be a product of translation software.

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