This may be a very very stupid question but I need to ask it. I have written my dissertation in my mother tongue first, then began to translate it as I will submit it in English. While doing so I used Google Translate from time to time. I didn't copy anything from anybody, only translated my own sentences. But I also read somewhere that since Google saves everything you write online, programs like turnitin detect them and take it as plagiarism. Is it? Or even if it is not plagiarism, would it cause me some problems? I really need to be sure about this, please do not answer if you are not 100% sure.

Edit: I want to add that I did not simply copy and paste everything from there, I just benefited from it sometimes and of course always correcting the dumb grammatical mistakes.


There is no way in which anyone would be able to present a convincing case that this is plagiarism. You have the original (the version in your mother tongue) which predates the google logs.

It is still possible that a plagiarism scanning tool would detect it in the way you described, but you will be able to explain it away very easy.

That type of tools also pick up any citations that you use as possible plagiarism, even if the use is completely legitimate. A human always have to analyse the output to determine if it is legitimate or not.

Just keep the original version and this should be no problem.


No, but you will likely end up with a lot of errors. It's not plagiarism, because it's not like Google Translate uses an advanced AI to turn your writing into a masterpiece. However, it might be considered to be plagiarism in the future when the AI improves and can literally improve your writing, and you use it to improve your writing.


Translating your own work using GoogleTranslate is not plagiarism, any more than hiring someone to translate your work would be considered plagiarism. (In the latter case, you would insert a line stating "translated by...")

While Google does store what you write, it's not a dump of "everything ever written in any form by anyone" that plagiarism-detecting tools later go over. Instead, there is "everything published online", which Google doesn't store, merely indexes so it can be found. Software searching for plagiarism would be going over (a subset of) that. And there is the stuff you've entered into Google's search line. Some of it, Google stores. And does analysis on. But it's not really accessible, except in aggregated form - "N people this year searched for X". As for what people search to translate, I'm not sure Google stores that at all, but if they do, it would be in the same sort of "bucket" as the searches - not the "bucket" plagiarism-detecting tools would search. (Somebody more tech-savvy is more than welcome to improve on this explanation.)

As @rasan076 points out, there's always a human at the end of the line, reviewing what the software spits out, and figuring out whether there's really any plagiarism. Since you hold the original work, it is very clear that there isn't. Basically, it's your work. You publish it online, you do whatever with it, it's still your work. No plagiarism.

Only problem you might run into is, Google Translate is not a very good translator. Your sentences might well lose their original meaning, or any semblance of meaning at all.

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