Q’encho and Spanish for Global Grade 3

Hello Global Grade 3,

I’m sorry I haven’t been able to comment on your post sooner but time has been busy for me.

Seeing you fill out the borrower’s card in the old fashioned way brought back fond of when I was your age at school. We didn’t have computers in school back then so borrowing books involved the same process you are showing. It may not be high tech but it works.

Being able to share old, no longer needed resources with others is both kind and waste saving. While your school now uses bar codes, for Q’enqo, the books pockets will be a wonderful addition to their resources. Passing on the pockets is a great recycling activity.

I think everyone’s comments are wonderful. Where there is a trend for people to watch a movie rather than read a story, it’s worth remembering there are very many more stories in print than there are in films. The gift of learning to read can open up your eyes to a world of adventure. Imagine the changes ahead for the children of Q’encho as they discover the world through books.

It may be too late for these answers to your questions but I’ll share them anyway…


Do you know of an ACCURATE English to Spanish translator that will help us to write captions on the photos we have taken in Spanish?

Accuracy is important when using translation software. I use a translator to read and write in other languages but we must take care with them. Even with good software, there can be errors of context (the wrong words in the right place).

What do I use? I use Google translate. There is a technique to improve accuracy when using Google Translate. The first part is to keep your comments simple because they are easier to translate correctly. The second part involves the following steps…

Recently, I was given the task to write a short story in five sentences each with five words based on a theme of good things come in fives. Here is what I wrote...

“Good things come in fives?”

My daughter just now five.

“Five fingers and five toes.”

“Is that all?” she asks.

“Three children, two parent’s love.”

Now let's see how I would go about translating it using Google Translate....


This is what greets you when you open Google Translate. The left hand box is where you type your words or where you paste what has been written. Above the typing box you can see two tabs. One is marked "From: detect language" and the is marked "To: ***". Click and hold on the "To:" box and your choices of language will appear. Select Spanish. Now click "Translate" and the translated text should appear.


This shows what has happened when I copied and pasted my story into the left hand box, selected Spanish and clicked on translate. No, the job hasn't finished as the text may not make sense.

Copy the Spanish text on the right hand side.

Now erase the text on the English left hand and paste in the Spanish. The English version should now appear on the right. You will see some things have translated incorrectly. For example,

Line 1: "fives"  is now "five years".

Line 2: may be a little different but makes sense so it is okay

Line 3: "Five toes" has become "Feet five"

Line 4: "She asks" has become "Question"

Libe 5: "Two parent's love" has become "two of parental live"



Now I copy the English text on the right so I can make some changes.


You can see the changes I've made to the English version. The Spanish has now been changed on the right.


This is the hard part if you don't have a simple text to translate. You have to keep copying, pasting and changing until you have happy both the English and Spanish versions make sense. This is why it's important to keep what you write in English simple. For posters, short and simple text is easier for people to remember and much easier to translate into another language.


Look at the much simpler text....

English: Have you read a good book?

Spanish: ¿Has leído un buen libro?

With such simple text, Google Translate made the translation correctly on the first attempt. When I copied and pasted the Spanish, the English matched the original so it should be correct.

Google Translate link:   http://translate.google.com/


Can you think of any OTHER ideas to help us build Capacity for this project?

Your modelling of reading through photos is a wonderful method of showing how much enjoyment there can be in reading. When the Q’encho children see you read and enjoy books they would be more likely to want to join in the fun.


Have YOU learned something incredible with a book that helped to change YOUR world?  (Maybe it inspired you to do a special project, or maybe it even inspired you to pursue a CAREER in the field!)

“A” book that helped to change my world? My life has been one of many books, each adding more or less to my life. Even though I am very much online these days and can access information from around the world, I still have my book library and some favourite reference books near at hand. “A” book that changed my life… It’s whatever book I have at the time as each adds a little each time it’s used.


Teacher, NSW, Australia

2 thoughts on “Q’encho and Spanish for Global Grade 3

  1. The Grade Three Bloggers

    Hola, Ross!

    Thank you for your superb comment! We always feel you put so much time and effort into your comments and it always makes us feel so good to see when you have left us a message. We have tried google translate before when we have been commenting, and we know what you mean. It can definitely switch the word order around moving from English to Spanish. It ALSO does the SAME thing when we translate into Norwegian. Your screen shots showing us the steps of using Google Translator were really helpful … we have never gone back and forth using your technique like that before … so … we tried it out today! The captions we have for each of the pictures we are sending to the library ARE short … that was a GREAT suggestion! It worked out pretty accurately, because they were short sentences. For example:

    We read fiction and nonfiction!
    Leemos la ficción y no ficción!

    It is pretty accurate … so far … but we’ve only gone through three pictures together in this way this morning … because it takes quite a long time to do. Altogether … we have eleven picture with quotes to translate. It will take us quite a while and sometimes it is hard for us to sit for a long time … our teacher can get pretty wiggly. We are going to have to work through this a few at a time. 😉

    We have never thought of it as recycling … but … you are RIGHT. Sending the supplies that we no longer use IS recycling! We know that this will also help the community of Q’enqo!

    You are right about books, Ross. Books can take you everywhere. You can learn more every single day. It is HARD to choose just ONE as a favourite … there are SO many good ones out there!

    Have a great day, Ross – thank you for making ours!

    The Grade Three Bloggers 🙂

    1. rossmannell

      Post author

      Hola Grade 3,

      Oversette til Norsk? You must be blogging buddies with with a Norwegian class. That’s very interesting. My sister-in-law comes from Sweden, only a relatively short step across the border from Norway. 🙂

      I’m sorry I hadn’t replied to your comment earlier but I have had a busy time with much, including blog commenting, happening. I’m now catching up on replies.

      I’m glad you found my commenting post of some use. I have found so many very interesting comments and ideas in school blogs. Those posts like yours often find me working on a complex replies including pictures or perhaps video clips. I find it interesting to research information for replies.

      While I’m retired from full time teaching, blog commenting makes me feel part of a class again. 🙂



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