Symbol Indicating translation tool was used in Postcrossing Card?

After receiving a few cards where it was evident a translator tool was used; I am trying to write more of my cards in the language of the recipient. I have an irrational fear that the translation may be off and inadvertently offend the recipient. I wonder is there a symbol or sign Postcrosser have adapted to put on the cards to let the recipient know a translator app was used? I was thinking like (+/-) to indicate please give benefit of the doubt —I did my best with the translation.


I don’t know about any icons. And I honestly think it would be safer writing “Translated by Google Translate/Yandex/DeepL/insert name of translator” or something like that. If someone wrote (+/-) on a postcard I received I would be rather confused


I have simply put “translated with large language model” after the text. And I actually use those, not google or bing translators which rarely work properly.

Which one do you use then instead? I like to try, since I always use Google Translate. Thanks in advance!

When using Google translate I ALWAYS reverse the text to check the translation. Example: if I’m translating from English to German, I click the reverse arrows and translate it from German to English… this is where you will catch the majority of your translation errors. I’ve seen the context of a sentence change completely doing this. I’ll reverse it back, change one of the mistranslated words and try again. Sometimes you have to do this a few times to convey the correct message. If you’re still concerned, add: “Translated using Google” at the bottom.


Since English is the preferred PostCrossing language I’ve found that most members’ written English is very good, with or without the help of a translation tool. I use Google Translate to double-check what I’m reading or writing in languages with which I have some knowledge but don’t speak well – Dutch and Spanish. I’ve received cards with not the best word selection or best grammar but I always understand the message, and that’s. what counts.


As recommendation, if you want to use a free translator use DeepL - it’s one of the best free translators, at least in the pairs of languages that I have used. And reverse-translating is always a good idea, just in case

As a student of a masters in translation, I don’t know of any symbol that indicates the translation was done with translation tools. Just add “Translated with x”, that will be enough


I use ChatGPT, after which I copy the translated text to Google Translator and check if something feels wrong. I do speak a couple of languages myself and that makes it somewhat easier to spot an obvious error. I never translate to languages whose entire structure is completely unknown to me, such as Chinese or Arabic as it would be very easy to come up with a sentence that has no sense or, even worse, is somehow insulting.


I jump around to different translation options—I hope that one is better than the others and in using a few different options I will spread my mistakes!

How I wish I had your talent with languages! I was more asking if a unique symbol had been adopted by Postcrossers. My handwriting must be enormous—writing “Translated with X” would take up half of the postcard.

1 Like

If you have the resources, or could afford it, you can make/order your own stamp or sticker that says “web translator used” so that it can fit better?

1 Like

Generally speaking, I would write the content of a postcard in English, and the final blessing would be in his language followed by a Chinese sentence. I will explain that I have searched for his language blessings online.
I have only received a Chinese postcard sent from overseas once, but it was written very well and had no grammar problems (even better than many Chinese high school students)

1 Like

On the occasion where I’ve written someone that says on their profile they don’t speak English too well, and I don’t speak their language. I usually keep it simple and write both languages. I have received cards the same way and I enjoy this method because if the translation is off, I can always translate what they wrote and get the jist of the meaning between the two.


Maybe if it’s translated, you could put the languages, and by what it’s done, for example:
fi → en by Google

For me part of the fun in Postcrossing is to get mail in English, and I wish people would not assume I like getting mail in Finnish. If they study it or know it, then of course it’s understandable they like to use it.

I feel something personal is lost with use of translator, especially when the sender doesn’t know the language at all.

I also don’t like if people ask “how did I do”, because I feel sad to evaluate it :blush: they have already written and sent it, I don’t know if they really mean I should send it back corrected or tell the mistakes or strange word uses. Of course mostly it’s understandable.

Since English is the Postcrossing language, I have thought everyone is willing to get a card in English and try to learn it. So if someone tells they don’t know English, I try to write short.


Sending it back corrected like a school paper. :rofl::rofl::rofl: I’m imagining receiving a returned postcard marked up. :rofl::rofl::heart:


I’ve never so far translated my text into a language I don’t speak. I write my postcards in German (native language), English and French and I’m confident in both foreign languages, so don’t do reverse translations.
However, I just received a card from someone written in perfect German and I complimented her on her language skills. She wrote back saying she had used a translator :smile:


Once I wanted to comfort a friend who loves the swedish language by writing a swedish ´I send you the biggest hug´.
Ik used Google-translate (Dutch-Swedish and then reverse to be sure).
I got a ´?´ back.
…it translated as ´I send you the biggest stuffed animal´ :slight_smile: ´A hug´ in Dutch is ´een knuffel´, a stuffed animal ´een knuffeldier´ …or shorter ´een knuffel´… of wich I didn´t think because of the context :). This was funny and sweet. But I did become more aware of possible sensitive/insulting translation mistakes.

When your handwriting is large, a small sticker with ´translated by X´ is a nice idea - or practicing writing smaller letters, as I did :slight_smile:
Or maybe you can (maybe in addition) write on your profile you like using a translator to experiment with different languages?

Maybe a universal sign will come up soon, as translation programmes and AI are used more and more often…?

Wish you a lovely dive into languages.


My favorite game some years ago: put in the Google translater a few lines from a Latvian song, then reverse, and then make the rest of the company guess what the song was at the beginning. At times, the people laughed to the point of stomach cramps.


If you are interested in getting a stamp for this purpose, you could consider a DIY one where you can change the text, so that if you don’t end up finding it useful you can just change it to a return address stamp or something else. This one is in Australian dollars and also probably isn’t the cheapest option, but as an example of what I’m talking about (there are other brands): I use this stamp and I really like it — the writing is TINY.