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I initially thought that 僕は神様 meant "I am God", but when putting it through Google Translate, I've instead received "My God" as the English translation. Is the latter equally or more likely to be the correct translation?

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protip: try adding a 。 to the end and see why you shouldn't trust Google translate – ssb Jan 22 '14 at 0:27
@ssb: Thanks for the great tip :) – Nandesuka Jan 22 '14 at 0:31
I recommend avoiding Google Translate while you learn Japanese. – snailplane Jan 22 '14 at 0:41
Google translate for Japanese grammar cannot handle the simplest constructions correctly. It won't help you learn Japanese or translate anything. – virmaior Jan 22 '14 at 3:36

Google Translate uses a statistical model based on documents humans have translated to guess what the most likely translation is. All translations are machine generated and there is little to no human review; though you can mark a translation as inaccurate and it (might) have some effect on future translations of that phrase.

As pointed out in the comments, Google Translate can often have inaccurate translations or translations that change dramatically depending on what punctuation or particles are present. In my personal use, I see it perform okay on nouns but struggle with grammar, especially if negation is involved. I've even seen it translate the exact same text differently on different days.

For words, I would recommend just using a dictionary. For sentences or phrases, try looking for example sentences that match or are similar to what you have. Our resource section has some suggestions.

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