Bad choice in Google Translate?

I was exploring the roots of the Dutch word "verkenningen," which is fitting, since it means "exploration." It looked to me as though its parts were essentially "for" and "knowing": but was I right about this? I tried "kenning" and got "recognition." What about "ken"? And then I realized you can't check something like that easily in Google Translate. If Dutch has a word "ken" that means the same thing as the English word, then Google Translate will return "ken." But if there is no such word in Dutch, Google Translate will return... "ken," because whenever you type a word not in a language into the program, you simply get that word back in the translation.

This strikes me as an error: wouldn't it be better to do something such as put in some symbol standing for an untranslatable word? That way the user knows that, at least as far as Google is concerned, that word does not exist in the source language.


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