Grammarly says that "are written" is a passive voice misuse

Hello!

I'm using the free version of Grammarly, and I always get "premium suggestion" saying I'm misusing the passive voice.
Here's the sentence: "in Japanese, foreign names are written using katakana."
Grammarly says that "are written" is a passive voice misuse.
Who is right? Me or the machine?

Thanks!

EBOOK VERBO GET Faça um teste de inglês e descubra seu nível em 10 minutos! Este teste foi desenvolvido por professores experientes. O resultado sai na hora e com gabarito. Você ainda ganha o eBook sobre o Verbo Get em seu email. INICIAR TESTE
4 respostas
  Resposta mais votada
2 25 389
Hello MR. LOPES,

Every time we use computational tools to study something, we must work with a margin of error. Translators or apps can give the wrong answers because their programmers forgot or claim that a particular answer is correct.

Therefore, a guaranteed language learning is also based on consulting with professionals or specialized books in order to avoid wrong or misinterpreted communication. Grammarly is not a perfect tool. It does not present a precise reason behind this kind of misuse of the text, but a piece of info regarding the Elements of Style.

According to distinguished literary scholars, style is traditionally defined as the manner of linguistic expression or, simply how speakers or writers say whatever it is that they say. By the contrary, the message would be misunderstood. That is what we can call an example of biased language.

"In Japanese, foreign names are written using katakana."
>> (1) In Japanese (country), foreign names are written using katakana.
>> (2) In Japanese (language), foreign names are written using katakana.
>> (3) In Japanese (culture), foreign names are written using katakana.

Features of style include diction (word choice), sentence structure and syntax, nature of figurative language, rhythm and component sounds and also rhetorical patterns (e.g. Narration, description, comparison-contrast, etc.) The first three features mentioned can be noted in the example above.

In my opinion, the main problem is the sentence structure and syntax.

Sometimes what looks like better using passive voice isn’t appropriate at all. Passive voice is a matter of style. Using the active voice would be better if you want to make your sentence sound clearer and more natural.

In Japanese, foreign names are written using katakana.
>> The Japanese write foreign names using katakana. [Active Voice].

I'm not telling you that the passive voice must be ignored. It will help you when you need to emphasize the thing receiving an action (in our case, the foreign names) is the important part of the sentence - especially in scientific and legal contexts, times when the performer of an action is unknown, or cases where the subject is distracting or irrelevant.

In order to make our written communication simple and clean, we must do as it follows:

In Japanese, foreign names are written using katakana.
>> Foreign names are written using katakana alphabet in Japanese (language) [Passive voice].
>> Foregin names are written using katakana characters in Japanese (language) [Passive voice].
>> Foreign names are written in katakana in Japan [Passive voice].
>> Foreign names are written in katakana (alphabet) [Passive voice].

When it comes to good writing, I believe we should not be passive - even if our sentences sometimes need to be. The better way to have a proper answer to your case is to present your question directly to Grammarly programmers. I'm positive they will have a proper answer to your case.
___________

I've just remembered something: katakana is a foreign word. Depending on how computacional tools are made, foreign words will be considered errors and it can affect the text. Please try to type as it follows and tell me what Grammarly says.

>> Foreign names are written with Japanese special characters [Passive voice].
>> Foreign names are written in katakana by the Japanese. [Passive voice]
___________

I hope I've helped anyway :)
Enjoy your studies.

REFERENCES:

(1) BRUNDAGE, David. Elements of Writing Style. Athabasca University English. Date of access: 12-30-2021.

(2) STRUNK JR., William; E.B., White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. Longman, 1999.
EBOOK VERBO GET Faça um teste de inglês e descubra seu nível em 10 minutos! Este teste foi desenvolvido por professores experientes. O resultado sai na hora e com gabarito. Você ainda ganha o eBook sobre o Verbo Get em seu email. INICIAR TESTE
2 28 378
A sugestão apontada pela máquina, rasteira e acertadamente, é em função da não enfase ou indicaçåo do sujeito da ação na frase, que numa escrita formal a tornaria mais polida; neste rolê, um remanejo de palavras a colocaria na voz ativa e resolveria o B.O: "Japanese people use katakana to write foreign names.", "To write foreign names, Japanese people use katakana."
6 48 1.1k
To my thinking Grammarly overdid on this one, granted I am no grammarian, of course. I mean, in practice many will write like you did, Renato. I would do as well.
That doesn't mean I don't agree with the previous answers; I agree, perhaps it's a matter of writing style. Even so, I think the way you write works better in this case (it ammounts to 'giving instructions or explanation').

Ref. ell.brainpop
Ref. study

Anyway, if you sitting an exam perhaps you should consider Grammarly suggestion (suggestion - see? - so it gives some leeway for you). Outside of academic settings (in informal or semi-informal English), you won't be sued if using that way. ;-)

If you keep having qualms as to writing this way, you can use some workaround ways:
In Japanese, foreign words are supposed to be written in katana.
In Japanese, foreign words are should be written in katana.
I also believe that it's only a matter of style.
Passive voice will always have certain  important uses, but remember that you  must keep your eye on it at all times  or it will drop its o and change swiftly  from passive voice to passive vice.
—Lucille Vaughan Payne
The Lively Art of Writing