I’m sure most of you will agree that Google Translate is pretty reliable.
Recently, however, the language-tool contained a grievous error which saw it brand the Russian Federation “Mordor” and Russian citizens “occupiers.”
Other incorrect translations include converting the name of Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, into “sad little horse.” The error reared its head when users attempted to change the Ukranian language into Russian.
For the uninitiated, Mordor — also know as the land of shadows — is a fictional realm in JRR Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” series. It’s home to the Dark Lord Sauron, creator of the one ring.
Google, in an apologetic statement issued to the Guardian, said its service works “without the intervention of human translators.”
“When Google Translate generates a translation, it looks for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents to help decide the best translation.”
Google also said that automatic translation is “very difficult,” citing the context in which words are used as an issue. They continued “not all translations are perfect, and there will sometimes be mistakes or mistranslations.”
One translator to rule them all
Google Translate wasn’t spared any blushes, however. A quick search of the term on Twitter yielded hundreds of screenshots of the incident, many users both baffled and entertained in equal measure.
Thankfully, the bug has since been fixed, and attempting the same translations will not result in incorrect results.
Google Translate was launched in 2007, and has since become one of the most popular tools on the web, serving over 200 million people daily.
It’s not been a good year for Google. Recently, privacy groups accused the corporation of collecting private data belonging to young school children. In more positive news for the company, check out these images of their upcoming wearable computer, the Google Glass 2.