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Google Translate bug translated “Russia” to “Mordor”

by Brandon Russell | January 7, 2016January 7, 2016 11:30 am PDT


Google Translate is a terrific tool for communication, but is it always accurate? One “bug” from earlier in the week suggests not.

As noted by some Ukranian media outlets, Google’s Ukrainian to Russian translations were being a little wonky. In one very dubious and humorous example, “Russian Federation” would come up as “Mordor.” As in, JRR Tolkien’s “Mordor,” Lord of the Rings “Mordor.” You get the picture.

Google says the glitch has been fixed, though the search giant didn’t say what the discrepancy was. Has Google Translate’s AI been sub-consciously throwing shade Russia’s way?

Translate was actually all over the map with its translations. “Russians” would come up as “occupiers,” while “Lavrov,” which is the last name of Russia’s Foreign Minister, would translate to “sad little horse.” Google might be chalking it up to mere coincidence, but given the political climate between Russia and Ukraine, who knows what the real issue was.

Google released a statement saying that Translate is an automatic translator, and works without the intervention of humans.

“We always work to correct these as quickly as possible when they are brought to our attention,” Google said.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...