If at the end of last year, we revealed to you that Google was no longer the most visited site in the world, the fact remains that the immense empire that the company has built over the years has ended up giving it a real omnipresence, especially thanks to its many tools used daily by millions of people around the world. And indeed, one of its tools was the subject of a recent conference organized by the giant mountain viewthus giving rise to a situation rather embarrassing for the American company.
an error that did not go unnoticed
If a lot of people use the Google search engine, there are also many who use its free translation tool, Google Translate. Still, the company left a few puzzled after they spotted errors during a presentation held during their annual conference, titled Google I/Otaking place in Mountain View California.
Towards the end of the introduction to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, the latter spoke of Google Translate, taking the opportunity then to unveil the latest features of the tool, stating that 24 new languages were now supported. But one netizen remarked on Twitter that the slide in the background, acting as an illustration, had an error.
Congratulations to @Google for getting Arabic script backwards & disconnected during @sundarpichai‘s presentation on *Google Translate*, because small independent startups like Google can’t afford to hire anyone with a 4 year olds’ elementary school level knowledge of Arabic writing. pic.twitter.com/pSEvHTFORv
Kudos to Google for turning the Arabic script upside down and disconnected during Sundar Pichai’s presentation on Google Translate, because small independent start-ups like Google can’t afford to hire someone with the knowledge of Arabic script at the level of a four-year-old child in primary school.
Following this, other people then showed that the slide in question had multiple other translation errorswith a Twitter user who even went so far as to create a document comparing all the errors he could find while showing the correct translations of the words in question.
I made a helpful annotation for everyone. Every single one that’s not Latin- or Cyrillic-based is wrong (at least a little bit).
I wrote some comments that can help everyone. All those that are not based on Latin or Cyrillic are wrong (at least a little).
I struggled a bit with displaying Bengali, but I managed to do it better than this “Google” startup, or whatever
And as reported TechCrunch, even the spelling of Swiss German has mistakes. Usually spelled “Schweizerdeutsch”, Google offers “Schwiizerdütsch” instead, apparently an attempt to replicate the dialect’s accent through spelling. Unfortunately for them, it was enough to use Google Translate for it seems obtain much more correct translations than those found on Pichai’s presentation.
Marvin Chow, Vice President of Product Marketing at Google, took the floor to apologize and make amends. He said:
We feel a great sense of responsibility to ensure that everyone can be accurately and authentically represented. I’m sorry we didn’t meet that goal, we’ve fixed the video and are updating our processes.
It would therefore seem that the video has since been edited in order to correct the errors reported.. If Google Translate is a tool that can be very useful in certain situations, it’s not flawless eitherand it may be interesting to compare some of these results with other similar tools, such as Word Reference, Linguee or Reverso, to name only the best known.
And to find out how hundreds of French people have been affected by this mass scamsee our previous article on the subject, right here.