Google corrects bug translating 'Russia' as 'Mordor'

By Ben Hooper
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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Google said it fixed a bug causing its Ukrainian-to-Russian translator to change "Russian Federation" to "Mordor," the fictional region from The Lord of the Rings.

Google said it was a bug in the automatic system, not human intervention, that caused the Ukrainian-Russian version of the tool to translate "Russian Federation" into "Mordor," the "Land of Shadow" from J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy epic.


The company said the same bug was responsible for "Russians" translating to "occupiers" and the surname of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov translating to "sad little horse."

"Google Translate is an automatic translator -- it works without the intervention of human translators, using technology instead," Google said in a statement.

"When Google Translate generates a translation, it looks for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents to help decide the best translation. Automatic translation is very difficult, as the meaning of words depends on the context in which they're used. This means that not all translations are perfect, and there will sometimes be mistakes or mistranslations. We always work to correct these as quickly as possible when they are brought to our attention."


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