Mogadishu ( PP News Desk )  Google Translate is one of technological marvels that the Internet has brought in its train. Its translations range from the correct to the absurd. Based on statistical  machine translation, the popular translation engine progresses through the input of bona fide users.

Many well meaning contributors contribute target language words to boost  Google Translation’s capabilities.Wrong target language words sometimes produce funny translations. Google Translate translates the word villainy into “Dhulbahante”, a Somali clan name.

Prank translations undermine Google Translate

Prank translations are a threat to the quality and reliability of translation engines.  Google Translate translates the lower case “happy halloween”  into ” Farxiya Fiska”, the name of a popular Somali singer.

A Somali singer’s name  supplied as a translation of “happy halloween”

Unlike Wikipedia, a contributor to Google Translate does not have a username nor is there a moderator to check accuracy of translations submitted by volunteers.

What happens when a racist contributor supplies an offensive target language word as an equivalent of a source language word is one of the ethical questions raised by translation engines.

The prevalence of intentionally incorrect translations may persuade Alphabet INC to review its translation engine policies.

© Puntland Post, 2020