Google Explains Translation Glitch


Armenian Weekly
February 22, 2012

BOSTON, Mass. (A.W.)–Concerned internet users this week initiated
an online campaign after one activist, Lebanese-Armenian Serouj
Baghdassarian, noticed that Google’s online translation service
( was mistakenly translating “ÔµÕ½ Õ½Õ”[email protected]Õ¸O~BÕ´
Õ¥Õ´ Õ°Õ¡ÕµÕ¥[email protected]Õ”Õ¶” (“I love Armenians”) to “I love Turkey.”

A screenshot of Google’s translation of ‘I love Armenians,’ which
has since been corrected.

“Google Translate is an automated system. It makes guesses based on
patterns gleaned from large bodies of human-translated text. It doesn’t
do word-by-word dictionary-style translation,” Jason Freidenfelds,
from Google’s global communications and public affairs department,
told the Armenian Weekly.

“So sometimes [the service] makes mistakes which seem obvious to a
human translator, but aren’t to our machine-learning system,” he added.

The translation was corrected by late afternoon on Feb. 19, following
a widespread report of the problem that first appeared in the Armenian

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