Russia has been called all manner of things over the past year, but Google’s Translate service introduced a rather unexpected new term for the state.
The company says it has now fixed a bug which caused ‘Russian Federation’ to be translated as ‘Mordor’, the fictional land occupied by the evil Sauron from JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books.
Other errors included ‘Russians’ being translated as ‘occupiers’ and the surname of Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, became ‘sad little horse’.
Google said the errors, which occured on the Ukranian to Russian service in Google Translate, were introduced ‘automatically’.
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In a statement, the company said: “Google Translate is an automatic translator – it works without the intervention of human translators, using technology instead.”
Translate searches millions of documents for patterns when translating words, which is where Google says the error was made.
Russia faced an international backlash when it annexed the Ukranian region of Crimea in 2014.
The erroneous terms resemble language used by many Ukranians to describe Russia in the wake of the annexation.