It does take a fair bit of guts to say that one is sorry when one has done something wrong – and for a company to do so would go some way in gaining back some of the goodwill in which it has lost due to a recent gaffe. In fact, Google has just issued an apology after they were bombarded by messages from unhappy users, who claim that their translation software did not perform as expected, rolling out homophobic terms.
Attitude reports that if Google’s translation software were to translate the word ‘gay’ from English to several European languages, it showed off a slew of pejorative terms where homosexuals are concerned. Apart from that, other similarly offensive terms could also be found if one were to translate back to English from other languages, Russian included.
A number of people were not happy – nay, offended by the translations, simply because Google failed to mark the more vulgar terms as being ‘slang’, as well as informing the masses that these are inappropriate for general use. LGBT equality group All Out issued a statement, “Imagine learning English and being taught to say hateful insults instead of neutral language for ‘gay’. Google Translate – used by over 500 million people every month – was suggesting slurs as synonyms for the word ‘gay’.”
Google has since modified its translator, and apologized regarding the matter. Do you think that that would have been enough to bury the hatchet?