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Gawker half-right about Google Translate

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Weird behavior on Google’s translation service page made the gossips at Gawker think they found a scoop. They didn’t. Here’s why.

At Gawker, blogger Joshua Stein posted a screen cap of Google Translate taking the phrase “Heath Ledger is dead” and returning “Tom Cruise est√° muerto.”

In the screen cap, Stein left out an important part of the picture, one that explains how this could happen. To the far right of the translated result, Google presents a link to “Suggest a better translation.” Someone apparently did just that, Google accepted it, and no one has bothered to put in a corrected translation.

Google deserves a smack for not vetting user-suggested translations before allowing them to go online. We understand they want to get a correct item out there quickly, and may not have a legion of people dedicated to translating words and phrases, but this makes Google look bad.

Any bets the Gawkerites put the edit in themselves?

Gawker half-right about Google Translate
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