Gawker half-right about Google Translate

    January 24, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

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 está 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?