A screengrab of the offensive translations
Google has apologised after it came to light that its translation tool offered up a number of offensive slurs when translating the word gay.
According to Google Translate the word gay or homosexual in Spanish, French or Portuguese equates to English synonyms like “faggott,” “poof,” “fairy” and “dyke”.
The activist site All Out launched a petition calling on Google to “remove anti-gay slurs from its translation.”
“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’,” noted the petition.
More than 50,000 people around world signed on and it appears that Google has now taken action.
The search engine giant has reportedly begun correcting its translation tool and has apologised for causing offence.
“As soon as we were informed that some of our translations for certain terms were serving inappropriate results, we immediately began working to fix the issue,” said a Google spokesperson.
“We apologise for any offence this has caused people. Our systems produce translations automatically based on existing translations on the web, so we appreciate when users point out issues such as this.”