Google’s translation software goes homophobic

Many internet users will have used ’s translator from inside their web browser. It seems that Google have been forced to apologise after being inundated with complaints about how the software has been translating the word ‘gay’.

The reason the complaint was made is as follows.

LGBT equality group All Out said in a statement yesterday: “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’.”

As the graphic shows the software for whatever reason starting spitting some unwanted terms for gays.



Over 50,000 people signed the petition complaining to Google.

Google’s official response.

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. 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.

All this is rather odd to say the least. I’m not sure whether or not the translator went ‘homophobic’ on its own or there was malicious intent from one of the programmers. I suppose people have the right to be offended but there is that old saying about “sticks and stones will break my bones etc……”

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