Journalists Use Free Babelfish Online Translator to Query – and Offend – Dutch Dignitary

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It’s like all those foreign movies with bad translations that you like to laugh at, only this time it’s real – journalists in Israel used the Babelfish free online translator to translate an email request to the Dutch foreign ministry – and in the process insulted a Dutch dignitary’s mother and created an international incident. Who in their right mind would let Babelfish translate a message – let alone send a Babelfish translation – to members of a foreign government whom they wished to interview??

The email which was sent to the Dutch ministry, read, in part:

“Helloh bud, enclosed five of the questions in honor of the foreign minister: The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favor or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian.”

The email went on to say “Why we did not heard on mutual visits of main the states of Israel and Holland, this is in the country of this?”

..and perhaps the most politically problematic, “What in your opinion needs to do opposite the awful the Iranian of Israel?”

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Bemoaned an Israeli diplomat, “How could this email possibly have been sent? These journalists have sparked a major incident.”

We would have thought it was stating the obvious, but never never never rely on a free online translator – Babelfish or otherwise – for such critical email.

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2 thoughts on “Journalists Use Free Babelfish Online Translator to Query – and Offend – Dutch Dignitary

  1. I like http://www.live-translator.net/ , because they have both automatic and professional translators ready to help you.

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