Ask a Ukrainian what they think of Russia today, and after several years of protracted, under-handed war, including the Russian annexation of Crimea back in March, 2014, don’t be surprised if you hear they’d prefer Sauron, the Dark Lord in Lord of the Rings, to Putin.
Ask Google to translate ‘Russian Federation’ from Ukrainian to Russian, and you may get a similar answer. Recently, the site was discovered translating Russia as ‘Mordor’ the hellish landscape of trolls and fire in the Lord of the Rings saga.
The glitch was also found to be referring to Russians as “occupiers” and the surname of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov as “sad little horse.”
While Google announced it had fixed the ‘automated’ glitch soon after the translations surfaced, it also made it clear that Ukrainians may have had a hand in trolling their aggressive neighbors to the East. In a statement released to The Guardian, the company wrote that “when Google Translate generates a translation, it looks for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents to help decide the best translation.”
It definitely stands to reason that millions of Ukrainians shit-talking Russia, calling them occupiers and hilariously mocking the foreign minister, played a role in the mistranslation. The glitch only came to light after screenshots of the translation made it to social media, with some people gleefully declaring that this was now the ‘official translation.’
Putin is not amused — and probably not wearing a shirt.