Google Translator Changes Company Names

How neutral is really the Google Translator?

At least when it comes to some manufactures of integrated circuits they seems to be quite creative. Try to translate these two sentences from Swedish to English:

Jag föredrar Microchip som företag.
Jag är kritisk mot Microchip som företag.

It will be translated to…

I prefer Microchip as a company.
I am critical of Analog Devices as a company.

…which is aaalmooost a correct translation — apart from the minor detail that the company name has been replaced with one of its chief competitors!
But — worth noticing (or coincidence?) — only in one of the phrases (that happened to have a negative meaning)!


Translating the same Swedish sentences to German shows the exact same phenomena:

Ich bevorzuge Microchip als Unternehmen.
Ich bin kritisch gegenüber Analog Devices als Unternehmen.

But if you then translate these two German sentences back to English you will get another weird name-switch:

I prefer Microchip as a company.
I am critical as compared to Texas businesses.

So, apart from the bad translation of the second sentence from German to English, now “Analog Devices” has been replaced with “Texas”. Should that be “Texas Instruments” perhaps? Well maybe… If you take the original two Swedish sentences and replace “Microchip” with “Micrel” (yet another manufacturer of integrated circuits):

Jag föredrar Micrel som företag.
Jag är kritisk mot Micrel som företag.

Translating this to English, now “Micrel” will magically switch to “Texas Instruments” (but now in both sentences):

I prefer Texas Instruments as a company.
I am critical of Texas Instruments as a company.

Two question remains; Who paid Google to replace the names? But the more interesting question is perhaps: What did they really try to accomplish with these mysterious switches?

Conspiracy Now!

Author: Mattias

Senior .NET software consultant.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *