So how can these machine translation errors happen?First of all, one needs to remember that these errors are not produced by any particular language. In reality, they are the result of a translation of the Ukrainian language into the Russian language. The search giant does not rely on simple dictionaries, but on huge databases, and many entries are web pages indexed by its own search engine. Therefore, Google Translate ultimately depends on data provided and created by us, the general public. The tool analyzes millions of documents and matches certain words, certain habits of language. Statistically, it finds equivalents between languages because after a certain number of occurrences in a given language, it infers that a certain word happens in a certain way. This approach works better in some languages than others, but combined with other techniques, it can provide fairly decent results. To translate Russia as Mordor can then be explained like this:
- It appears that these terms have been widely used by Ukrainian soldiers after the invasion by Russia of the Eastern Ukrainian regions. The have created documents or texts that Google has been able to find.
- Google has aligned these texts, pun included.
- Statistically speaking, there was enough or even more data at one point equating the word "Russia" to "Mordor", just as it happened with "occupiers" (the coverage by the Ukrainian and Russian media and TV was very one-sided in both cases).