Google Translate was criticised in Russia on Tuesday after it emerged that the service was translating the term “Russian Federation” to “Mordor”.

Ukrainian twitter users noticed the irregular translations and took to social media to express their amusement.

As well as the translation of Russia into the land from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov (pictured) was reportedly being translated as “sad little horse”, a frequent nickname applied to him by critics.

A spokesperson for Google told i100.co.uk that its translation service is automatic and works without the intervention of human translators:

When Google Translate generates a translation, it looks for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents to help decide on the best translation for you.

But automatic translation is very difficult, as the meaning of words depends on the context in which they're used. This means that not all translations are perfect, and there will sometimes be mistakes or mistranslations.

We always work to correct these as quickly as possible when they are brought to our attention.

HT Vocativ

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