Internet giants Google have come under fire on social media after a Twitter user shared an image from CEO Sundar Pichai’s keynote address. In the part about Google Translate, the Arabic script is backwards with individual letters disconnected.
“Congrats to @Google for getting Arabic script backwards & disconnected during Sundar Pichai’s presentation on Google Translate, because small independent startups like Google can’t afford to hire anyone with a 4 year olds’ elementary school level knowledge of Arabic writing,” tweeted Dutch game developer Rami Ismail.
Upon this, another user pointed out that the same mistake was made with the Seraiki language, also written using a modified version of the Arabic script.
User Khaqan Shati, whose bio says he is a physicist, pointed out that the letters weren’t connected. The script is also typed left-to-right instead of right-to-left as is the norm.
Another user, with Google in his bio, admitted that the internet giant had fallen short.
Google recently added 24 new languages to its Google Translate feature. The errors showed up during the Google Translate part of the CEO’s keynote address.
“Apparently the slide slipped QA not just for Arabic (the Farsi/Urdu script also looks off). Google Translate itself, however, is much better than that,” he tweeted.
The Farsi/Urdu script that Ahmed Ayad thought ‘looked off’ was actually the Seraiki language as pointed out by Shati.
“It shows what happens with performative “diversity” initiatives,” wrote user with the Twitter handle nitinvericherla.
It opened the floodgates, with problems pointed out in other scripts as well.
“Every single one that’s not Latin- or Cyrillic-based is wrong (at least a little bit),” wrote user with display name Sam Ettinger.
Another pointed out a problem with the Tibetan script.
In response, one user shared a screenshot from the footage of the presentation that shows the errors to have been corrected.
“I’m no language expert, so not 100% sure if they are fully correct now, but at least looks like acknowledgment that things were wrong before,” tweeted user with the handle @NexusBen.