Malaysia’s defence ministry on Tuesday blamed the use of Google Translate for the mangled English that appeared on its website sparking online ridicule, The AMO Times reports.
The English version of the website was taken down hours after it had launched after several of the mistakes went viral on Twitter and Facebook. One error was the phrase “pakaian yang menjolok mata,” which means revealing clothes in Bahasa Malaysia, was translated as “clothes that poke eye.”
Another was the brief summary of the Ministry’s history on the website, which read in English: “After the withdrawal of British army, the Malaysian Government take drastic measures to increase the level of any national security threat.”
Users of Google and other free online translation services can see their words and sentences instantly converted from one language into another when they type into a text box. But the results can be varied.
Snickering Malaysian’s passed the bungled translations around via social networking sites. The passages have since been removed from the ministry’s website.
“We have corrected the mistakes and translations are no longer done that way. It is now done manually,” Defence Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told The Star daily.
Malaysia’s national language is Malay but English is taught in schools from the early grades and official matters are often conducted in a mixture of both languages.
Many Malaysians speak both languages fluently but there has been growing public hand-wringing over a perceived recent decline in English levels and the potential for that to harm the country’s competitiveness.