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Is Google Translate sexist? | Daily Mail Online

Several users have taken to Twitter to complain about Google’s sexist translations in its Translate tool.

When translating phrases from gender-neutral languages including Turkish and Finnish, users noticed that Google gave male pronouns to certain professions, such as police, engineer and leader.

In contrast, female pronouns were given to jobs including secretary, nanny and nurse.

The reason for this bias remains unclear, and Google is yet to respond to requests for comment. 

 

Google Translate’s automated service can translate over 100 languages. But issues with translating gender-netural languages have been noticed by several users this week

THE ISSUE 

Google Translate has been found to favour certain pronouns when translating gender-neutral languages into English.

For example, when translating Turkish, male pronouns were given to professions including engineers, doctors and soldiers, while female pronouns were assigned to nurse teacher and cook.

A friend was deemed to be male, while a lover was deemed to be female.

And someone who was married was given a ‘she’ pronoun, while someone who was single was given a ‘he’ pronoun.

Google Translate’s automated service can translate over 100 languages.

But issues with translating gender-netural languages have been noticed by several users this week.

Alex Shams, a writer at the University of Chicago, was one of the first to highlight the issue.

He tweeted: ‘Turkish is a gender neutral language. There is no ‘he’ or ‘she’ – everything is just ‘o’. But look what happens when Google translates to English.’

He also posted a screengrab of various translations from Google Translate, in which the tool had automatically assigned genders to different phrases.

Male pronouns were given to professions including engineers, doctors and soldiers, while female pronouns were assigned to nurses, teachers and cooks.

Alex Shams, a writer at the University of Chicago, was one of the first to highlight the issue. He tweeted: 'Turkish is a gender neutral language. There is no 'he' or 'she' - everything is just 'o'. But look what happens when Google translates to English'

Alex Shams, a writer at the University of Chicago, was one of the first to highlight the issue. He tweeted: ‘Turkish is a gender neutral language. There is no ‘he’ or ‘she’ – everything is just ‘o’. But look what happens when Google translates to English’

A friend was deemed to be male, while a lover was deemed to be female.

And someone who was married was given a ‘she’ pronoun, while someone who was single was given a ‘he’ pronoun.

This issue isn’t limited to Turkish.

In response to Mr Shams’ tweet, Taika Dahlbom, a writer from Finland, tweeted: ‘Look how Google Translate does sexism! 

‘Finnish has a gender neutral third-person pronoun. But Google decides, if a job title is good to go with the male or the female English third-person pronoun.’

She then posted a list like Mr Shams’, with similar results to the Turkish translations.

The reason for this issue remains unclear. 

MailOnline has contacted Google for comment on what is causing this issue.



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