The Irish Government Uses Google Translate? 

How do you say “D’oh!” in Irish? The Irish government might well be asking itself that question, after an Irish-language website built to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the Easter Rising was found stuffed with error-laden Irish text straight from Google Translate.

Irish-language news site Tuairisc.ie broke the story, calling excerpts including the Irish-language version of the 1916 Proclamation  on the website “nonsensical” and demonstrating that it matched up perfectly with the translation of the document from English as provided by Google Translate.

Apparently, the error was a result of sloppy proofreading, not an intentional use of Google Translate. The web design team who built the website used the Google-translated copy as a placeholder during the design process. Perhaps they should have stuck with lorem ipsum, because they forgot to replace it with the professionally translated version of the text before the site went live.

A spokesperson for the Irish Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht told the Journal.ie that the problem was fixed as soon as it was noticed, saying  “This matter has been addressed and the correct Irish language translation has gone live on the website.”

However, it goes without saying that not everyone is happy with that explanation-it should have been noticed prior to the site going live. Irish language organization Conradh na Gaeilge released a statement on Thursday which read, in part,

 “Without a doubt mistakes like these would not be accepted from the Government in English. The Irish language and Gaeltacht community should not have to accept them in Irish.”

Again, this should serve as a warning to any organization that thinks they can “just use Google Translate” to get by without professional translation services. No, in most cases, you can’t — not without scrambling your message and potentially confusing or angering your customers!

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