An odd little quirk of Google Translate has transformed mentions of President Barack Obama in online French newspapers such as Le Monde into stories about his predecessor, George W. Bush.
As first discovered by a reader of the irreverent UK tech website The Register, Google’s automatic translation service turns mentions of “le président américain” into “Bush” — even now, nearly four years after Obama’s election.
The translation slip-up is a little more complicated than that. Present Google with the phrase by itself, and its French translation engine mechanically presents you with “the American President.” But if you were to go to this Le Monde story from Monday, for example:
and hit the “translate” button at the top of the page, what you get is this:
We’ve asked Google to explain the odd error, and will let you know what we hear back. Have you run across any odd translation bugs in the service? Let us know in the comments.