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BabelFish causes diplomatic incident

Israeli hacks dish up double Dutch
Thu Nov 08 2007, 09:52

ONLINE translator Babelfish has sparked an international incident after some Israeli hacks used it to translate a letter to the Dutch Foreign Ministry.

The email contained five questions that the hacks wanted answered by the Dutch Foreign Minister about a trip they were making as guests of the government.

Since there is a shortage of Dutch people who speak Hebrew, the hacks stuck the email through the internet translation site Babel Fish and sent it.

The Dutch were shocked that the hacks wanted to know "The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favour or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian".

Follow up questions included: "Why we did not heard on mutual visits of main the states of Israel and Holland, this is in the country of this" and "What in your opinion needs to do opposite the awful the Iranian of Israel".

According to the Jerusalem Post, the Dutch were not amused and are talking about cancelling the hacks' trip.

An Israeli diplomat asked the paper how this email could possibly have been sent as the journalists have sparked a "major, major incident."

Apparently Babel Fish mistakes the Hebrew word for "if" (ha'im) for the Hebrew word for "mother" (ha'ima), and reckons "the Dome of the Rock" can reasonably be rendered in English as "bandages of the knitted domes".

More here µ


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