A translation error on Bing Translate has put the Microsoft Corporation in hot water with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Apparently, when the Arabic word “داعش” (“Daesh”, the Arabic acronym for the so-called Islamic State) was typed into Bing Translate, the words “Saudi Arabia” would appear as the English translation, according to Khaberni.
The technical error caused an uproar in Saudi Arabia, where many Saudi social media users called for a boycott of Bing and Microsoft.
The Microsoft Corporation has formally issued an apology to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, calling the error “unintentional”.
Translation: We won’t support those who distort the image of Saudi Arabia!
Mamduh an-Najjar of Microsoft’s Saudi Arabia branch expressed an outright rejection towards anything that might offend Saudi Arabia.
Furthermore, Microsoft was quick to amend the incorrect translation, and have opened an investigation to prevent any similar incidents occurring in the future.
However, the translation may ring true to many a critic who have accused Saudi Arabia of funding Daesh, both directly and by taking limited action to prevent private donors from sending money to the group. Currently around 2,500 Saudi nationals are estimated to be fighting with Daesh.
Adding to the general confusion on the Kingdom’s relationship with Daesh, Saudi Arabia is also part of a coalition of 34 largely Muslim nations formed to fight the extremist militant group - a position perhaps a little too complex for Bing to maneuver?