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Google Imprisons Iranian Arabs in Israeli Jails?

I’m genuinely amazed by this one. Here is a Google Translate of a statement, published by the Democratic Solidarity Party of AlAhwaz. The party is focussed on the interests of Iran’s minority Ahwazi Arabs, who are persecuted by the Islamic … Read More

By / November 7, 2008

I’m genuinely amazed by this one.

Here is a Google Translate of a statement, published by the Democratic Solidarity Party of AlAhwaz. The party is focussed on the interests of Iran’s minority Ahwazi Arabs, who are persecuted by the Islamic Republic. The article ends with the following statement:

“We hope all well and good and we wish to continue together to provide this humanitarian effort to liberate all our prisoners from Israeli jails. “

There is always an element of incoherence and silliness in these automatic translation engines. That’s the nature of language – it isn’t a substitution code, and context is everything.

However, Ahwazi Arabs are, of course, not imprisoned in Israeli jails. They’re in Iranian jails. The original sentence talks about prisoners in “occupation jails

So, why does Google translate the neutral word “occupation” as “Israeli”?

In Arabic, is the only “occupation” that is usually recognised, that of Israel? How does one talk about – say – the Western Sahara? Or indeed Iraq’s foray into Kuwait? And so on.

Does anybody here have an explanation for this?

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