Google Translate is kind of a miracle. Type any sentence into the box and receive an instant and pretty-darn-accurate translation in more than 90 different languages, from Afrikaans to Zulu. Google’s free service can also translate entire documents or websites, and its smartphone app can decipher words captured in photos and even translate real-time two-way conversations.
The Ukrainian newspaper Ukrainska Pravda has so much faith in Google Translate that it uses the service to publish an online Russian-language edition of the paper. The translations are usually spot on, which is why Russian-language readers were surprised (and a little ticked off) last week to find “Russia” translated as “Mordor” — the seat of evil in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” — and Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rendered as “sad little horse.”