Exactly five months ago, I shared Facebook/Bing’s very special translation of יחי אדוננו מורנו ורבינו מלך המשיח לעולם ועד. I owe that stellar discovery to my sharp-eyed brother, who is also responsible for the post to come.
Some quick background: A friend of ours recently attended a wedding and posted a photo of the event on Facebook. I share this information because it is not immediately obvious from simply looking at the heavily-image I am about to post. Aside from the blurry names and the [redacted] photo, notice anything funny about it?
Hopefully, you noticed Facebook’s offer to translate “Mazal tov!!!” — if not because you thought it was inherently suspicious, then because the title of this post primed you for something to do with translation.
I suppose it’s not inherently humorous that Facebook wants to translate “Mazal tov”. Perhaps the English edition will read “Congratulations!” Or maybe it will say “Good constellation!” Let’s find out:
I do suppose it makes a little more sense when you consider that Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook) and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft/Bing) are neither Sephardi nor Israeli. Except I think that would be giving Bing translator altogether too much credit. As it turns out, if you feed Bing “mazal tov” directly, it has some difficulty even identifying the language in question: