Online translator sparks diplomatic row

Online translator sparks diplomatic row

Babelfish causes 'mother' of all errors

An email sent to the Dutch foreign ministry by a group of Israeli journalists has sparked a diplomatic row, thanks to an unreliable translation by Babelfish.

The journalists wrote a set of questions before a planned fact-finding trip to The Netherlands, running them through the online translation tool to turn them into Dutch.

The beginning of the email read: 'Helloh bud, enclosed five of the questions in honor of the foreign minister: The mother your visit in Israel is a sleep to the favor or to the bed your mind on the conflict are Israeli Palestinian.'

The translation was flawed as Babelfish confused 'ha'im', the Hebrew word for 'if', with 'ha'ima', which means 'mother'.

Another question in the email asked: 'Why we did not heard on mutual visits of main the states of Israel and Holland, this is in the country of this?' And a third said: 'What in your opinion needs to do opposite the awful the Iranian of Israel?'

"How could this email possibly have been sent?" an Israeli diplomat told the Jerusalem Post. "These journalists have sparked a major incident."