Microsoft apologizes for Bing’s mistranslation of ‘Daesh’ as ‘Saudi Arabia’

Microsoft apologizes for Bing’s mistranslation of ‘Daesh’ as ‘Saudi Arabia’

In a recent Twitter post in Arabic, Mamdouh Najjar -- Microsoft VP for Saudi Arabia -- has offered an apology for an erroneous translation by the Microsoft Bing search engine which linked the fundamentalist group Islamic State (ISIS) with Saudi Arabia.

The translation error by Bing sparked a controversy and garnered an infuriated response on social media, because it offered up ‘Saudi Arabia’ as the English translation for the term ‘Daesh,’ which is another name for the ISIS.

Though people generally refer to the Islamic State terrorist group as ISIS in English, ‘Daesh’ is another term used for describing the terrorist group. The term ‘Daesh’ is an acronym based on the group’s Arabic name; it does not mean Saudi Arabia.

With the erroneous translation of ‘Daesh’ by the Bing search engine resulting in online outrage, and a call for boycott of Microsoft products by users of social media in Saudi Arabia, Najjar said in the Twitter post in Arabic that the mistranslation was “unintentional.”

Extending an apology for the mistranslation of ‘Daesh’ as ‘Saudi Arabia,’ Najjar said in his tweet: "I apologize personally to the great Saudi people and this country, dear to all our hearts, for this unintentional mistake."