Google Now Translating ‘Indocumentado’ To ‘Undocumented,’ Not ‘Illegal Immigrant’

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Google appears to now be translating the Spanish word for “undocumented” correctly into English after previously rendering it as “illegal immigrant,” according to ABC-Fusion writer Jorge Rivas.

A Google spokesperson previously told Rivas it had no plans to update the translation for ‘indocumentado’ as it appears in some instances online, noting that the service provides a field for users to suggest a better translation in order to improve the system.

Fusion followed 10 Spanish-language news stories where “indocumentado” appeared in the headline, and reported that as of Tuesday evening, Google Translate generated “undocumented” for the English translations, when before they read “illegal immigrant.” Check out screen shots of two such headlines here.

It’s unclear if Google’s translation service now translates all instances of “indocumentado” to undocumented, Rivas noted.

This post has been updated.


Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at