Govt used Google Translate for COVID-19 messages

Using Google 'dangerous' and has potential to erode trust in critical health messages, a leading ethnic communities group says

The Department of Home Affairs used Google Translate in the early part of the pandemic in an effort to get critical public health messages out to multicultural groups as quickly as possible.

The revelation came in documents obtained by the ABC showing the Google Translate service was used by the department on websites’ navigation and menus initially, with accredited translators later called in to check on accuracy. 

However, the Federation of Ethnic Communities Council Australia says an automated translation service should never be used, least of all by a government source, as it risks eroding trust in the public health message and could be dangerous.