Ray Girvan ("Ibong Adarna: Google Mistranslate", 2/17/2014) documents one of the more bizarre machine-translation oddities in recent years:
Ibong Adarna is the title of a massively popular epic fantasy in the mythology and culture of the Philippines; it originally went under the snappy title of Corrido ng Pinagdaanang Buhay nang Tatlong Principeng, Magcacapatid na Anac nang haring Fernando at nang Reina Valeriana sa Caharian ng Berbania ("Corrido of the Traveled/Travailed Life of Three Princes, Sibling Children of King Fernando and Queen Valeriana of the Kingdom of Berbania"). Despite the Spanish names, it evidently pre-dates the Spanish Era in the Philippines.
You should read Ray's post for more background on the history, form, and significance of this work, whose title means "The Adarna Bird". Because somehow — mischance? malice? — Google Translate came up with this:
Ray notes that
As you can gather from the synopsis at the Wikipedia page Ibong Adarna (mythology), it's a fairly convoluted story of the adventures of three princes, Pedro, Diego and Juan. The first two conspire against Juan, as they go on a quest to heal their ailing father (who has got ill from worrying about a dream in which two traitors conspire against Juan). The title refers to the Adarna bird that's central to the story and has properties probably unique for a mythical creature. It has powers of magic and healing, but a dangerous aspect: petrifying poo! At the end of the day it sings seven songs that lull listeners to sleep, changing colour with each song, then defecates – and anyone incautious enough to be underneath is turned to stone. [...]
With the individual words, [Google] translates "Ibong" as "Birds" (which is on the right track) and can't translate "Adarna" (which is expected). The problem is only with the phrase "Ibong Adarna". Is it a malicious mistranslation someone submitted to the database? Some inexplicably garbled allusion to the defecating Adarna bird? Or what? Knowing zero about the Filipino language and the workings of Google Translate, I can't fathom it. Any thoughts?
The translation has been fixed now, perhaps as a result of Ray's post:
But some LLOG reader who knows Filipino (and/or has a good imagination) may be able to suggest what happened before the correction was made…