Google has issued an apology – after a translation tool suggested a number of offensive translations for the word “gay”.

A new feature of the company’s Google Translate service offers a number of suggested translations for words.

However, a number have people have noticed that the system often gives a number of homophobic terms when trying to simply translate “gay”.

Translating to languages including French, Spanish and Portuguese yielded the offensive results, including poof, queen, faggot and fag.

Meanwhile, trying to translate from ‘гей’ – the Russian word that Google translates ‘gay’ to – gives English suggestions including faggot, fag, fairy, queen, sodomite, pansy boy and homosexualist.

The company issued an apology, after 50,000 people signed a petition on AllOut calling for a change.

A Google spokesperson said: “As soon as we were informed that some of our translations for certain terms were serving inappropriate results, we immediately began working to fix the issue.

“We apologise for any offence this has caused people.

“Our systems produce translations automatically based on existing translations on the web, so we appreciate when users point out issues such as this.”

Though other media outlets are reporting a fix is already in place, PinkNews has confirmed that the practise is still occurring for some languages.