15 Google Translate Fails That Will Make You Never Trust Computers Again

The autotranslate feature never fails … to fail (and be hilarious). Here are a few of the internet’s best translation gaffes.
September 6, 2017
15 Google Translate Fails That Will Make You Never Trust Computers Again

Show us a day that ends in “y,” and we’ll show you a #GoogleTranslateFail. It’s a perennially entertaining source of fun whenever robots attempt to interpret natural human language. You know — the gift that keeps on giving. And actually, when you translate “gift that keeps on giving” into Vietnamese, you get “những món quà không ngừng đưa ra,” which then translates into “the gift is constantly offered” in English…or maybe just “No Delicious Delicious” when translated from English to Vietnamese again.

Google Translate fail

That’s not to say that we can’t give credit where credit is due: translation technology has certainly come a long way over the last few years. But it’s still a long ways off from being able to reliably grasp nuance and context, which is more than half the battle where communication is concerned.

Here, for your entertainment, is a roundup of our favorite Google Translate fails. And remember: friends don’t let friends use the free autotranslate feature.

1. That time workplace safety equipment got a craving for pumpkin spice lattes.

(For the uninitiated, “otoño” means “autumn” in Spanish).

 

2. That time your Nyonya dumplings were served a little too fresh.

Google Translate fail

 

3. That time the Somali language contained the mystery of the human genome.

 

4. That time it wasn’t necessarily obvious that you were exaggerating when you said “this sauce is like crack.”

 

5. That time vegetables needed a content advisory rating.

Don’t ask how translating “broccoli rabe” from Galician into Castillian Spanish could go so wrong. The Local, an English-language Spanish news site, can explain.

Google Translate fails

 

6. That time you had no idea what any of this means, but you still felt bad for the goat.

 

7. That time matcha sounded weirdly profound.

 

8. That time Google wasn’t in the mood for games.

 

9. That time you laughed and it was really awkward.

Google Translate fail

 

10. That time you tried to explain that you were on a juice cleanse, but you came off sounding like an even bigger fashion victim.

Google Translate fail

 

11. That time you tried to tell someone to “just wipe that dirt off your shoulder,” but your suggestion came with much graver consequences than intended.

Google Translate fail

 

12. That time you realized why State Farm could never be a good neighbor in Kenya.

Google Translate fail

 

13. That time you panicked at the disco, only to panic over what Google Translate just regurgitated.

Google Translate fail

 

14. That time you probably meant to say something else.

Google Translate fail

 

15. That time “Jay-Z” wasn’t a universally understood language.

Google Translate fail

You can do better than Google Translate.
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Steph Koyfman
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

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