iPad = BlackBerry on Google Translate

We stumbled upon something really amusing today.

As you may know, our iPad app, Where’s Paradise? Episode 1 is focused on the small island of Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia. So we thought that it would be fitting to do a promo code giveaway for iPad owners in Indonesia. We asked a friend to translate a short description of the app and post it to kaskus.us , the largest Indonesian online community, and let them know about the promo code giveaway.

We wanted to understand what our friend wrote, so we copy pasted the text of his post (written in Indonesian) into Google Translate. Google Translate couldn’t handle some of the Indonesian words in the full post, leaving them as is in the English version, but much to our surprise and amusement, one of the words it was able to translate was “ipad”, and it translated it to “blackberry”. This happened every time we pasted the post or parts of it in Google Translate, so it wasn’t a one-off error.

 Screenshot of iPad is Blackberry on Google Translate

See the actual thing for yourself, live on Google’s website.

While this is undoubtedly amusing at first sight, we wonder what implications it might have. Obviously for this to happen somebody had to hardcode the result.

Google Translate is a fantastic tool, but something like this makes you ask yourself what other things might be hardcoded in it and elsewhere on Google’s sites.

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One Comment

  1. Adrian

    Funny, but as a lot of google services, translation takes input/suggestions from the users. So if you will convince lets say, 100 people to go and suggest “blackberry” as a valid translation for ipad, then google will think this is a valid translation, so it will correct the initial translation. 100 cannot be wrong. 🙂 sometime they want to be wrong for the fun of it

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