Google Spokesperson Comments on "Crazy" Flat-Earther Explanation
Despite the abundance of scientific evidence suggesting otherwise, flat Earth theories tend to crop up just about everywhere: on social media, in sports, and from the mouths of celebrities — the latter of whom just may be trolling us. But the ultimate flat Earth troll move comes courtesy of Google Translate, which sharp users have noticed seemingly dunks on the conspiracy theory in its English to French translation of “I am a flat-earther.”
A Google spokesperson told Inverse in a statement Tuesday that the jab was not intentional — and it may not be around for much longer (sorry, science stans).
“Translate works by learning patterns from many millions of examples of translations seen out on the web,” a Google spokesperson said. “Unfortunately, some of those patterns can lead to incorrect translations. The error has been reported and we are working on a fix.”
The cheeky translation surfaced in reports Tuesday after Google Translate users noticed that “I am a flat-earther” is interpreted by Google Translate as “I’m a crazy person” in French. And lest you think this all sounds bananas, see for yourself in screengrabs by Inverse below:
English to French:
French back to English:
The original source of the translation observation appears to be a Reddit post by user Orange-Crocs, who posted screenshots of the apparent jab to the /r/funny subreddit. The post, shared over Memorial Day weekend, generated hundreds of comments as of Tuesday afternoon.
Further underscoring the misinterpretation, redditor BluudLust pointed to other mistaken translations when applying the same methodology — translating the phrase from English to another language — that include: “I’m a flat ear” (Arabic), “I’m a straight robber” (Azerbaijani), “I’m an apartment further” (Welsh), “I am unique on the floor” (Lao), and “I am a dish” (Italian, also same!).
This writer used the above translation method for German and wound up with “I am a flat Earth human,” which is, well, possibly correct if you happen to be laying down?