Google Translate Funny Fails

Translator funny fail blog

Do you need an experienced translator or can you use Google Translate on your website / brochure / signs?

On 7 June 2017 we put it to the test, resulting in some hilarious fails like the ones below!


Spanish translation fail

"A woman riding her motorbike in leathers stopped to give a light to a boy in overalls carrying a jack and a milling cutter".

Google translate fail

If you enter the Spanish and then translate it the other way, this gives:

Spanish translation - monkey wearing a strawberry

"A woman riding a motorcycle in leathers stopped to give birth to a boy in the monkey wearing a cat and a strawberry".

Thanks to Martmeister on the Duolingo chat - Having fun with Google Translate - for discovering this!


French fail

We translated "The trainers wore trainers and left on trains" into French

French trainers

When we converted this back from French to English again, it gave the following:

Funny French translation

As well as the differences between "left on" and "left them on", the other major challenge is contextualising the different words in the sentence.


German dogs and cats

German dog with a hangover

When translating "my dog has a hangover" to German it becomes "My dog has a cat"!

German dog and cat


Russian to Elvish Translation?

It's now been fixed, but in 2016 Google had a bug that translated "Russian Federation" to "Mordor", the home of Sauron, the evil wizard in JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books.

You may ask how this came to be?  The BBC article covers this story in detail.


Chinese sign


Oops!  Here's a Chinese to English fail, we're not sure where they got their translation from, but it's a very novel garden!

Chinese garden