A bug on Google Translate has surfaced, which appears to be putting believers in the flat-Earth theory on the receiving end of mockery. The bug causes a rather hilarious translation, turning ‘flat-Earther’ into ‘crazy person’. The bug is only visible when you’re translating English to French, and then translating the French phrase back into English.
Typing ‘I am a flat-Earther’ in English gives you the translated French phrase ‘Je suis en fou’. Translating that phrase back into English gives the answer ‘I am a crazy person’. This doesn’t happen with any other languages, and Google has assured CNET, the publication that first ran the story based on a Reddit thread, that it isn’t intentional. “Translate works by learning patterns from many millions of examples of translations seen out on the web,” a Google spokesman said to CNET. “Unfortunately, some of those patterns can lead to incorrect translations. The error has been reported and we are working on a fix.”
Google Translate is a particularly helpful tool, but its reliance on machine learning and algorithms means it isn’t always perfect. You often get hilarious translations that aren’t always ideal, but the platform has been improving over the years. New languages are constantly being added, and the tool even now offers offline support on some platforms, including the Android app.
If you haven’t already heard of it, the flat-Earth theory is an admittedly ridiculous one that’s been gaining traction on the internet. While its has been theorized since the earliest civilized times that the Earth is a sphere, a segment of though has believed that the earth is a flat disk, with the sun orbiting the Earth rather than the other way round.
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This theory has been scientifically proven to be incorrect and reliable proof now exists that the Earth is a sphere, but modern flat-Earth societies continue to push theories that this isn’t true. Naturally, flat-Earth believers are looked upon as fools, and the Google Translate bug makes the situation even more hilarious.