Google Translate Nearly Ruins Festival with X-Rated Error

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A Google Translate error made a city’s turnip greens festival sound X-rated
Turnip Greens

Photo Modified: Flickr / BigOakFlickrCC BY-SA 4.0 

A Google Translate error made a Galician turnip greens festival sound like an X-rated event. 

A town in Galicia, in northern Spain, was looking forward to its annual turnip greens festival this year, but residents were left pretty embarrassed after a Google Translate error made their innocent little culinary festival sound a whole lot more X-rated.

According to The Local, Google Translate had switched the event’s advertising from Galician to Castilian Spanish, and in the process had somehow translated grelo, the Galician word for “turnip greens,” into the Spanish word for “clitoris.”

"The clitoris is one of the typical products of Galician cuisine,” the town hall’s website boasted, according to The Local. 

The Galician language is closely related to Portuguese, and it looks like the error occurred when Google mistook the Galician word grelo for the same word in Portuguese — in which language it also means turnip greens, but in addition is slang for the female organ. That meaning of the word was then translated into Castilian. Turnip greens, also called rapini, are actually a leafy green vegetable popular in Spanish and Italian cuisine. 

The translation error was not just limited to the festival, either.  

"We discovered that Google translates any mention of grelos, on any website," the same way, said town hall spokesperson Montserrat García. "It’s a very serious error on the part of Google, and we are thinking about making an official complaint for Google to properly recognize the Galician language so this kind of thing doesn’t happen again."

The festival will be held as scheduled in February.

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