Google Translate Is Hilariously Trolling Flat-Earthers

It’s not
easy being a flat-Earther on a spherical planet. On top of dealing with a
constant flood of ridicule and the fear of falling off the side of the planet,
they are now getting shit from one of the world’s biggest tech giants. It’s a completely
differently level of trolling.

If you head
over to Google Translate and ask it to translate the sentence “I am a
flat-earther” from English into French, it will tell you the correct
translation is “je suis un fou”. Francophones will tell you that this roughly
translates into English as “I’m a crazy person”.


of Google Translate

This is
reportedly not an Easter Egg left by a computer engineer in Silicon Valley with
a vendetta against pseudoscience, so say Google. 

They claim it’s actually an
error caused by the application’s use of “statistical machine translation”,
which essentially gathers a huge amount of text and looks for parallels between
two languages.

works by learning patterns from many millions of examples of translations seen
out on the web
," a Google spokesman said in a statement, according to
CNET. "Unfortunately, some of those patterns can lead to incorrect
translations. The error has been reported and we are working on a fix

As per
Google’s explanation, it basically means a lot of French and English speakers
are equating flat-Earthers to craziness, leading to inaccurate machine

Google’s side of the story at least. The problem was noted earlier this week on
Reddit, however, the “error” still occurs four days on.

It doesn’t
just seem to be the French translation that is experiencing problems either.
Translated into Romanian it becomes “I'm a flat spider”. In Yoruba it
translates into “I'm flat-flat”. In Azerbaijani it becomes "I'm a straight
robber". And in Catalan it seems to read “I'm farther away”.

"flat-Earther movement" has experienced an unlikely renaissance over
the past decade. Earlier this month, flat-Earthers from around the globe headed
to the UK’s first ever public Flat Earth Convention to discuss “research” and
hang out with like-minded loonies. 

Fortunately, an actual scientist was there
to document all of it. You can hear their insightful report on the convention right here.