Google Translate Won't "Leave Me Alone"?

So Dieter wrote up a review of Google Translate's shiny new, iPhone optimized WebApp, and it intrigued me enough to check it out. Since I live in Montreal, French was the first language I decided to try out. Since I'm damaged and have issues that would make Lucy jack her price up to 50 cents, the very first thing I tried to translate was: "leave me alone."

And what did Google Translate's WebApp say "leave me alone" was in French? "leave me alone". Oui-mais-wha?

Curious, I went from MobileSafari to desktop Safari, and what did translate.google.com tell me? "leave me alone". German didn't work either. Spanish and Dutch, however, did.

Kicker: "me dejen solo" from Spanish to French? You guessed it! "leave me alone".

Well, if I ever get pounced on by our local language police, I can always try to tell them Google says "leave me alone" is perfectly acceptable French!

(For the record, Yahoo! Babel Fish actually offers a translation, if somewhat formally: "laissez-moi seul")

Is this a known bug? I silent plea for help from an overworked Googler? A strange Babylonian plot? Or just one of many glitches in the system?

Have you run into any crazy Google mistranslations?

Have something to say about this story? Share your comments below! Need help with something else? Submit your question!

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Google Translate Won't "Leave Me Alone"?

3 Comments

I've come across glitches like that too. I once needed to translate the sentence " you can spend some time on the beach with a pina colada..." for a travel article. I double check translations by re-translating any given result to English, so imagine my surprise when the re-translation showed me that Google translated my sentence into Spanish as "you can relax with a grenade on the sand"...????

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