The Google Translate Team Has A "Flat Earther" Easter Egg

Google has a new Easter Egg nestled inside of the latest translations offered by Google's Translate, which is meant specifically for those who believe the earth isn't really an oblate spheroid. More accurately, the hidden gem in question is discoverable in both the translation algorithm utilized by Chrome during a translation and in the mobile app versions of the translator - the aptly titled Google Translate app. For those who don't want any spoilers, users just need to navigate to either of those and type in "I'm a flat earther" with the translation set to French. The joke becomes apparent after translating the resulting phrase - "Je suis un fou" - back into English. As shown in the images below, the French wording used there translates back into "I'm a crazy person" after being translated back.

Of course, Google has never been a company to shy away from the periodic use of tongue-in-cheek humor or a flirt with controversy. That's particularly true when it comes to the Easter Eggs it plants in its apps, although most are fairly mild. With that said, this particular Easter Egg is actually quite a bit cheekier than normal. What's more, it's persistent due to how Translate works. Typing in the technically more correct "I'm a flat-earther" returns the same results. Meanwhile, capitalizing "Earth" as it probably should have been, results in the French phrase, "I'm an apartment Earther" - stemming from the fact that the word flat is often used in that way in the English language. It doesn't seem to work with any other languages either, with those returning the usual confusing responses from Translate. For example, Arabic returns "I'm a flat ear," while others return other phrases which don't necessarily make sense. They also don't stand out as Easter Eggs.

All of that stacks up to make this particular Easter Egg much more difficult to discover, to begin with. That's not really surprising since that's the nature of these kinds of things but it does seem to beg the question as to whether or not this was a deliberate company effort. It could also be the result of one or two Googlers having a laugh with a phrase they don't expect many users to try and translate to a second language.

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Daniel Golightly

Senior Staff Writer
Daniel has been writing for AndroidHeadlines since 2016. As a Senior Staff Writer for the site, Daniel specializes in reviewing a diverse range of technology products and covering topics related to Chrome OS and Chromebooks. Daniel holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Software Engineering and has a background in Writing and Graphics Design that drives his passion for Android, Google products, the science behind the technology, and the direction it's heading. Contact him at [email protected]
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