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Google Translate parses lorem ipsum phrases (default placeholder text) in a very peculiar manner. Any idea why this is so?

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On Incognito Mode:

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  • I cannot reproduce this. Have you tried it in an incognito window?
    – jonsca
    Aug 24, 2014 at 5:45
  • yeah that's interesting. When i go incognito the translations get more mundane
    – Huey
    Aug 24, 2014 at 5:52
  • I can't remember offhand what gets disabled when you go into incognito mode, but it could be that you have a rogue extension or something. Could just be a harmless Easter Egg built into it, but it's a bit intrusive either way.
    – jonsca
    Aug 24, 2014 at 5:55
  • wait, I tried it on a mobile device and the translations are normal, but on incognito mode on a PC, it prints China again. Updated my question with screenshots.
    – Huey
    Aug 24, 2014 at 7:13
  • Only Google can answer this. Krebs on Security discusses this at length with his own speculation.
    – ale
    Aug 24, 2014 at 12:26

1 Answer 1

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This is just an educated guess, but I believe it has to do with the fact that Google Translate is based on machine-translation AI, that gets better with user interaction, so the more users “correct” it to “China” (or, for that matter, translate it to China on many, many, many web sites across the web), the more it will automatically (due to statistics) translate to it.

It could also be just an easter egg.

Update: It used to be translated to “Hello World!”

Update 2: See this TechCrunch article for more details.

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