Beautiful Phrases From Around the World, Ruined by Google Translate

Google makes some of the most useful products in the world -- Gmail, Docs, self-driving cars with cameras on them that spy on America one street at a time. Google Translate, however, is only useful if you need to know a single word in another language. It's completely clueless when it comes to translating proverbs, which are essentially cleverly phrased clichés. To highlight this hilarious bug, we took 12 proverbs that sound beautiful in other languages and put them in Google Translate to see what a mess it would make.

Sounds like a Yoda quote

"Chi da giovane ha un vizio, in vecchiaia fa sempre quell'uffizio."
What it means: "Old habits die hard."
What Google Translate says it means: "Who as a young man has a vice, in old age is always that office."

Sounds like Yoda plugging the sequels

What it means: "Persevere and never fear."
What Google Translate says it means: "Continuation will force."

Hear ye, hear ye

"Էս ականջով լսում է, մյուսով դուրս է անում:"
What it means: "S/he hears it from this ear, and throws it out from the other."
What Google Translate says it means: "These ears hear the other out of the way."

From the Greek translation of Fifty Shades of Grey

"Ο πνιγμένος, από τα μαλλιά του πιάνεται."
What it means: "A drowning man will clutch at a straw."
What Google Translate says it means: "The choked, his hair caught."

Shutterstock/Jennifer Bui/Thrillist

Secrets don't make friends, or sense

"Al amigo más amigo, no le fíes tu secreto, y así nunca te verás, arrepentido o sujeto."
What it means: "If you tell your secret to your friend, you will make him your master."
What Google Translate says it means: "The friend's friend, do not trust your secret, and so you never see, regretful or subject."

Hurry up, Albert!

"今 日 事, 今 日 畢"
What it means: "We all have a mental list of 'I should haves.'"
What Google Translate says it means: "Today on the matter, today, Albert."

"Field, move" is what I say when I'm in line behind Sally

"Жизнь прожи́ть -- не по́ле перейти́."
What it means: "Living [your] life is not like crossing a meadow." (aka "Life was never meant to be easy.")
What Google Translate says it means: "Life is lived -- not the field move."

The Healthy sounds like a weird cult

"Der Gesunde weiß nicht, wie reich er ist."
What it means: "Good health is more desirable than wealth."
What Google Translate says it means: "The Healthy do not know how rich he is."

Korean dogs are mad smart

"서당개 삼 년에 풍월 읊는다 "
What it means: "After three years at a village schoolhouse, even a dog can recite a poem." (aka "Practice makes perfect.")
What Google Translate says it means: "The recites the village school Fugetsu than three years."

The proverb is weirder than the translation

"Coffre ouvert, rend le saint pervers."
What it means: "A nice wife and a back door oft make a rich man poor." (WHAT?!)
What Google Translate says it means: "Safe open, makes the perverse saint."

I swear my rig isn't normally like this

"Een slecht werksman beschuldigt altijd zijn tuig."
What it means: "A bad craftsman blames his tools."
What Google Translate says it means: "A poorly werksman always blames his rig."

Are books a popular gift in Poland?

"Dar za dar, słowa za słowa."
What it means: "You must meet roughness with roughness."
What Google Translate says it means: "Gift for the gift of words with words."

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Lee Breslouer is a senior writer for Thrillist, and thinks language is beautiful. Follow him to idioms at: @LeeBreslouer.

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