If you didn't learn your lesson during college Spanish, well, here's a life tip: don't rely on Google Translate to do all the work for you. Things get weird. Just recently the town of As Pontes, in Galicia, Spain, found this out the hard way when local officials used Google Translate to send out announcements for the municipality's culinary festival celebrating "grelo." Except, the translation for "grelo" came out as "clitoris."
The "grelo" is a much-loved vegetable from the region. The clitoris, while also much-loved, is decidedly not a regional vegetable.
According to The Guardian, the town relied on modern technology to translate its advertisement from Galician, a regional language related to Portuguese, to traditional Castilian Spanish. After translation, the advertisement read as follows:
"The clitoris is one of the typical products of Galician cuisine. Since 1981 ... the festival has made the clitoris one of the star products of its local gastronomy.”
As if that weren't bad enough, one of the features of the festival includes tastings and prizes for the best grelos. We don't need to go further.
Unfortunately for those looking for an altogether different kind of festival, Google Translate most likely mixed up the Galician word with the Portuguese version, which is slang for this part of the female anatomy. Compounding matters, the translated text was on the town website for months before anyone actually said something about it. In the meantime, interest in this year's veggie fest spiked. As Montserrat García, the town's spokeswoman, told The Guardian, “It’s become a means – albeit a very odd means – of promoting our festival.” Um, yes.
The error has since been amended and Google has changed its translation to "sprout," which the town says is still not a great interpretation, but better than the alternative.
Either way, everyone's still encouraged to come.
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Kara King is a News Writer at Thrillist and has noticed her translated messages always border on the sexual. Send news tips to email@example.com and follow her at @karatillie.