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Google Translate Thinks "Ooga Booga Wooga" Is Somali And People Are Confused AF

"Google Translate got us fucked up fam."

Originally posted on
Updated on

So here's the deal: People have just realised that Google Translate somehow detects absolute gibberish as Somali.


(And while I'm here, as a point of note, "Somali" is the correct term for the language spoken by people from Somalia. It is not, and never was, and never shall be "Somalian". Somali people speak Somali.)

Anyway, people who speak Somali are really confused that if you type "ooga booga wooga" into Google Translate it "detects" it as Somali and claims the translation is "it is widespread". Yes, widespread BS.


People are actually done.

Things get even more sinister. If you type in the N-word as a Somali word, you could get some very inaccurate English translations.


In case you're wondering what unfortunate set of events led to people realising this about the N-word, it appears that a 4chan forum discovered this in 2014. It was around the time Google launched a "community" site for its translation tool which allows people to offer their own translations. πŸ‘€


Some other words, such as the Somali words for "aunt" and "grandad", don't translate correctly either.

Whoever's in-charge of Somali google translate is doing a madness


And have asked Google to hire them so they can sort this mess out.

@Google hire me to fix your translations b/c your Somali's broker than my wallet πŸ˜‚ #BadSomali

A spokesperson for Google told BuzzFeed News that "inappropriate" translations can be reported.

They said: "When Google Translate generates a translation, it uses patterns from millions of translations to help decide on the best translation for you.

"We’re constantly working to improve the quality of our translations, and if people come across incorrect or inappropriate translations, they can report the issue and we’ll be happy to fix them.”

BuzzFeed News understands that Google Translate works by looking for any language that the words entered may sound like and then proceeds to guess the term.

And in situations when it doesn't understand the word, for instance if it's a typo or a rare word, it attempts to produce a suitable translation to would fill the gap.

Ikran is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ikran Dahir at

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