WeChat Mistranslates National Flags into Bizarre Phrases

By Ryan Gandolfo, December 17, 2019

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A flaw on WeChat went viral on Tuesday involving national flags and some pretty bizarre translations.

According to screenshots shared from the Chinese social media platform, WeChat’s translating function created odd phrases from various national flags. The most notable ‘interpretations’ of the day belong to the flags of Canada and Panama, which translated to “He’s in prison” (yikes!). To see the flag translation, users need to include Chinese characters in the text.

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Screengrab via WeChat

In addition to these two nations’ disconcerting flag interpretations, other countries’ national banners have been given a new meaning. For example, the Brazilian flag yielded “Oh, my god” while the flag of Afghanistan translated to “In the middle of nowhere” when followed by the question “Where are you?”

Needless to say, flag emojis were digitally waved on Tuesday.

According to Technode, Tencent is taking “immediate action” to address the “translation bug” and issued an apology.

Unfortunately, WeChat is no stranger to translation mishaps. In 2017, Tencent faced blacklash after users discovered the Chinese phrase hei laowai (meaning ‘black foreigner’) translated to the N-word on WeChat. In March of 2019, another translation snafu from English to Chinese had people messaging phrases like “You are so tfboys,” which translated to “You are really great.”

READ MORE: WeChat in Racism Storm, Translates 'Black Foreigner' into N-Word

[Cover image: screengrab via WeChat]

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