From Iceland — Lost In Google Translation: Dude, Where's My Carp?

Lost In Google Translation: Dude, Where’s My Carp?

Published September 3, 2021

Lost In Google Translation: Dude, Where’s My Carp?
Desirai Thompson
Photo by

Imagine you’re laid out, soaking up some rays in the lovely green area of Elliðaárdalur, living your absolute best life when, out of nowhere, the skies darken. You squint through your extended hand to see a large dark mass travelling across the sky—and it’s coming straight for you. That’s it. You’re about to punch your last card. And with all that’s going on in the news these days, admit it, you’re not even surprised the world is about to end.

“It’s like the opening scene to a supernatural 90’s stoner flick.”

Just when you’re about to start begging for forgiveness for all those times you swore you’d be a better person but, you know, never got around to it, you’re surrounded by a distinct and potent earthy smell. Within mere moments, the sky brightens and your outstretched hand has inadvertently caught the flying object. It lands with determination and force like Thor summoning the mighty Mjölnir.

When you collect yourself enough to identify what’s happened, it turns out you’re holding no less than six pounds of high grade marijuana. Delivered straight to you from the skies above. It’s like the opening scene to a supernatural 90’s stoner flick.

At least that’s what your mind would conjure up if you had the pleasure of reading a recent Google Translate snafu on RÚV which confusingly read, “Caught six pounds of marijuana in the sun”, instead of the original Icelandic title, “Veiddi sex punda maríulaxinn í sólinni”.

six pounds marijuana

The confusion likely came from, well, no one has a clue. Interestingly, maríulaxinn is just what you call the very first salmon a person has ever caught, in some strange nod to the Virgin Mary. Other than maríu sounding somewhat like mariju, there is no linguistic basis for this blunder. So it seems to be just another example of Google Translate taking a puff and mellowing out too hard to give a damn on this one.

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