From Iceland — Lost In Google Translation: British Bríet And The Thirst For Balls

Lost In Google Translation: British Bríet And The Thirst For Balls

Published February 15, 2021

Lost In Google Translation: British Bríet And The Thirst For Balls
John Pearson
Photo by
Markus Winkler via Unsplash

Google mistranslates a couple of recent Icelandic news headlines into English, and we giggle behind our hands.

Ball-thirsty ballers

Here the GoogleGrinder™ delivers a spectacular English shredding of a headline about party-goers breaking alcohol licencing laws.

The phrase “ballþyrstir kærðir fyrir brot a sóttvarnarlögum” is best translated as “thirsty partygoers accused of breaking quarantine laws”. But good ol’ Google insists that what the RÚV journalist actually intended to say was: “ball-thirsty accused of breaking anti-trust laws.”

Now that sounds like the party we wanna be at. After all, who hasn’t been ball-thirsty at some point? And we want to know how antitrust laws were violated. Did some of these ball-thirsters get together and try to fix the open-market price of balls? Was their thirst for balls so great that they would risk everything to keep the price of balls under their control?

We’re thirsty for knowledge. And balls.

Bríet is British now

When we saw what the GoogleMangle™ had done to Vísir’s report of Bríet’s triumph at our recent Music Awards, minds at the Grapevine spiralled into feverish conspiracy mode.

The title of the article, “Bríet tónlistarmaður ársins hjá Reykjavík Grapevine,” translates as “Briet is musician of the year at Reykjavík Grapevine.” But Google Translate declares the decidedly Icelandic Briet to be “British musician of the year at Reykjavík Grapevine.” We haven’t the foggiest idea what The GoogleBrain™ intended here.

Ignore, if you will, the obvious similarity between the name of our Artist Of The Year and that of Boris Johnson’s “newly-independent sovereign state.” We’re convinced that bungling Boris is sneakily attempting to steal ownership of one of Iceland’s finest musical artists, hoping to divert attention from his botched Brexit and his failed attempt to start a new Cod War, (this time with the EU).

We see you, Boris, we see you. Hands off our Bríet. And don’t you even think about those north-Atlantic fish.

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