In an unfortunate turn of events, Google Translate has revealed a smiling village grandma to be a militant racist.
Backpacker Nadine Hoffbauer enjoying her mimed conversation with the 82-year-old Armenian grandmother. Then she made the mistake of pulling out her smartphone and opening Google’s voice translation app.
“The old lady seemed so sweet,” a dejected Hoffbauer told The Tragic Traveller. “She invited me into her home for a coffee. Then she offered me a big serving of her homemade chocolate cake. She even picked a beautiful rose from her garden and gave it to me as a souvenir of our chance encounter.”
Then she showed me a photo of her first-born grandson. I expected her to talk about his job or his wife. Instead, she told me how proud she was that he’d died drenched in the blood of 10 Azerbaijani scum.
Hoffbauer explained how the woman – whose face remained plastered with a huge grin throughout the harrowing encounter – believed in phrenology and had assessed Hoffbauer’s personality by taking detailed measurements of her skull.
“I thought she was fitting me up for a traditional hat or something,” Hoffbauer said. “But nope, the app confirmed she was trying to see whether my chastity was still intact by measuring the distance from the tip of my nose to my earlobe.”
“Oh god, when I mentioned that I’d recently travelled to Turkey she showed me the box where she keeps the toe bones of every Muslim the villagers have hanged since 1939,” she added. “Thank god I didn’t tell her my mum is Moroccan.”
She dusted off a copy of her family tree, which traces her roots back 500 years. When I checked Google Translate, I realised she wasn’t telling me about her ancestors’ achievements; she was bragging about the purity of her bloodlines.
Hoffbauer said she wouldn’t make the mistake of translating any more conversations during the trip. However, she was impressed by Google’s technology.
“The translation was worryingly accurate,” Hoffbauer said. ‘I didn’t think Google Translate would be able to handle the sentence ‘We watched with glee as they heretics burned at the stake, then we fed their charred remains to the pigs.’ But the app nailed it.