Google corrects embarrassing translation flubs after getting called out during I/O keynote

It wasn’t a great look when talking about an app that’s supposed to, you know, translate things

The Google I/O 2022 main keynote brought us tons of big news. We saw a bunch of hardware announcements, including the Pixel 6a, the Pixel Watch, and the Pixel Buds Pro, plus some early teasers for both the Pixel 7/7 Pro and a mysterious Pixel tablet. We also got to learn about Google’s latest software innovations for Search, Translate, and countless other services. Unfortunately, Google made a pretty embarrassing slip-up when showing off its latest Translate additions — though one that’s since been corrected.

Google announced it would be adding 24 more languages ​​to its already extensive translation options. That sounded great… except that the artwork the company used when announcing that news contained a bunch of translation errors itself. Thankfully, the company has since taken responsibility and fixed the oversights.


As pointed out by TechCrunch (via 9to5Google), the keynote’s slide incorrectly depicted Arabic script, showing it backwards. That was just the tip of the iceberg, however, and as later spotted by Sam Ettinger on Twitterthe slide actually has mild to major issues for almost every non-Latin or Cyrillic script, including Tibetan and Balinese, making you wonder if anyone at Google actually checked this through before it was shown publicly.

After facing a lot of public backlash on social media, Google took action to start correcting its mistakes. The issue was acknowledged by a Google employee, who responsibility spoke for the company and took for the issue. He also confirmed that the video has been updated, and indeed, the copy of the keynote that’s currently live on YouTube now shows more accurate non-Latin scripts for these languages ​​— or at least, they look fine at a surface level.

As for the app itself, you’ll be happy to know that translating things on Google Translate doesn’t normally yield results like this, so hopefully you won’t face any public embarrassment like Google just did.

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