Google Translate’s “Lorem Ipsum” Easter Egg

Google Translate now supports Latin, and I think they slipped in a joke. They knew that the first chunk of text anyone would try is some standard “lorem ipsum” text. Doing that, the first words are translated as “Hello World!”

That’s an obvious software engineering joke. “Hello World!” is what programmers often have their first program produce when they’re trying to make something work for the first time.

But “lorem” is not a real Latin word. It was snipped off of “dolorem” at some point in the past. If you put in the first chunk of real Latin in the “lorem ipsum” standard, “dolorem ipsum dolor sit amet” it translates as “loves pain itself, pain is love.”

» Posted: Friday, October 1, 2010 | Comments (11) | Permanent Link


Actually should use “lorem ipsum dolor” for the “translation”.

» Posted by PK on October 1, 2010 11:09 PM

I doubt it’s an easter egg. People always think Google Translation’s weird translations are easter eggs, but the truth is that statistical translation can give some crazy and impressively weird results.

Examples: Elado from Spanish to English => Ais Krihm. A misspelled spanish word for ice cream turns into two misspelled English words for ice cream.
Try translating the Icelandic national anthem from Icelandic to English. For some weird reason it inserts Indonesian patriotic statements in there. Right now

Íslands þúsund ár,
Íslands þúsund ár!

becomes “Indonesia Raja, Indonesia Raja”. Before, it was

Iceland’s thousand years,

» Posted by Harald Korneliussen on October 2, 2010 04:36 AM

Now it displays Free On… as the translation of lorem ipsum from Latin to English

» Posted by Dananjaya Ramanayake on October 2, 2010 07:57 AM

The single phrase “lorem ipsum” has been translating as “free on” from the beginning. It requires a larger chunk of lorem ipsum to produce the “Hello World!” text.

I know that Google uses statistical correlations to automatically produce translations. I’ve heard interviews with the developers to the effect that they don’t even understand the languages they are translating. They just dump large blocks of translated texts together and rely on algorithms.

It still strikes me as odd that the most commonly encountered bit of Latin text out there would map to what is the most often used and recognizable “birth pang” of a programming language.

» Posted by winter on October 2, 2010 08:16 AM


Google’s translation algorithms do exactly that. There was an article about how they trained their translation algorithm with English to French by feeding it Canadian legal documents that are both in French and English. The article went on to say that none of the programmers who worked on the other parts of the project (I think it was the chinese part of the translate), actually knew Chinese or Mandarin.

» Posted by Synthesetic on October 2, 2010 10:24 AM

Non googlae discimus

» Posted by Anonymous on October 2, 2010 07:12 PM

Dolor is work, not pain (though it can be interpreted that way)

I haven’t gone through all the conjugations and declensions, but I like to think this particular quote can be interpreted in one of two ways:

A trying task is just work if it is something you love.

Love takes work, but it is love’s work.

» Posted by Anonymous on October 3, 2010 07:52 PM

It’s a joke by the programmers for sure. Funny too..

» Posted by Anonymous on November 29, 2010 10:28 AM

Finally a website that actually explains what Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, actually means.

» Posted by Corey on March 27, 2012 07:17 PM

It now translates to “learn more”.

» Posted by Anonymous on April 22, 2012 11:33 AM

seems like never a truer word was spoken ….or printed .

» Posted by Tony on June 1, 2012 03:55 PM