Why Google Translate isn’t the Best Romanian Tutor
I was reminded today of a funny scenario that happened about 4 or 5 months ago. We had just applied for our international health insurance, and the company was mailing us the documents via “Fan Courier,” a private delivery service that’s a little more dependable than the national mail service.
Because we spoke very little Romanian at the time (now we speak “little” but back then it was “very little”), there was a lot of confusion in the whole process. I won’t go through all the details, but after accidentally rejecting the package a few times, finally I got a text message from a mysterious number that said something like, “sunt fan courier.”
At the time, I understood enough Romanian to know that “sunt” meant “i am,” but I didn’t know of anything called “fan courier,” so the whole message remained a mystery. Thankfully, however, I had Google Translate. So I typed it in, pressed “enter,” and waited for the result, which was….
“I am secret admirer.”
“Oh, crap,” I thought, “someone must have gotten my phone number off one of our tracts while we did evangelism, and now they’re spamming me with secret love messages.”
Using my gift of “duh-scernment,” I chose not to respond, and the next day while leaving the apartment I ran into the delivery guy, who worked for Fan Courier, I got the package, and then I realized, when I saw the logo on his van, that apparently not only did I not know what “fan courier” was, but neither did Google.
Yes, it’s true. There is one thing Google doesn’t know.
Well, didn’t know. Now that I’ve published this post, their webcrawlers have already indexed it, read it, and updated Google Translate accordingly.