Translation Error Announces "Clitoris Festival" in Spain

Arika Okrent

The town of As Pontes in northwestern Spain has held a festival to celebrate the local leafy green delicacy of grelo, or broccoli rabe, since 1981. This year, visitors who went to the festival website hoping to find useful information were surprised by the announcement of a "Clitoris Festival" and the claim that "the clitoris is one of the typical products of Galician cuisine." 

Municipal spokesman Monserrat García explained that the mistake was the result of automatic Google translation from the local language of Galician into Castilian Spanish.

How did this happen? Galician is close to Portuguese. If you translate from Galician directly into Portuguese, grelo comes out as grelo. If you translate from Portuguese into English, grelo is sprout, which is probably the sense from which the plant name comes. Some alternative translations are bud or button, which is probably where the other meaning comes from. In fact, in Brazilian Portuguese, grelo is slang for clitoris. Somehow, when you translate from Galician into Spanish, you get this:

However if you translate just the word grelo from Galician into Spanish it comes out as caña del timón (a ship's till). The world of automatic translation is a complex, strange, and wondrous place. Be careful out there.

[h/t The Local]