China's biggest messaging app accidentally translates 'black foreigner' to the N-word


WeChat, China’s biggest messaging app, has apologised for a gaffe, where it translated the phrase “black foreigner” to the N-word.

The mistake was first spotted by Ann James, an American living in Shanghai. She translated an incoming Chinese message into English, which produced the text: “The n****r’s still late.”

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The original Chinese message used a more neutral term, hei laowai, or “black foreigner.”

(Editor’s note: The language in the screenshot below has been obscured due to its offensive nature)   

WeChat rectified the error within 24 hours, but the company told Chinese outlet Sixth Tone that the translation was based on its neural machine learning engine, that picked up the term from broader usage. Read more…

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