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Friday, April 20, 2007

Chinese Couches are Racist

As China looks to crack down on bad English in advance of hosting the Olympics...
Shangri-La is in you mind, but your Buffalo is not.
...the government might want to look to curb its racist furniture.
Doris Moore was shocked when her new couch was delivered to her home with a label that used a racial slur to describe the dark brown shade of the upholstery.

[Ellipsis]

The mother complained to the furniture store, which blamed the supplier, who pointed to a computer problem as the source of the derogatory label.

Kingsoft Corp., a Chinese software company, acknowledged its translation program was at fault and said it was a regrettable error.

"I know this is a very bad word," Huang Luoyi, a product manager for the Beijing-based company's translation software, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

He explained that when the Chinese characters for "dark brown" are typed into an older version of its Chinese-English translation software, the offensive N-word description comes up.
More here.

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