Team Norway's Chefs Try to Order Eggs. It Doesn't Go Well

15K eggs showed up
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2018 6:00 AM CST
Google Translate Error Leads to Olympics Goof
Norway's Olympic team poses for a photo during a welcoming ceremony at the Pyeongchang Olympic Village ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Should you think Google Translate is infallible, the Norwegian Olympic team has a story for you. "Absolutely unbelievable," says team chef Stale Johansen of the aftermath of the error, in which an order placed using Google Translate reportedly caused 15,000 eggs to be delivered to their kitchen by a South Korean grocer. The desired amount? Just 1,500 for its 109 athletes, which works out to less than one per athlete per day over the 20-day games. "There was literally no end to the delivery," says Johansen, per USA Today, which notes the situation ended up being a waste of time, not food: The excess eggs were returned.

The Guardian comes to Google Translate's defense, saying that while reports lay the blame there, it thinks there could have been another wrinkle. It points a finger at South Korea's "complex counting system," and offers this theory: "It is common for restaurants to buy eggs by the crate in multiples of 30 in South Korea, but changing one syllable would mean the difference between 1,500 and 15,000." (Meanwhile, it's so cold in Pyeongchang that skis are warping.)

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