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Amazon launches in Sweden - with a machine translated site full of dirty words

Amazon has just launched in Sweden, but the site is an embarrassing machine-translated mess. 

Not only are words with a double meaning in English, such as "rape yellow" and "rape fields" translated to read våldtäkt which is rape, but many other translations are even worse. Would you like cat food with rabbit and men's underwear? No? How about an air mattress feces? Or maybe you'd like a "bishop's staff sexig dress wave tip poster mobile phone holder" - yeah I don't know what the hell that is either.

Just when you think it can't get any worse you find bizarro products like "Women's Private Body Part Repair Machine Tightening Machine Private Part Tightening Instrument Private Part Woman Private Part Maintenance Machine" and the "cunt cat hairbrush" and the "Kuhnert window picture Rabbit with cocks" for good measure.

This is beyond embarrassing, this is not just amateurish, it looks like a made in China rush job.

Price comparison site Pricerunner's manager Nicklas Storåker's didn't mince words about the Amazon launch when he spoke to Breakit. 

“It's the biggest slapdash job I've ever seen. They have no special offer, they have bad translations, the wrong copy for certain products. Everyone will agree.”

He further says that it is an "insult" to call Amazon.se a threat to Swedish e-commerce. He points out that in the USA and Germany, Amazon began when eCommerce was brand new, 26 vs 22 years ago. Now they're trying to establish themselves in Sweden, and they enter the market with a bad product. According to Nicklas Storåkers this is extra surprising because Amazon's representatives have often talked about just how important "day 1" is at a launch.

Resumé has dug further into these issues and according to Dan Bengtsson, sales director and partner at The Early Birds, the translation mistakes are due to international companies using Amazon's own translation tools.

This is how we ended up with monstrosities like "girl lips underwear" for girls, and labelling a hat and a vest "ice cream machine"

According to Adela Vergara, digital manager at the media agency AdOn, this means a possible risk for the brands that are affected, she tells Resumés readers to tread carefully before joining Amazons sellers.

Amazon, replied to Resumé via email that they would review the errors that have been pointed out. “We want to thank everyone who raised these issues and that help us make changes that improve Amazon.se. While we are very happy to have launched Amazon.se today, it is only our first day in Sweden and we are dedicated to continuing to improve the customer experience. If anyone sees a problem with the product pages, they are welcome to send us a link and feedback, and we will review it and make the necessary changes ", said a spokesperson for Amazon in an emailed comment to Resumé.

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fairuse's picture

1. How did I miss this?

2. Even my lack of language translation skill can manage via (OMG) Google translate. /snark

3. Amazon is my goto for more reasons than retail. That said, even the dot com and dot uk websites have weird problems - wait for the dot se comments to go /dev/null because several types of "product" are all in the comment section for the "product" page. (Offtopic: mostly applies to something like DVD/Blu-ray/4K/streaming products which may not apply to dot se site.