Google and Bing Apps for the iPhone Won’t Translate Spoken Swear Words – in Any Language

Yeah, I use “swear words” on a regular basis. I don’t think that makes me a bad person, either. At least I don’t mispronounce “nuclear!”

I’m also guilty of wanting to learn the “bad words” in other languages – if only to know when someone is calling me something I’d rather not be called. And knowing is half the battle. I know I’m not alone in this respect. What’s the first sentence YOU try to translate when you’re using a translation app for the first time? I can’t be the only one.

So, imagine my surprise when I fired up the brand new Google Translate app for the iPhone, spoke clearly into the mic, and saw it populate the fields with hashes:

Google Translate App for the iPhone Won't Let You Cuss - in Any Language

Worse yet? The voice translation reads the hashes aloud – in whatever language it’s translated. At least Google could include a universal *bleep* sound if they’re not going to let me f**king do what I want to f**king do. 🙂

Now, I happen to think this app (overall) is pretty damn genius – and it’s highly recommended for any one of you traveling abroad with an international data plan in hand. Go ahead – try it with any other language that Google translates (French, Spanish, Albanian, etc.). For some reason, and with no filtering toggle available in the app’s settings, Google doesn’t want me cussing in other languages.

So, what about Bing? I tried saying that same phrase five times:

Bing App Ignores Spoken Swear Words

Bing seems to pretend that you didn’t really say it at all. That’s even worse.

Of course, each one of these apps will let you key in a swear word – so why don’t they like you speaking it into the microphone? Is that, somehow, worse? It could certainly be argued that a more sensitive person might say “I would like to eat your shiitake dish” and see a less-than-desirable translation.

However, shouldn’t each of these apps at least give us the option to learn about our favorite swears?