A while back, I wrote a post called Investigating Translate Gate, which, I admit, was inspired by videos from Elder’s Vault and Nightmare Expo on YouTube. If you’ve yet to check them out and you love horror/mystery content, I recommend you do so!
In any case, Elder mentioned this again on Twitter, which prompted me to take another look at the mystery. He said that he’ll have a new video out about it today, which I haven’t yet seen.
What I did was to return to the source of the mystery: Google Translate itself. I have no inside knowledge about this, other than the videos that have discussed it and my own experimentation.
As before, the way it works is that you type broken bits of text into the Somali Google Translate, and sometimes (but not always) the results will come out as unusual messages. Some of them appear to be bits of text taken from other web pages, while others sound like hidden codes or communications (but I always thought that was a bit of a stretch).
When trying it today, however, I have to admit that I found some intriguing results that could potentially be “secret” messages – if I’m not reading into it too much, that is:
On my first post about this, I guy that I know suggested that Google Translate tries to interpret what you’re saying, and if it can’t figure it out, it just spits out sample text as a result. Some of the “translations” do seem this way, especially the ones that result in things like Bible verses.
The flipside is that other results definitely look like they’ve been pulled from other web pages. For instance, I set the “translate from” language to Zulu, and typed in “pok pok pok” over and over. This was the result:
Is it a subliminal message telling me to play Pokémon Go? If that’s the case, it’s still not working.
You may already know this, but Google Translate has the option to “suggest an edit” for any translation, and in theory, anyone could type in whatever they wanted. Be that as it may, I don’t think that the translation would immediately change without being verified by someone from the community.
Essentially, if you did want to hide codes in the translations, you’d have to know someone on the inside, so to speak. Is that such a crazy idea? Perhaps not!
In a similar manner to the whole Captain Kutchie mystery, which I discussed on I Tried Captain Kutchie’s Key Lime Pies!, if it actually were some kind of a secret message, would the average person know what it meant? No, probably not!
Another good comparison might be number stations; the average person listening to one of those just hears a bunch of numbers, letters, and little ditties. Is there much chance that they could decipher the messages? No – not unless they were an expert in cryptography, and sometimes, not even then!
All this is to say that I don’t know for certain that people are hiding codes in Google Translate, but I wouldn’t put it past someone, because like the number stations, it’s the last place you would expect to find hidden messages. Plus, unless you knew what to type in, how would you find them?
Just wait until you find what I hid in there! Bwahahaha!