He cllimbed the beach

If you type “He climbed the beech” into Google Translate, the French comes out correctly as “Il a grimpé le hêtre”. But I mistyped it just now as “He cllimbed the beech”. Out came “Il a grimpé sur la plage” — he climbed the beach!

It would take a better computer psychologist than I am to know exactly what happened here with Google’s machine learning algorithm, but the obvious guess is a rather cool one. I’m guessing “cllimbing” established me as a bad speller, from whom the most likely interpretation of “beech” was a sandy strip by the sea.

[29 August 2021]

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