Facebook could really use some Hebrew schooling

Back when I spent several months in Nepal with a bunch of Israelis, I wrote a post poking fun at said Israelis for not knowing the difference between Halloween and Christmas. I now understand that this was wrong. It is unreasonable to expect people to accurately tell holidays apart when they are celebrated primarily on the other side of the world. I know this because, well, check out the latest example of poor translation, courtesy of Facebook (but really Bing; click to embiggen):

Bing Purim

For those who can’t read Hebrew, here’s an accurate translation:

Google Purim

I can sort of see how you might confuse Purim with Halloween. The two holidays do both involve dressing up and distributing foodstuffs. But the similarities more or less end there. And it’s not like Bing doesn’t know that Purim is a thing:

Bing Purim only

So yeah, I don’t have an explanation for this. But if I’ve learned nothing from fastidiously documenting the best of Facebook/Bing’s inexplicable inability to translate basic Hebrew into English, it’s that no amount of speculation is likely to turn one up. Unless . . . maybe Microsoft really does just have it out for Israel.


7 thoughts on “Facebook could really use some Hebrew schooling”

  1. Sorry, folks !
    Ashokan Farewell has NOTHING to do with the Civil War !
    It was merely used as a piece of incidental music in a documentary series about the Civil War, but it was written in modern times by the esteemed folk musician Jay Ungar, inspired by the fiddle-playing of the Shetland fiddler Aly Bain, and the sad emotions at the end of a Summer School of musicians at Ashokan.


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