Twitter and the internet were in an uproar yesterday over some supposedly racist knock-off pants. Word around the web was that clothing company, Abercrombie and Fitch, was selling a pair of brown cargo pants whose hue was described as "Nigger Brown." Turns out that the pants were being sold on a counterfeit Chinese site with no affiliation to the brand. So how did the "colorful" name exactly make it onto the product? Experts say it was man-made error of bad Chinese translation like what happened in 2007 case concerning a brown sofa.
A Chinese software company, Kingsoft Corp., acknowledged its translation program was at fault. When the Chinese characters for "dark brown" are typed into an older version of its Chinese-English translation software, the offensive description comes up. (The program's 2007 version does not produce that result.) The software had been programmed with terms garnered from a Chinese-English dictionary.
Our question is, okay it's a translation error, but surely that reference had to be referenced and programmed in from somewhere. Dictionary of "Amerikan" history perhaps?