Trump’s late night tweet where he typed ‘covfefe’ caused a media frenzy to make news out of nothing. It’s Twitter. No one uses proper grammar on Twitter. Naturally, this led people to try and find out where the ‘word’ came from. Was it just a simple typo? A coded message? An inside joke? I had a listener say it came from Family Guy, but I haven’t been able to confirm that.
Today I saw some posts that said covfefe is actually cov fe’fe, and is Arabic. I thought at first that it was strange it took so long for that to be discovered. So, to verify the claim, I went to Google Translate to confirm. Here’s what I got:
Well, ok then.
So why the Arabic?
People thought it had to do with the bombing in Kabul. But the Afghans don’t speak Arabic, they are Persian for the most part. I suppose Trump would be like most Americans and mix that up.
I, like many of you, pushed my doubts aside to assume Google Translate was able to … well … translate.
Listeners pointed out The Daily Beast was debunking the translation.
Turns out the translation is wrong.
“This is insane,” Yale University Islam scholar and Arabic speaker Andrew March told The Daily Beast. “Why would they think this?”
After a few hours, even the same r/the_donald post was amended to answer that question.
“Yeah if you follow the link to google translate, it first transliterated the English word into an approximate Arabic phrase “sof fuqof”, sof simple being the future tense “I will”, and “fa qaaf fa” meaning stand up,” wrote user MantananForTrump.
“Since cuvfefe has no glottal “qaaf” sound in it, this is merely a mistake of Google Translate’s original transliteration and it doesn’t mean what the English phrase says at the bottom.”
I’ve confirmed this in a few other places as well. Google was wrong, period.
Normal people can forgive others for the mistake given that a common translation tool made an error. Liberals are trying to turn this into a ‘conspiracy by the alt-right.’ Whatever that means.
Yeah, some people have egg on their face. Even me. There is no conspiracy or legitimate outrage warranted here. Google messed up. People believed Google. Frankly, we should know better by now given Google’s history. Turning an honest mistake into some sort of conspiracy theory is intellectually dishonest, and juvenile. The only lesson to be learned here is that Google cannot be trusted.