The Chinese McDonald's Menu Hilariously Went Through Google Translate

There's a hidden battle taking place across the globe: What is the most widely spoken language? Although Mandarin Chinese has the most native speakers with 1.1 billion, Babbel Magazine reports that English has the largest number of total speakers, recording 1.3 billion. (Strangely, Emoji doesn't even come close.)

Clearly, the lesson is not to assume that one language is superior to another. That's why it's important that international companies effectively translate their brands to be understood globally (and avoid embarrassing translation mishaps that could potentially damage their sales and reputation).

Trying to cut corners when translating won't do the trick either, as a thorough piece of Twitter research shows. According to the viral post (published by @HarrysBadTweets and liked over 100,000 times), the use of Google Translate to transform the names of Chinese McDonald's products into English conjures up some weird, hilarious, and not overly helpful results. So, it's only fair that we take a look at some of the funniest.

Google isn't great at translating Chinese McDonald's items

Although the majority of McDonald's menu items listed on its Chinese website appear to be fairly accurately translated by Google Translate, there are a number of glaring omissions. According to Twitter, a breakfast muffin becomes "full marks for grilled ham," while a single cooked egg portrays the power of an "energy egg." Perhaps the most grand is a double-pattied burger with sausages, which earns the title of "unsuspecting tyrant double-decker beef fort."

A look at the McDonald's China website shows more funny translation fails. A particularly peculiar one is a sausage McMuffin, labeled as "pork tenderloin full score," as well as a fried fish sandwich, deemed the "double layer deep sea cod castle." If you're especially peckish, it's clear you should opt for the "such a big chicken chop," or even the unexpectedly violent chicken bucket meal, translated as "four fight small food bucket." Especially mind-blowing is that the McFlurry listing shows up as a "Whirlwind."

According to a study published by Springer in 2021, Google Translate has an overall success rate of 82.5%, but the accuracy varies depending on the translated language. Although Spanish translations are correct 94% of the time, the figure for Armenian is only 55%, while Chinese comes in at 81.7%. If you want to be 100% sure of what you're ordering, then, you'd better brush up on your Chinese — or simply let yourself be surprised by whatever an "unsuspecting tyrant" has in store for your palate.