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Winter Olympics: Norway’s team sent 15,000 eggs by mistake

Winter Olympics: Norway’s team sent 15,000 eggs by mistake

  • 8 February 2018

Norwegian athletes in Pyeongchang-gunImage copyright
Getty Images

Image caption

Norway has sent 109 athletes to compete at the Winter Games in South Korea

It is simple enough so what could possibly go wrong? Find 1,500 eggs to feed hungry Norwegian athletes at the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Get on to Google Translate to render the order in Korean and send it to a local supermarket.

That is what chefs for Norway’s Olympic team did, only to end up with a delivery of 15,000.

The chefs blamed a translation error, but it looks as if a typo might also be at fault.

Chef Stale Johansen told Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten that luckily the team were able to return the 13,500 surplus.

Skip Twitter post by @tronderavisa

OL-leiren bestilte 1500 egg gjennom å oversette via Google Translate. Men det slo feil. 15.000 ble levert på døra. Vi ønsker lykke til og håper at de norske gullhåpene er glade – veldig glade – i egg: 😁 pic.twitter.com/qaWVpq1Xgy

— Trønder-Avisa (@tronderavisa) February 3, 2018

End of Twitter post by @tronderavisa

It is not clear how the mistake happened, but BBC Korean service journalist David Cann says Korean has a different counting system and a typo may have contributed to the confusion.

Here is the difference between the full spelling of 1,500 and 15,000 in Korean:


Tore Ovrebo, head of the Norwegian team, seems to agree. “It was an extra zero on the orders – so 1,500 to 15,000,” he said at a press conference in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang on Thursday, adding that it was “not a big issue”.

Norway has sent 109 athletes to compete at the Winter Games. The case was first reported in the country last week but only now has attracted international attention.

The Norwegians are not the only ones who have been lost in translation recently.

Last year, a Palestinian man was arrested by Israeli police after his Facebook post saying “good morning” in Arabic was reportedly mistranslated to read “attack them” in Hebrew.

And Chinese messaging app WeChat apologised after its software used the N-word as an English translation for the Chinese for “black foreigner”.


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