Norway’s Olympic team given 15,000 eggs due to translation error

Chefs used Google Translate to place order with South Korean suppliers at Winter Olympics

boiled egg
(Image credit: Christian Cable/Flickr)

Omelette, anyone? A Google translation error meant that Norway’s PyeongChang 2018 squad were presented with 15,000 eggs upon their arrival in the Olympic village - 13,500 more than they wanted.

Chefs in charge of catering for the 109 Norwegian athletes taking part in the winter games had ordered 1,500 eggs for a team menu which includes “omelettes, boiled eggs, fried eggs, smoked salmon and scrambled eggs,” team chef Stale Johansen told Aftenposten.

Johansen recalled the moment the delivery van arrived and the team began to unload pallet after pallet of eggs. “It seemed endless,” he said. “It was extraordinary.”

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However, the team had used Google Translate to place the order with the South Korean supplier, who was apparently led to believe the team needed ten times more eggs that they actually wanted.

The Guardian suggests that the miscommunication could be a result of South Korea’s “complex counting system”. The way that numbers are written means that “changing one syllable would mean the difference between 1,500 and 15,000”.

Fortunately for any Norwegian athletes dreading three weeks of frittata suppers, the supplier allowed Team Norway to send back the 13,500 surplus eggs when chefs explained the mistake.

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