I was trying to decode this text on my mom’s chopsticks. I think it is はろうきてぃ. Is it a coincidence that it kind of sounds like “Hello Kitty” when I plug it into Google Translate, but translates to, “I’m excited”?

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  • but translates to, “I’m excited” -- Sorry, I don't understand. Are you saying Google Translate translates はろうきてぃ to "I'm excited" ? I tried but it didn't. scontent-nrt1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/s960x960/…
    – chocolate
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 3:32
  • 4
    @Chocolate the original question was edited to show a small ぃ, not a standard い. When I put it in with the standard い it produces "I'm excited."
    – Leebo
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 5:22
  • 3
    ^ うわっ 😲 ほんまですね… 試しに、「はろうきて」にしたら "Be happy" になって、translate.google.com/… 「はろうきて。」にしたら "Come on." になりました translate.google.com/…
    – chocolate
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 8:59
  • Just found this and decided to try it today... Google Translate now just gives "Hello!" (with the exclamation mark, even) for はろうきてい with the mistaken full-sized い. DeepL, on the other hand, gives "retired emperor's residence". I've usually found DeepL to be significantly better, but every now and then it throws out something quite strange. Commented Feb 22 at 23:48

2 Answers 2


Is it a coincidence that it kind of sounds like “Hello Kitty” when I plug it into Google Translate, but translates to, “I’m excited”?

I mean, it's a disastrous translation.
Machine translations often cause things like that.

はろうきてぃ is just ハローキティ written in hiragana.
The reason it's written in hiragana is because katakana doesn't look Japan-ish.
Especially for Japan-specific items like chopsticks, the seller probably thinks hiragana matches it better.

  • I think it may also be hiragana because that often has a more "cutesy" or "girly" feel than katakana, which also suits Hello Kitty's image better..
    – Foogod
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 17:08
  • ^Foogod, いあ、[和柄]{わがら}だから[和風]{わふう}フォントのひらがななんですよ‥ 富士山に五重の塔に、梅と桜と、あとキティちゃん[着物]{きもの}着て[草履]{ぞうり}はいてるし‥
    – chocolate
    Commented Apr 10, 2020 at 12:04

Playing around myself over at Google Translate, I find that はろうきてぃ with the properly small translates to "Hello". See for yourself here. I only get "I'm excited" if I forget to make the ぃ small and enter it as a full-sized instead. See here.

This is still a bizarre result, and I'm really not sure where the Google translation database got this "correlation". Ultimately, it's like Spoonail said: Google translate is bloody awful at translating in various conditions -- including short strings.

Moral of the story: Don't use Google Translate to try to study short strings. To be fair, it seems to do a better job with longer texts. But for short things, caveat lector.

  • 4
    I think there's a good chance the original questioner is not aware of the difference between a small ぃ and a standard い. They weren't the one who typed it in the question.
    – Leebo
    Commented Apr 8, 2020 at 5:36
  • Machine translators are neural networks, and unfortunately, many aren’t given the ability by their creators to admit when they don’t know something, so they’ll spit out whatever translation they have the most confidence in, even if that’s next to no confidence. Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 13:08
  • I getting "wandering" instead of "I'm excited"
    – BladeMight
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 15:16
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    @BladeMight, fascinating. I noticed in your screenshot that the URL is slightly different from the one I posted, so I tried carefully typing in exactly the URL you showed -- and I still got "I'm excited". I suspect it's picking up on something subtle like maybe differences in each of our machines' locales or underlying encoding preferences, and that's affecting its output. I think this reinforces my concerns that Google Translate is not trustworthy. Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 16:10
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    @EiríkrÚtlendi I think so, don't trust Google Translate.
    – BladeMight
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 16:25

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