AMAZON’S launch of its Swedish website has been a shambles as football shirts were labeled as “child sex attack shirt” while frying pans were listed as items “for women”, among other gaffes.
The online shopping giant also caused a major blunder when it confused the Argentine flag with that of Sweden and allowed the sale of a swastika shower curtain.
As if that was not enough, it also described a silicone baking mould as suitable for “chocolate, faeces, goose water and bread”.
Some Swedes began to wonder whether the mistakes were an orchestrated PR stunt as there were so many of them.
A lot of the errors appear to have been made as a result of a computer translation programme which was poorly designed, according to The Times.
The programme had a difficulty with English words which have double meanings such “rape”, “trunks” and “cock”.
Before launching an official website in Sweden, Amazon had only six in Europe, which includes the UK, Italy and France.
Customers in Scandinavia, Poland and Switzerland were often transferred to either the German or British websites, and had to pay higher costs for their deliveries.
The company’s arrival into the Swedish market has been criticised by some who cite alleged poor working conditions and low pay in some of its warehouses.
Also, Amazon is entering a market dominated by Swedish online retailers.
This was not helped by the mistakes in translation, which quickly went viral on social media within hours of the launch of the website on Wednesday morning.
Among the mistakes was the translation of a popular video game titled The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild which was called “the savage’s breath” on the site.
The racing game Need for Speed: Payback was was also labeled as “Do You Require Speed: Refund”.
A pack of men’s boxer shorts from designer Calvin Klein was called “men’s luggage trunks” while a toy assault vehicle earned the new name of “Star Wars grevious bodily harm tank”.
A fabric belt on sale on the website was translated as a “narcotics strap”.
Users pointed out how some of the mistakes were offensive as the word cockerel was often translated as “kuk”, which is a slightly vulgar word for penis.
This caused an embroidery pattern showing a rooster to be labeled “cross-stitch for adults – big d***, do it yourself”, while a stopcock became “finish d***head”.
Another item on sale was a “gyspy shirt” and a pair of earrings which were said to be just right for “European prostitutes”.
The translation programme also made errors when it came to products such as oilseed rape, which it translated to valdtakt, a word which means violent sexual assault in Sweden.
As a result of the error, there were other products such as mousemats and jigsaws which were described as decorated with “sex assault flowers”.
Amazon acknowledged the issues and said the website was a work in progress.
A company spokeswoman told SVT: “We would like to thank everyone highlighting these problems and helping us to make changes and improve Amazon.se.
“We’re very pleased to have launched Amazon.se but this is only our second day and we are always keen to improve the customer experience.”