The newest version of Minecraft greets players with the sentence “You are a NIGGER”, if they switch their language settings to Afrikaans, the native language of South Africa and Namibia.
It appears to have been the doing of an unruly Minecraft user who was among many people who worked on language translations of the popular game. Minecraft‘s developers at Mojang have apologised and pinned this on the player-translator. The screenshot above is from Kotaku‘s Mike Fahey’s version of the game.
The largely text-free Minecraft is playable in a multitude of languages (56 by our count if you include Pirate and Canadian English), and relies at least in part on user-submitted translations of the menus and other text.
Mojang’s Jens “Jeb” Bergensten became aware of the problem today, tweeting the following:
Sorry about that =( I thought I had banned that user. Please check the translation here: bit.ly/xmSjo9
This is certainly one of the hazards with crowd-sourced development; quality assurance becomes very important and it’s possible for things like this to make their way into a game that millions of people play. Still, it’s a bummer that it happened.
Kotaku has reached out to Bergensten and Mojang for comment and will update if and when we hear back.
Offensive Language in Minecraft [Minecraft Forums]