Racial Epithet Shows Up On Minecraft Menu, Developer Apologises

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]


    Funny thing is, if you speak Afrikaans then you're probably of Dutch descent.

      Mr Ninja, You mean to say if you speak Afrikaans, your oppressors must be of dutch descent.

      Tot Ziens

        I have grandparents of Dutch decent that speak Afrikaans, as well as half a dozen other languages.

          The Kid doesn't like when his ancestry is questioned...

      No, the funny thing is that in South Africa there are far worse words than the one shown here

        Saying the 'K' word will cost you your kidneys for starters.

    I'm more upset you can't buy golliwog biscuits anymore

      I know right, called scallywags now, still tastes awesome but doesn't have that same golliwog vibe

      It was my first memory of Political Correctness. Until then I didn't realise things that were not racist could be called racist and removed from the shelves.

      They renamed Golliwogs to Scallywags. If you do some research and check the history of the word Scallywag it is as much of a racist slur as Golliwog. In my opinion neither word is offensive to anybody unless your bored and have a dramatic personality.

    it is still crazy to think that such juvenile racist behavior gets past on from generation to generation. so south african people get oppressed everywhere even minecraft? tough break.

      Not really there are still a bunch of closet racists and they will either purposefully or inadvertently pass this mentality on.

      Plus its hard to determine exact intent

      While nigger is an offensive word. Intent can change the result completely

        How do you not understand that the very reason the word is used is because you and others invest detestation within it? This is a troll trying to be offensive, and nothing more. It's actually pretty funny when you think that they managed to get this through to a wide release.

    Jesus... did no-one check this..?

      he was crowd sourcing the translation *because* he doesn't speak those languages, how would he check it?

    I dont know about you guys but I lolled.

    Phew. When I first read this there were no racist comments, i was worried! Now all we need is a "political correctness gone mad!" comment and we'll be right...

      Kotaku should take this article down as the picture contains words which may be offensive to certain persons.

    I'm quite disappointed in Mojang that this made it into the game.

    I feel stupid, when i saw the picture i thought to myself "What is racist about Joel is neat?" XD

    ah well i guess i got a bit too serious about it, it is a group effort so yeah it is funny someone could slip it in. lol

    The best part is the NIGGER in caps.


    I hope finding this really funny doesn't make me a racist...


    troll status:


    well, if they speak afrikaaans they won't understand it

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