Ali, what’s up


Words on my favorite Chinese shopping site

From time to time I buy stuff on AliExpress, mostly electronics. It has such a huge amount of items available which amazes me every time. Lots of quality stuff and lots of lesser quality stuff. Today, I found that it has rather strange text in the placeholder for the search box when the site is displayed in Dutch:

As an aside, do you notice the Categories on the left, where two categories contain an ampersand that is properly rendered and one that is not?

The text means “women who are f*cking”. This placeholder text is really in the site source, it is not loaded in via xhr or something. You’ll also see it if you visit from a private tab or if you check with curl.

$ curl -s  https://nl.aliexpress.com/ | rg -i vrouw
<form id="form-searchbar" class="searchbar-form" action="/wholesale" method="get" data-ishotwordsearch="true" data-actionurl="//nl.aliexpress.com/w/wholesale-neukende-vrouwen.html">
<input type="text" placeholder="neukende vrouwen" maxlength="50" autocomplete="off" value="" name="SearchText" class="search-key" id="search-key" />

Pressing ‘Refresh’ in your browser cycles the placeholder texts a few times, but the first hit consistently gives me this placeholder text. I also found that switching to the German site gives a similar strange result, although not a literal translation:

Höschen means panties, and ficken means, well…

If I switch the language of the site to English, there are no weird suggestions, only suggestions that make some sense. Strange, right? My pet theory is that it’s some joke put in there by a translator. I think for most available goods, the translation is automatically generated, but I think for the general search bar and other such places they might use a manual translation?

If you actually search for the term in the placeholder text, this is the first item returned by AliExpress:

I’m not too sure what to make of all of this.