Autocorrect gets a multicultural makeover because English isn't the only language we text in

A South African cider brand is making it easy to add words in other languages to the lackluster spell-checker

Published On
Dec 12, 2019

Editor's Pick

What the duck is happening? I hate this piece of shirt!

Even native English speakers have a tough time with autocorrect, that often-misguided spell-checker that turns cathartic swearing into a movie script edited for TBS. But try using any other language on a phone that isn’t specifically set up for it. Every other word gets a comical or nonsensical approximation that makes predictive text all but useless.

Now South African alcohol brand Savanna Cider is broadening autocorrect’s horizons. “Decolonise Autocorrect,” a campaign from Grey South Africa, packages up hundreds of common words in languages like Sotho and Xhosa commonly spoken in South Africa, a nation with 11 official languages.


Each language pack is saved as a contact file, which many phones automatically add to their dictionaries. So party information like “Ba bang batla” (Others are attending) doesn’t get turned into “Gang-bang the baklava.” It’s not that kind of party.

To illustrate the ridiculousness of some results, Savanna commissioned an auto-corrected version of the popular protest song “Shosholoza,” rendered here as “Shoulder odour.”


Dec 12, 2019
Client :
Savanna Cider
Agency :
Grey South Africa
Client Representative :
Maija-Liina Hansen-Chipps
Client Representative :
Lazola Dali
Client Representative :
Eric Ngidi
Client Representative :
Natasha Maharaj
Chief Creative Officer :
Fran Luckin
Executive Creative Director :
Glenn Jeffery
Creative Director :
Steph van Niekerk
Creative Director :
Francois du Preez
Art Director :
Marais Janse Van Rensburg
Copywriter :
Maxine Twaddle
Copywriter :
Mkhuseli Radebe
Copywriter :
Sanele Ngubane
Copywriter :
Marais Janse Van Rensburg
Copywriter :
Steph van Niekerk
Head of Production :
Lara Bayley
Head of Production :
Linda Hauser
Business Director :
Jacqui Howard-Tripp
Account Manager :
Brett David
Production Company :
Produce Sound
Digital Creative Director :
Kristoff Smith
UX :
Kathrine Pelser
UI Designer :
Michael Williams
Developer :
Siyabonga Hlengwa
Craig Wilson
Data Analytics :
Zaheer Adhikari
Dev/Ops :
Clemens Maart
Project Manager :
Leezl Kaschula
Animator :
Bohlale Radebe
Animator :
Francois Venter
Audio :
Louis Enslin

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type