Masking profane words and phrases in Amazon Translate - Amazon Translate

Masking profane words and phrases in Amazon Translate

When you run translations with Amazon Translate, you can enable the profanity setting to mask profane words and phrases in your translation output.

To mask profane words and phrases, Amazon Translate replaces them with the grawlix string “?$#@$“. This 5-character sequence is used for each profane word or phrase, regardless of the length or number of words.

Amazon Translate does not mask profanity in translation requests where the source language and target language are the same.

In some cases, a profane word in the source input might naturally become inoffensive in the translated output. In such cases, no masking is applied.

Amazon Translate detects each profane word or phrase literally, not contextually. This means that it might mask a profane word even if it’s inoffensive in context. For example, if Amazon Translate detected “jerk” as a profane word, then it would write the phrase “jerk chicken” as “?$#@$ chicken”, even though “jerk chicken” is inoffensive. (Here, “jerk” is used as an example only. Amazon Translate does not detect that word as profanity.)

Using the profanity setting

You can use the profanity setting with both types of translation operations in Amazon Translate: real-time translation and asynchronous batch processing.

To mask profanity in a real-time translation request, do any of the following:

  • On the Real-time translation page in the Amazon Translate console, under Additional settings, enable the Profanity setting.

  • For translate-text command in the AWS CLI, set the --settings parameter to Profanity=MASK. For more information, see translate-text in the AWS CLI Command Reference.

  • Use the Settings parameter in the TranslateText action in the Amazon Translate API.

To mask profanity in an asynchronous batch operation, see Running a batch translation job.

Unsupported languages

You can mask profanity when you translate to any of the target languages that Amazon Translate supports, with the following exceptions:

Language Language code
Bengali bn
Hindi hi
Malayalam ml
Punjabi pa
Sinhala si
Vietnamese vi

For all of the languages that Amazon Translate supports, see Supported languages and language codes.