Fact Check: 'Baal Enci Aga' Is NOT Latin For 'Baal Is The King' -- But Google Translate Can Be Tricked Into Saying It Is

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below.

Fact Check: 'Baal Enci Aga' Is NOT Latin For 'Baal Is The King' -- But Google Translate Can Be Tricked Into Saying It Is Wrong Language

Does the misspelled, separated name of fashion house Balenciaga as "Baal enci aga" translate to "Baal is the king" in Latin? No, that's not true: The claim arises from bugs in Google Translate. In Latin, "Baal is the king" would be "Baal est rex". In Latin, "enci" is not a word and "aga" is the root of several words but not found as a word itself. But users of Google Translate were shown that when misspelled and broken into three pieces, the brand name translates from Latin as "Baal the King."

The claim appeared on Instagram on November 30, 2022. It opened:

You know how Balenciaga had warning tape in one of their ads spelling their name BAALENCIAGA? A friend just pointed out that if you separate those words in Latin to Baal enci aga then it translates to Baal is the king. Baal is a demon. Pure evil.

This is how the post appeared on Instagram at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 10.06.47 AM.png

(Source: Twitter screenshot taken on Thurs Dec 1 19:50:21 2022 UTC)

The screenshot used in the message shows that while the search was performed from Latin to English, it suggested to try translating the phrase in "Sepedi," a Bantu dialect spoken in provinces in South Africa and in Lesotho.

A Lead Stories search of "Baal enci aga" from Latin to English yields a similar result: this time the language suggested is Northern Sotho. Here is a screenshot of the Google Translate results:

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 11.35.11 AM.png

(Source: Google screenshot taken on Thurs Dec 1 19:56:21 2022 UTC)

A reverse search from Northern Sotho to English of "baal enci aga" yields the phrase "wings enci aga," and makes no reference to king.

Screen Shot 2022-12-01 at 9.55.51 AM.png

(Source: Google screenshot taken on Thurs Dec 1 19:56:21 2022 UTC)

The post claim of "Baal is a demon" is a reference to the yellow tape in part of the Balenciaga ad campaign that spells the name "Baalenciaga." The fashion house is being accused by some on social media of condoning and promoting child pornography and satanic and demonic images in a series of ad campaigns.

"Baal," a purported reference to a demonic imagery, and posted on Villains Wiki as "Ba'al (Biblical Hebrew בעל, pronounced [ˈbaʕal], usually spelled Baal in English), also sometimes called 'Bael', is one of the seven princes of Hell in Christian demonology."

Encyclopedia Britannica notes that Balaam is a "Biblical prophet" or a lord.

Lead Stories previously debunked other claims about Balenciaga here.


  • 2022-12-02T18:56:24Z 2022-12-02T18:56:24Z
    Updated to add links to online Latin dictionary and to clarify that Google Translate suggests alternate origin languages for phrases.
  • 2022-12-02T17:58:06Z 2022-12-02T17:58:06Z
    Updated to clarify steps needed to make Google Translate mis-translate "Baal encia aga."

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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