Lost in translation

I stayed up late last Sunday to watch the Oscars. I had spent the two weeks prior diligently watching my way through as many of the offerings as I could. I was pleased to see that Games of Destiny was nominated, although I didn’t think Jennifer Lawrence deserved an Oscar over Quvenzhané Wallis. I was also pleased that The Darkest Night, a good film, didn’t get drooled over by the Academy in the way such political films often do. I suppose Argo sandbagged its drool as the other ‘US vs the world’ offering.

Wondering if I’ve got a screw loose like John Malkovich in My boyfriend is a zombie? No, I’m lost in translation. In Peru, in this case, unlike Scarlett Johansson who was – at least in the Spanish speaking world – Lost in Tokyo. Yes, I’m talking film titles in translation.

I am a huge fan of language in general in a gushing, language groupie way, rather than a sensible, studious way. This is how I’ve managed to study six foreign languages, three for a number of years, but only ever been able to speak one second language fluently. Or even in something resembling sentences. So film titles are an easy to spot area of difference and interest. By now you may have guessed that Juegos del destino (games of destiny)  is in fact better known as The Silver Linings Playbook. There. You can see how that works if you think about it for a second. You may or may not have worked out that The Darkest Night, far from having anything to do with men in rubber bat suits, is better known in English as Zero Dark Thirty. I also recently saw Maestro Luchador, literally ‘teacher wrestler’. A much more prosaic title than the English Here Comes the Boom. And then there’s a favourite of mine, Siete psicopatas y un perro. It’s almost a direct translation, and I can’t work out why the dog is an important addition to the title for the Spanish speaking audience, but I like it!

Of course, as any good blogger would, I did my research for this post, and in fact discovered that the Den of Geek had beaten me to this point. Have a look at what they unearthed in translation from around the world if you want a good coffee break chortle. I’m off to see Una aventura extraordianaria to find out what all the fuss is over this CGI tiger.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pater (obviously a translation)
    Mar 11, 2013 @ 13:46:32

    I like argentina’s “Vaseline” best.
    are they all real examples?



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