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A nice way to spend an hour of your life


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In my youth, I watched several time Full Metal Jacket, obviously dubbed in my language (italian).

Near the end a vietnamese boy come in with a prostitute and describe her:

Lei fa amore lungo lungo! Fuma sigaretta con miccia!

That you can translate literally as:

She does long long love! Smoke cigarette with fuse!

This tense haunted me and my friends for ages. There's nothing like a cigarette with a fuse. We did a lot of theories, and the most probable was "the fuse" was the rolled part of a joint. Maybe some old USA slang?

 

Tonight, having a lotta do, I've decided to read the original script of the movie.

The tense is quite different and say

Smoke cigarette with pussy!

What does it mean? Well, I did some research again and found that being able to smoke a cigarette with your vagina determine a strong contraption of muscles, so the organ is tight but strong. Against relaxed, flaccid muscles of an old prostitute.

Anyway, whatever. Now, how it happened such change in meaning?

I squeezed my brains up to his last cell, and I've come with an interestimg theory.

The dubber said 'MICCIA' trying to spell as a vietnamese - the voice is quite distorted.

But the actual word, as written in the script was MICIA!

MICIA!

An italian term of endearment for pussy (you can translate it as "female cat" so... pussycat!!...so, "pussy")

Now the arcane was finally solved.

Lei fa amore lungo lungo! Fuma sigaretta con micia!

That translate as the original script! She smoke cigarette with pussy!

 

Wasn't that a good way of spending one hour of your life?

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4 hours ago, lepidocter said:

Wasn't that a good way of spending one hour of your life?

Thankfully, this only took about one minute of my life (reading your post ^^) but I completely get what you mean. I had similar weird things from less than great translations of US movies and TV shows from my youth as well, only in French. Ever since I became fluent in English and stopped even bothering with subtitles (except, even to this day, when a character or show has particularly strong accents I'm not used to, then I put on English subtitles until I get used to it), anything dubbed no matter how professionally has felt like a comical parody to me. This lead me to watch anything and everything with the original audio no matter the language, even if I don't speak a word of it and I'm still at the mercy of how good or bad the subtitles were translated and written. At least I get to hear the real actors' voices, intonations, etc.

One partially related and equally confusing thing in France in particular is how movie and sometimes series titles are "translated". It very rarely makes sense, or stays true to the original title in meaning and/or spirit, and there's a long tradition and various trends went by over the decades for that. Many completely unrelated movies end up being given very similar titles in France (not necessarily in French) seemingly to trick the audience into assuming they're sequels or at least part of something larger. Some movies that would be incredibly simple and effective to translate are not translated at all for some reason, even when half the words in the English title alone won't be understood by most French movie goers. Others are not translated, but given a completely different title in English instead. A great way to set people up for very confusing discussions should they ever end up moving to an English speaking country.

One recent example is what looks like a pretty whatever "Aladdin but it's a woman and in a contemporary setting" movie I saw the posters for just yesterday. '3,000 Years of Longing' with Tilda Swinton (having watched the trailer now, the original title and the movie poster are pretty misleading to begin with, honestly). Here they went with "3000 ans à t'attendre" ("3,000 Years Waiting FOR YOU")... Which makes even less sense. I only took a passing interest for the poster because it was so misleading that I thought slash hoped it would be about time travel, immortality or something else that might be cool to my tastes. Instead, the title seems to simply refer to how long the genie has been bored to death in his lamp... And the story itself is your run of the mill "get 3 wishes" story, although it drapes itself into some kind of high concept meta reflection on the topic of wish-based cautionary tales. Poorly chosen title, even worse translation (as far as I can tell the genie wasn't waiting for anyone specific).

Anyways. Yeah, don't trust dubbed content, and be weary of translations in general if you can, folks. ^^

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I do the same, always original audio. If it's English, I don't use subtitles or use the English subtitles if needed. Even the best of translations lose something, and the actors intonations are important, you know. Also, the different accents you can hear tend to be important, and that's also something lost most of the time, with characters that originally use slang talking like literature professors in the Spanish version.

The movie Die Hard was translated into Spanish as Jungla de Cristal. It literally means Crystal Jungle and it makes some sense because the movie happens in a skyscrapper and it's an idiom that refers to big buildings in cities. The problem came when they made a second movie set in an airport and an airplane, of course 😂

And let's pray for all the translators who had to translate Hodor and his final sentence in Game of Thrones.

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59 minutes ago, Kenrae said:

The movie Die Hard was translated into Spanish as Jungla de Cristal.

"Trappola di Cristallo" (Crystal Trap) in Italy.

Second movie: "58 minutes to die"

Third movie, that translated from italian sound as a joke: "Die hard: hard to die" XD XD

Fourth movie: "Die hard: live or die" (quite interesting - the first movie was then released again with his original name, so at the same time we had DIE HARD and DIE HARD -small subtitle- and so DH:LoD was also tagged with stickers as "The New One!!")

If you like the theme, here some interesting italian misnaming.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Non aprite quella porta (Don't open that door) - same issue as Die Hard with the reboot.

Dr.No: 007 Licenza di Uccidere (007 LIcence to Kill) ("Hey we came with a good name! What could possibly go wrong?" ... and just after...)

Licence to Kill: 007 Vendetta Privata (007 Personal Revenge)

The Hills Have Eyes: Le colline hanno gli occhi 2 (Hills have eyes, they have 2 of them)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: Se mi lasci ti cancello (If you leave me I'll erase you), that sound as an old '80 italian comedy title. The title itself was the reason it was an uncanny flop in Italy.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: L'Alba del Pianeta delle Scimmie (Dawn of the Planets of the Apes) - another case of a messing up prophecy, as the next movie was titled...

Dawn of the Planets of the Apes: Apes Revolutions  (Issue solved?)

The War for the Planet of The Apes: Apes Revolutions: the WARS! ("we did a mistake, so let's continue with it")

Mad Max - Interceptor

Mad Max II - Mad Max II  (with the twist that there's no Mad Max 1 in any italian catalogue.)

Mad Max III - Oltre la Sfera del Tuono (Beyond the thunder sphere) - that's not the Thunderdome. So WTF is a sphere of thunder?!

Frequency - Frequenze Mortali (Deadly Frequencies) - Whaaa! There's no 'deadly' thing in this movie!

Rio Grande - Rio Bravo ("I wanna change the title for no reason! - Hey Piero, what happen if they do next a movie titled 'Rio Bravo?' -It couldn't happen, don't worry!")

Rio Bravo - Un dollaro d'onore (One dollar honour)

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - Animali fantastici e dove trovarli - I segreti di Silente (The fun fact is an old time joke - Dumbledore is a noisy insect, and Rowlings figured him as a babbling strange man. A noisy individual, so a 'dumbledore'. Silente, the italian name, mean 'totally silent'. Anyway, this was changed in the later book edition, so a lot of people never understood who the f° was that 'Silente'...)

***

Anyway, the worst translation ever is not in a movie, is in a videogame. Prepare for it. In Pharaon, Sierra strategic game, your hunters can die shouting in order "The ostriches are attacking!" "Those ostriches are really ferocious!" "aaargh!" (dying)

Ostriches in italian is STRUZZI.

Now, do you know how CLAMS are written in italian? Yeah, OSTRICHE.

And what the translator mistake? Yeah he thought "ostriches" were "ostriche", so clams. Total ignorance XD.

In the italian dubbing, you can hear something like

"The clams are attacking!" "Those clams are really ferocious!" "AArgh!" (dying)... from an attack of clams.

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14 hours ago, Kenrae said:

The movie Die Hard was translated into Spanish as Jungla de Cristal.

13 hours ago, lepidocter said:

"Trappola di Cristallo" (Crystal Trap) in Italy.

Second movie: "58 minutes to die"

Very similar to what happened in France. The first movie was also titled here with just a translation of the secondary title, ignoring the fact that it was the beginning of a series of movies: "Piège de Cristal" (Crystal Trap). The second movie... they had to know at that point that it was a sequel but they didn't seem to care and did the same thing: "58 minutes pour vivre" (58 minutes to LIVE). It's only later on that they realized there would be more of these and that they added "Die Hard :" (in English, they never translated the main title) to the first two and subsequent movies in the franchise.

They did similar things for the first Star Wars trilogy and the first few Indiana Jones movies as well. For a long time, we just had "La Guerre des Étoiles" ("War of the Stars") for the first movie, and the next two were just their secondary titles translated but without the Star Wars main title and logo. Similarly, "Les Aventuriers de l'Arche Perdue" (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and "Indiana Jones et le Temple Maudit" (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) were confusingly titled and it wasn't easy to verify they were part of one series and which to watch first. It's only when the one with Sean Connery arrived that they changed to something that made sense.

It's kind of the opposite of the various unrelated movies that were given confusingly similar titles that made them look like sequels to casual movie goers.

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7 hours ago, DvDivXXX said:

It's kind of the opposite of the various unrelated movies that were given confusingly similar titles that made them look like sequels to casual movie goers.

ALL Leslie Nielsen movies since "The Naked Gun" had a very similar title in Spanish no matter what, not only the three of them, and many other subsequent movies with somewhat similar kind of humour without any relation whatsoever.

P.S: Forbidden Planet is still the best Leslie Nielsen movie :P .

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In France too! :D The very first one was translated "Y-a-t'il un Pilote dans l'Avion ?" ("Is There a Pilot in the Plane?"). From there any comedy with him was given a title with the same formula: "Is There a Cop to Save the Queen?", "Is There Whatever to Sell More Tickets?"... I'm not surprised. ^^

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