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Off topic: Subtitle of the week- This week's winner
Thread poster: RichardDeegan

RichardDeegan
Local time: 09:54
Spanish to English
Aug 6, 2008

From "Knock on Any Door" on Argentina's Retro:
Humphrey Bogart: "Did you serve time in Fort Leavenworth?"
Subtitle: "¿Tienes tiempo para 11?
(Do you have time for eleven?)

[Edited at 2008-08-06 11:37]


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Nesrin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:54
English to Arabic
+ ...
Another one Aug 6, 2008

I only understand a little bit of Spanish but I don't get how "in Fort Leavenworth" can turn into "para 11" (I get the first part though).

Reminds me of another gem I saw in the Arabic subtitles of a US soap:

English: "I have reserved a table for seven-thirty"
Arabic: "I have reserved a table for thirty seven persons"!!!


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:54
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
'leven, I suppose ... Aug 6, 2008

Nesrin wrote:

I only understand a little bit of Spanish but I don't get how "in Fort Leavenworth" can turn into "para 11" (I get the first part though).

Reminds me of another gem I saw in the Arabic subtitles of a US soap:

English: "I have reserved a table for seven-thirty"
Arabic: "I have reserved a table for thirty seven persons"!!!


I suppose the translator only heard the dialogue and didn't see it written, and assumed that "Leavenworth" was the number eleven, carelessly pronounced 'leven.
Ah, there are so many traps out there ...
Regards,
Jenny


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avsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:54
English to French
+ ...
From TJ to... well... Aug 6, 2008

I'm still not over the most hilarious subtitling I've ever seen on Dutch TV. It was on Animal Planet, during some ASPCA program. One of the inspectors in the show was called 'TJ', but the subtitles kept on calling him 'Tietjes', which means 'boobies' in Dutch slang

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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:54
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Elevenses? Aug 6, 2008

I wonder if it was misheard as "Do you have time for elevenses?" This is a rather old-fashioned English word for mid-morning tea or coffee and biscuits.

Definitions of elevenses on the Web:

* a snack that is similar to afternoon tea, but eaten in the morning
en.wiktionary.org/wiki/elevenses


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Celia Recarey  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Dingo/gringo Aug 6, 2008

English: "The dingo's got my baby"

Spanish: "El gringo se llevó a mi bebé"



[Editado a las 2008-08-06 17:09]


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ViktoriaG  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 10:54
English to French
+ ...
Eleven worth Aug 6, 2008

This is lamentable. But from the looks of it, it gets even better - I seriously doubt a human made this mistake. After all, Leavenworth is one word, and it's capitalized to boot. If the mistake was made by a person and not by machine translation, then I really hope that person learns to read soon... or else we're in big trouble.

[Edited at 2008-08-06 17:48]


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 08:54
English to Spanish
+ ...
Now I know Aug 6, 2008

Jack said: "I wonder if it was misheard as "Do you have time for elevenses?" This is a rather old-fashioned English word for mid-morning tea or coffee and biscuits."

I always wondered why the Chileans call that "onces" and now I know.


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:54
Member
English to Turkish
I think the translator is blind sometimes Aug 6, 2008

I mean, they don't watch the movie. I remember this scene, for example: worms teeming in an open wound in the chest (ehheh, it was a horror flick), and the main character says to her friend, "Look at his chest!" In the subtitle the "chest" was the wooden box you keep your stuff in. So, it was obvious that the translator wasn't watching the movie (but didn't follow the storyline too well, either, since a chest in the second sense was totally irrelevant there.)

I also remember a WWII movie on TV. The film was dubbed throughout (in Turkish), but in a part of it the original dialogues were obviously in German, because English subtitles appeared on the TV screen. The German commander said (in Turkish): "Bring the guns, thanks!" However, the English subtitle was, "Bring the guns and tanks!"


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juvera  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:54
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Different source material for subtitling Aug 8, 2008

Viktoria Gimbe wrote:
This is lamentable. But from the looks of it, it gets even better - I seriously doubt a human made this mistake. After all, Leavenworth is one word, and it's capitalized to boot. If the mistake was made by a person and not by machine translation, then I really hope that person learns to read soon... or else we're in big trouble.


I am fairly certain that in this instance the translator did not have a script or English subtitles, and created the subtitles from what he/she heard. Obviously, another ear would have helped.
Sometimes it can be quite difficult to decipher what is being said and even listening to it several times by a number of native speakers, the result may remain pure guesswork.
You don’t pay attention to these moments when you watch a film, because it is usually not that important, but it becomes a problem when subtitles are to be created.

Özden Arikan wrote:

I think the translator is blind sometimes

I mean, they don't watch the movie. I remember this scene, for example: worms teeming in an open wound in the chest (ehheh, it was a horror flick ), and the main character says to her friend, "Look at his chest!" In the subtitle the "chest" was the wooden box you keep your stuff in. So, it was obvious that the translator wasn't watching the movie (but didn't follow the storyline too well, either, since a chest in the second sense was totally irrelevant there.)


This is the opposite scenario.

English subtitles were created and distributed to the translators of various languages. The translator may not have the software program to watch and translate at the same time. He/she may not have received the film at all.
It happens sometimes that the translator has to translate "blind", and correct the translation at the agency's premises, or even worse, somebody else would do it.

I agree that it doesn’t excuse the translator from following the storyline, but bear it in mind, when prepared source language subtitles are used, a feature length film shouldn't be more than a day's work, to make it economically viable.

The time allocated for correction is usually also fairly short, and it is possible to miss something like that, particularly when the person correcting is not familiar with the movie, there are more mistakes than expected, and the correction is done in a hurry.

Luckily, with improved and easily distributable software, this happens less frequently.


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