Off topic: bloopers in movies
Thread poster: Lorenzo Lilli

Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
German to Italian
+ ...
Apr 2, 2003

Any spectacular bloopers in the translation of movies? I\'m sure everyone has heard lots of them, and translations in Italian are sometimes just ridiculous. Kickoff: \"Arson is suspected\" = \"è sospettato il signor Arson\" (Mr. Arson is suspected). bye


Patricia Lutteral  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:20
English to Spanish
+ ...
From "The Sopranos" Apr 2, 2003

The line \"I hated seeing you suffer with that writer\'s block\" was subtitled as \"Odio verte sufrir por esa libreta\" (\"I hate seeing you suffer with that notebook\").

This is from HBO Latin America icon_smile.gif

Best regards,



Local time: 03:20
German to Italian
+ ...
sorry I must take it in Italian Apr 2, 2003

... il mitico \"Dio ti benedica!\" come traduzione di \"God bless you!\" dopo lo starnuto del dinosauro nel film Jurassic Park? (anziché l\'ovvio \"salute!\") E non vogliamo parlare di tutti quelli che nei film americani, per le strade di New York, nel loro hot dog ci vogliono mettere la \"mostarda\"? (mustard = senape)

Ciao to everybody



Paul Lambert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:20
French to English
+ ...
not from a movie but certainly a blooper and a half!!! Apr 2, 2003

This was found on the menu of a Polish restaurant that had been translated into English - certainly made me giggle!!! :

Salad a firm\'s own make; Limpid red beet soup with cheesy dumplings in the form of a finger; roasted duck let loose; beef rashers beaten up in the country people\'s fashion.

Who knows what the original was?!?!?! Quite fancy the abused rashers though!


AccurReli  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:20
German to Thai
+ ...
Menu translated into Eng Apr 2, 2003

Would you like to have some \"cremated lobster\"?

(from a seafood restaurant in Bangkok)


Lorenzo Lilli  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
German to Italian
+ ...
just outstanding Apr 2, 2003

This is one of the best IMO: do you know the cartoon Futurama, by Matt Groening? ONe of the main characters is a robot called Bender, and in an episode he is condemned, because of a magic spell, to transform every night into a killer car. This car is called the \"werecar\" (like werewolf). And in Italian it was translated \"la macchina che era\" (the car that was)! Rolling on floor laughing!


MJ Barber  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
On the rocks Apr 4, 2003

I just love it when American films are dubbed into Spanish and the hero asks for a whisky \'sobre las rocas\'. Man, would you not prefer it on a chair, or on a stool?


Linda Young (X)
Local time: 03:20
French to English
+ ...
French movies Apr 4, 2003

The french movie dubbing and translation has improved, but in 1987 I was watching Superman with my son, and it was sub-titled and the english was \'Do you think that Superman is chicken?\" and the sub-title was \"est-ce que Superman est une poulet?\" bad news but made me laugh


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:20
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
Dubbing problem in Madonna film Apr 4, 2003

The following is an excerpt from a longer article found at

which I thought very interesting. Worth looking at the whole thing.

Take, for instance, Truth or Dare (1991), the Madonna documentary. Here we get a scene in which one of the dancers asks Madonna if the other dancers on the tour believe him to be gay. She says, \"I don\'t know. Why don\'t you take a poll?\" In the dubbed Spanish version, \"poll\" is translated as \"sondeo\" (survey). Fine. But a second later, as she\'s sort of fed up with the guy, Madonna jokes, \"Yea. Take it up the ass.\" Here, she\'s playing off the homonymic quality of \"poll\" and \"pole.\" Of course, in the dubbed version, the guy has just been told to take a survey up the ass. Arguably less funny. And the confusion doesn\'t stop here since, it turns out, the dancer hadn\'t understood the original meaning of \"poll\" in the first place. Madonna tries to clarify it for him, asking \"Do you know what a poll is?\" He says, \"Yea, that\'s a poll,\" and points to the microphone boom in the shot, which obviously is a sort of pole.

So, whereas in the original version you\'ve got a dancer who\'s a bit confused about the identically sounding \"poll\" and \"pole,\" in the dubbed version he winds up pointing to a mike boom and saying \"Yea, that\'s a survey,\" looking like some kind of nut rather than someone recognizably undereducated. But the lack of sense in this scene isn\'t due solely to the dubbing. The humor depends on a double entendre that would be hard to comunicate to a non—English-speaking audience even if subtitling were being used.


katstan  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:20
Spanish to English
+ ...
Pocket-Books Apr 5, 2003

Well, this one is old too!! but I always liked the film where a couple were looking for their key in front of the apartment, and one says to the other: \"Have you looked in your pocket-book?\" (i.e. handbag)

And this was translated into German as \"Hast Du in deinem Taschenbuch gesucht?\" (i.e. a small book that you can take around with you) and where nobody would keep their key!!


murat Karahan
Local time: 04:20
Member (2003)
English to Turkish
+ ...
Same here Apr 5, 2003

Same applies to Eng-Turkish when it is translated mot-a-mot as \"kaya üstünde\". And I also like the literal translations of Scotch (translated as Scotchsman-Ýskoç) and Bloody Mary.

What really baffled me the most was the translation of \"Hannibal the Cannibal\" in the movie Red Dragon. Somehow I believe the translator didn\'t like the idea of cannibalism and translated it as \"Hannibal, the Vegetarian\" icon_biggrin.gif


On 2003-04-04 17:24, MJ Barber wrote:

I just love it when American films are dubbed into Spanish and the hero asks for a whisky \'sobre las rocas\'. Man, would you not prefer it on a chair, or on a stool?


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