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Off topic: Inglorious Basterds
Thread poster: Michael Barnett

Michael Barnett
Local time: 21:44
English
+ ...
Aug 25, 2009

I saw the film the other day, enjoying it thoroughly.

Today I read this viewer review at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/usercomments and was wondering if any German or Italian speaking film-goers had noticed similar details which they could share.

Excerpt of the review:
Case in point, during the opening sequence the Nazi "Jew Hunter" SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christian Waltz) is interrogating French dairy farmer Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet). Landa suspects that LaPadite is hiding a family of Jews. While subtly pressuring LaPadite, Landa asks for a glass of milk. After greedily gulping it down, Landa compliments LaPadite on his daughters and his cows, "Mes compliments a vos filles et vos vaches." The thing of it is, in French "vache" means cow, but it is also a vulgar name for the vagina. If reprimanded for this vulgar pun, Landa could quite convincingly claim not to understand French well enough to have meant it that way, but Landa does mean it that way and he means it as a threat. And LaPadite understands his meaning all too well.

That is a really subtle piece of acting and word-play that many audiences would never catch, or at least they might understand the subtext without knowing the exact nature of the threat. The film is rich with that kind of detail. All of the French and English dialogue is chosen with that same attention to detail and while I can't swear to the German, I would suspect that it shows a similar level of craft.

Michael


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Sylvain Leray  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:44
Member (2003)
German to French
??? Aug 25, 2009

Michael Barnett wrote:

After greedily gulping it down, Landa compliments LaPadite on his daughters and his cows, "Mes compliments a vos filles et vos vaches." The thing of it is, in French "vache" means cow, but it is also a vulgar name for the vagina.


I don't know where you read or heard that, but to me it would be absolutely new !! I'm pretty sure that "vache" never had this meaning for anyone in France!
Please correct me if I'm wrong...


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 03:44
English to Croatian
+ ...
"Vache" Aug 25, 2009

I haven't been aware of this reference for "vache" either. Anything to do with Canadian French perhaps? Or some contemporary slang?

Maybe you confused animals, it's supposed to be la chatte, not la vache.



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FarkasAndras
Local time: 03:44
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Landa's French Aug 25, 2009

Michael Barnett wrote:

I saw the film the other day, enjoying it thoroughly.

Today I read this viewer review at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0361748/usercomments and was wondering if any German or Italian speaking film-goers had noticed similar details which they could share.

Excerpt of the review:
Case in point, during the opening sequence the Nazi "Jew Hunter" SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christian Waltz) is interrogating French dairy farmer Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet). Landa suspects that LaPadite is hiding a family of Jews. While subtly pressuring LaPadite, Landa asks for a glass of milk. After greedily gulping it down, Landa compliments LaPadite on his daughters and his cows, "Mes compliments a vos filles et vos vaches." The thing of it is, in French "vache" means cow, but it is also a vulgar name for the vagina. If reprimanded for this vulgar pun, Landa could quite convincingly claim not to understand French well enough to have meant it that way, but Landa does mean it that way and he means it as a threat. And LaPadite understands his meaning all too well.

That is a really subtle piece of acting and word-play that many audiences would never catch, or at least they might understand the subtext without knowing the exact nature of the threat. The film is rich with that kind of detail. All of the French and English dialogue is chosen with that same attention to detail and while I can't swear to the German, I would suspect that it shows a similar level of craft.

Michael


I don't know about that... it would be a strange pun to make and I don't think Landa, the eternal gentleman who purposefully left his men a good 20 metres from the house when he went in would get so direct and vulgar. Complimenting his beautiful wife & daughters is more than enough of a distant, veiled threat I think.
I don't speak French at all so I don't know if the pun works and I can't tell how good Landa's French is.


Talking about puns, does anyone know why they called the film Inglourious basterds? I find the title pointless and terrible, but maybe there is some sort of a meaning I just don't get.

[Edited at 2009-08-25 10:22 GMT]


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xxxavsie  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:44
English to French
+ ...
Not in Canadian French either... Aug 25, 2009

Nope, no such meaning in Canadian French either. It would be new to me as well

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 03:44
English to Croatian
+ ...
Inglorious Basterds Aug 25, 2009

FarkasAndras wrote:

Talking about puns, does anyone know why they called the film Inglourious basterds? I find the title pointless and terrible, but maybe there is some sort of a meaning I just don't get.

[Edited at 2009-08-25 10:22 GMT]


You typed one extra "u" ( the first one) in inglorious, or is that intended? BastErds is intentional isn't it?

I couldn't tell, as I haven't seen the movie. The title represents the entire film / broad context so it would be useful to know the film before discussing the title.

Other than that, what isn't clear in " inglorious basterds" ? the intentional misspelling of basterds has its sarcastic purpose.., and I presume it also serves the plot and general language style used in the film. Anything else? Personally, I find this phrasal and eclectic combination of a formal archaic word ( inglorious) and modern slang word ( basterds) quite entertaining.


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Irene McClure
Local time: 03:44
Member (2008)
French to English
+ ...
Film title ... Aug 25, 2009

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Tarantino when asked why he chose to misspell the words in the title of the film:


'Inglourious Basterds' comes from long line of tricky, touchy titles

Quentin Tarantino isn't saying why he spelled the title of his Second World War adventure, "Inglourious Basterds," the way he did. The writer-director is enjoying having a little fun with his audience, similar to the way he credited himself and Uma Thurman, with whom he co-wrote the "Kill Bill" movies, by their initials Q and U.
"I'm never going to explain that," Tarantino said during a news conference in May at the Cannes Film Festival, where "Inglourious Basterds" premiered. "When you do an artistic flourish like that, to describe it, to explain it, would just . . . invalidate the whole stroke in the first place. (Artist Jean-Michel) Basquiat takes the letter L from a hotel room door and sticks it in his painting," he added. "If he describes why he did it, he might as well not have done it at all."


Hmmm...


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 03:44
English to Croatian
+ ...
Characters Aug 25, 2009

I have no clue about the movie, synopsis and characters other than what I've read in this thread. I haven't googled anything either.

As for the specific language in movies or drama in general, it can be used purposely to match the character. That said, I would say that kind of misspelling would match a mediocre Joe who can't spell and is uneducated, never read a book in his life, or maybe the mockery of such people. Shakespeare used that a lot, that is using various language forms for different characters.

It can also be a tool to attract media attention without any hidden meaning whatsoever. He may be testing the waters and the audience. People like to think there is a hidden mysterious meaning behind everything. And now he has all these journalists asking the question so he can say " I won't tell ya" ..


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Michael Barnett
Local time: 21:44
English
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TOPIC STARTER
Vaches Aug 25, 2009

When I saw the film I too was not aware of the "pun".

Reading the review, I wondered how much more of the film I had actually missed, which prompted my post.

Michael


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Sylvain Leray  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:44
Member (2003)
German to French
Well Aug 25, 2009

Michael Barnett wrote:

When I saw the film I too was not aware of the "pun".

Reading the review, I wondered how much more of the film I had actually missed, which prompted my post.

Michael


For this part you didn't miss anything - I'm 98% sure there is no such pun in French.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 03:44
English to Hungarian
+ ...
title Aug 25, 2009

Lingua 5B wrote:

Other than that, what isn't clear in " inglorious basterds" ? the intentional misspelling of basterds has its sarcastic purpose.., and I presume it also serves the plot and general language style used in the film.


I just find it dumb and annoying. Yes, Brad Pitt's character and his men are not exactly the university professor types, so you could easily imagine them making that sort of a mistake - in fact, they do, I just found out that it is scratched into somebody's rifle stock. But that doesn't make it any less of a horrible title... and, although I'm not a native speaker, I can't really imagine anyone misspelling inglorious as inglourious.
Anyway, the rifle thing clears it up: it's just a "Look at me!" title that tries to be original or something, there is no pun or other reference... Bleh.
The film is very good, though. It's dark, cruel and bloody, but it is very good.


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Nadejda Vega Cespedes  Identity Verified

Local time: 03:44
Spanish to Russian
+ ...
For the sake of accuracy... Aug 25, 2009

...he said, "à votre famille et à vos vaches, je dis bravo."

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Michael Barnett
Local time: 21:44
English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
The title Aug 25, 2009

FarkasAndras wrote:

Talking about puns, does anyone know why they called the film Inglourious basterds? I find the title pointless and terrible, but maybe there is some sort of a meaning I just don't get.

[Edited at 2009-08-25 10:22 GMT]


I think the spelling is pure whimsy.

The reference to the vache pun was the film reviewer's not mine. I thought that perhaps it was a French expression unfamiliar to Canadian francophones. On reflection and after discussion with one of my Quebecois patients, I think one might translate "vache" as "bitch", but not "vagina". In English, if one calls a woman a "cow" it means essentially that she is obese.


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:44
Member
English to Turkish
For the sake of accuracy 2 Aug 25, 2009

Michael, you've misspelled the movie title in your thread title

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Arnaud HERVE  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:44
English to French
+ ...
Wrong Aug 25, 2009

A whole thread for an assumption that was absolutely and completely wrong at the start.

Could the OP mention where he got the idea that "vaches" had that meaning? I would not be surprised if he was the only person in the world thinking that "vaches" has that meaning in French slang.


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