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what do you say to a person who just had a bad dream
Thread poster: Riza Ertugrul

Riza Ertugrul  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:22
Turkish to English
+ ...
Jun 5

I am working on a subtitling project from Turkish to English and I need an idiomatic English phrase which would be said to a person who just had a dream. The direct translation of the original Turkish phrase is something like "May it (your dream) be bearer of good news" or "May it bring good things". So, it is a bit of a folkloric saying, reflecting a superstitious belief that dreams have secret meanings regarding one's future.
So, ideally the English phrase should meet the following criteria
* reflecting superstition
* folkloric, not elite
* idiomatic
* not uttered very rarely in modern forms of English.


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Thayenga  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
How about... Jun 6

Bad dreams are/can be good omens.

Or: Bad dreams, good fortune.

[Edited at 2017-06-06 05:23 GMT]


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:22
English to Croatian
+ ...
Is there an equivalent belief in English folklore? Jun 6

If there isn't, I don't think there is an equivalent expression. Then you will have to use descriptive translation, possibly with a footnote explanation.

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Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:22
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
I don't think there is such an expression in English language Jun 6

Why don't you use something along the lines of "every bad dream has a silver lining"? I personally don't think the fans of Turkish TV series would much care for cultural and semantic undercurrents. They are not the most intellectual audience with refined tastes. But gotta appreciate you efforts to go to such lengths though, I only hope that you're getting rewarded enough financially.

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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:22
English to Croatian
+ ...
In my language pair, definitely not. A big NO. Jun 6

Baran Keki wrote:
I only hope that you're getting rewarded enough financially.


Yes, subtitling translation always involves nuances like this, plus watching the text length for the frame etc. In my language pair, it is paid peanuts (I had received ridiculous offers at $2 per minute?), which is why I never do subtitling. Those kinds of shows actually make a lot of money, eg. actors receive highest payments in TV soap operas, but they will not share the cake with the translator. lol


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Baran Keki  Identity Verified
Turkey
Local time: 13:22
Member
English to Turkish
+ ...
@Lingua 5B Jun 6

I have never done subtitling in my life, but after seeing some job ads on this website I asked a colleague the other day about the going rate for subtitling in Turkey, she said it was around 4 TL to 10 TL per minute (meaning 1.13 USD to 2.83 USD). That's beyond ridiculous! I mean a person could talk untranslatable gibberish like the asker wrote here amounting to 500 words for one minute or he/she could utter only a word or two.. I'd rather stick to translating contracts, at least you know what to expect, and the pay is certainly better.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:22
Member (2008)
Italian to English
lol? Jun 6

Lingua 5B wrote:

Baran Keki wrote:
I only hope that you're getting rewarded enough financially.


Yes, subtitling translation always involves nuances like this, plus watching the text length for the frame etc. In my language pair, it is paid peanuts (I had received ridiculous offers at $2 per minute?), which is why I never do subtitling. Those kinds of shows actually make a lot of money, eg. actors receive highest payments in TV soap operas, but they will not share the cake with the translator. lol


Why lol? Is it funny?


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Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 11:22
English to Croatian
+ ...
And my answer is... Jun 6

The question in the title is: What do you say to a person who just had a bad dream?

My answer: I give them a hug.


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Mair A-W (PhD)
Germany
Local time: 11:22
Member (2016)
French to English
+ ...
bad dream? Jun 6

I can't imagine a suitable English saying where a bad dream would lead to a positive outcome, which Asker's post seems to imply. I guess we might say "I hope it's not an omen"?

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Texte Style
Local time: 11:22
French to English
footnotes in sub-titles? Jun 6

Lingua 5B wrote:

If there isn't, I don't think there is an equivalent expression. Then you will have to use descriptive translation, possibly with a footnote explanation.


footnotes in sub-titles? not sure how well that would go down!


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Tradupro17  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:22
English to Haitian-Creole
+ ...
Culture plays an important role Jun 6

in dreams interpretation. There is a book called "Dream Interpretation" A Biblical Understanding by Herman Riffel. Happy reading!

Tradupro17


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Sylvano
Local time: 11:22
English to French
Indeed Jun 6

Texte Style wrote:

Lingua 5B wrote:

If there isn't, I don't think there is an equivalent expression. Then you will have to use descriptive translation, possibly with a footnote explanation.


footnotes in sub-titles? not sure how well that would go down!


Footnotes under subtitles are for fansubbers, not profesional audiovisual translators.


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mickey mary
Portugal
Local time: 10:22
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Don´t let your bad dream drag you down/ evil dreams make you ugly Jun 6

Riza Ertugrul wrote:

I am working on a subtitling project from Turkish to English and I need an idiomatic English phrase which would be said to a person who just had a dream. The direct translation of the original Turkish phrase is something like "May it (your dream) be bearer of good news" or "May it bring good things". So, it is a bit of a folkloric saying, reflecting a superstitious belief that dreams have secret meanings regarding one's future.
So, ideally the English phrase should meet the following criteria
* reflecting superstition
* folkloric, not elite
* idiomatic
* not uttered very rarely in modern forms of English.


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Elizabeth Tamblin  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:22
Member (2012)
French to English
It depends Jun 6

Is the bad dream relevant to the rest of the film? Depending on what happens next, there are plenty of good suggestions above.

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Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 03:22
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Just a dream Jun 6

It doesn't meet your criteria, but in English you'd say "It was just a dream".

The aim is to reassure, comfort.


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