This re-blog – The 187th ‘Rakassans’ – part (1) — Pacific Paratrooper, original post – The 187th ‘Rakassans’ – part (1) — Pacific Paratrooper got me thinking about translation issues. I watch some movies with sub-titles. It’s always interesting to see how some of the titles were mistranslated and how some of the words were mistranslated. This isn’t picking on a particular language or country as I have seen English sub-titles that made me wonder what were the translators thinking. This can apply to books as well.
The last movie I watched with sub-titles was the last Japanese version of Godzilla. In an interesting twist, they used the languages of non-Japanese speakers, but made the mistake of overlaying the Japanese sub-titles over the English sub-titles which made it hard to follow for those who weren’t speaking Japanese or English. That was a minor annoyance as there were very few cases where the speakers were using another language other than English or Japanese.
In the defense of translators – English or non-English, it can be hard to translate something that you see where there isn’t a native language equivalent. In cases like these, you go with a translation that easily fits the description of what the translator sees. In the cases of parody, humor, or satire, if the translator isn’t familiar with the concept, they may translate it in ways not intended by the original language. In other cases, some of the translations are made to fit a particular culture. In my opinion, it’s best to go with a company for translation that works with the original movie company to make translations work better. In some cases, sense of humor issues don’t translate between different countries even if the countries speak the same basic language. In a few instances, the translations were off, but that was to make it fit better with the country’s movie audience.
I had a friend who was born in New Mexico. Her parents were from Mexico and she took high school European Spanish. She mentioned some of the differences between the three versions of Spanish. While they had the same basic root language, there were some differences between the versions.
Here are some examples of movie translation issues:
There are a number of others available if you do a search using your favorite or least favorite search engine.