As an American, it can be easy to forget about the impact that our culture has on other countries. Take Hollywood movies as an example and their global popularity. They may be created here in the US but they are watched and enjoyed worldwide.
This doesn't mean that they stay in English, however. The titles are translated and subtitles or voice-overs are added.
Movie titles are the type of phrase that require more than literal translation to make an impact (when they are translated literally, it's typically quite entertaining). There is marketing involved and they must be catchy to garner attention. They also need to be relevant to that country's specific audience - remember, most of these were created with the American audience in mind.
Curious as to how some titles are translated overseas? We stumbled upon a hilarious "Ask Reddit" thread that asked exactly that. Below are some of our favorite answers.
If you have anything to add to this list, please leave it in the comments below!
13 Reasons Why - In Norwegian, it was translated to "13 Gode Grunner" which means "13 Good Reasons". In German, it was translated to "Dead girls don't lie
The following"translations" really aren't translations at all! They are a type of transliteration which tries to show the reader how to pronounce the movie in English.
For example, in Brazil, Down By Law was "translated" to Daunbailó.
Apparently, that’s how most titles are "translated" into Japanese. For example, Incredibles 2 was inkurediburu famiri.
"Knight & Day" wasn't translated in to French but they did change the title to "Night & Day"
Retired, Extremely Dangerous (RED) got translated to Angry Scary Pensioners in Bulgaria.
In Lithuania it’s called Rizikinga Erzinti Diedukus (It’s risky annoying Old men).
In Estonia, it's called RED- Especially dangerous agents.
A few classics from Brazil:
- Alien: the Eighth Passenger
- Thick Lead (Hot Fuzz)
- Rental Dogs (Reservoir Dogs)
- Tighten your seat belts, the pilot is gone! (Airplane)
- Crazy Dude In the Area (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
Miss Congeniality is called Agent Catwalk in Denmark.
Hebrew switched up "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs" to "Falafel Rain". The Hangover movies are called:
- Stopping in Vegas on the Way to the Wedding
- Stopping in Bangkok on the Way to the Wedding
- Hangover 3
In Poland: Dirty Dancing is now "Whirling Sex".
In Italian, "Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" became "If you leave me, i will erase you".
In Russian, Silver linings playbook translates to "My boyfriend is a psycho" (Мой парень псих)
In Chinese, The Sixth Sense was translated to “He’s a Ghost” quite literally giving away the movies biggest twist!
German translations tend to add a much more descriptive title. And it is hilarious.
Tremors - Im Land der Raketenwürmer (In the land of the rocket worms)
Airplane! - Die unglaubliche Reise in einem verrückten Flugzeug (The incredible journey on a crazy airplane)
Alien - Alien: Das unheimliche Wesen aus einer fremden Welt (Alien: the scary creature from a strange world)
Hot Fuzz - Hot Fuzz: zwei abgewichste Profis (Hot Fuzz: two slick professionals)
Reservoir Dogs - Reservoir Dogs: Wilde Hunde (Reservoir Dogs: Wild Dogs)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High - Ich glaub' ich steh' im Wald (I think I'm standing in the woods)
Stripes - Ich glaub’, mich knutscht ein Elch! (I think a moose is smooching me!)
We were Soldiers - Wir waren Helden (We were Heroes)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - Vergiss mein nicht! (Forget me not!)
Escape from New York - Die Klapperschlange (The rattle snake)
Take the Money and Run - Woody, der Unglücksrabe (Woody, the 'unlucky person')
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Zwei glorreiche Halunken (Two glorious scoundrels)
Wise Guys - Zwei Superpflaumen in der Unterwelt (Two 'deadbeats' in gangland)
And now for some more hilarious translations out of Germany.
Bring it on - Girls United
Mean Girls - Girls Club
View from the Top - Flight Girls - Blondinen im Anflug (Blondes on approach)
Horrible Bosses - Kill the Boss
Taken - 96 Hours
Cellular - Final Call - Wenn er auflegt, muss sie sterben! (If he hangs up, she must die!)
Thor: The Dark World - Thor: The Dark Kingdom
Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Return of the First Avenger
And finally, some inexplicable Finnish translations:
Friends with Benefits - Only Sex
The Song Remains the Same - The Song Stays Up
Going Greek - Wankers
A hard day's night - Yeah, Yeah, Here We Come
Jingle All the Way - My Father is a Turbo Man
Vertigo - Vertigo, The Red Tear
The Amityville Horror - For God's Sake, Run!
Pet Cemetery - Sleep Sleep, My Pet
Fast Days at Ridgemont High - Hot Hams
Hungry for more hilarious movie title translations? Click here!
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