Tuesday 9 March 2010

Subtitles Paranoia.

The character on screen says..

J'ai le fla blah blah, le une blah blah, Yei Ablahblah, une ich tod flai nor kor ba ba ba ba da da une deux oui blah blah inz frechen la miel blando eli le flabtalia man yah che nee ka ka ka ka ka pordo me putos fla taliah na che condinia blah blah blah blah blah, blah. Blah, de fredo ba ba.

The subtitles say.

Yes, I will buy a whole Turkey.

And that's IT!

Is the lazy subtitler person laughing at me? Are they making things up? Am I getting half the story?

I am always convinced I am being cheated out of the full story! They can't be bothered!

It's like that scene in Lost In Translation!

Is that everything?
I mean, it seemed like he said
quite a bit more than that.

Like an old friend,
and into the camera.

Am I paranoid? Or are they laughing at me?

Subtitle Paranoia can really make a man go insane. I mean, look what happened to Billy Murray:

Care to share?


  1. Hilarious! I love him in Lost in Translation, not in that other movie.

  2. I watched a Korean film not to long ago and the subtitle read "Absoposilutely"
    Seriously. It did.
    I had to rewind to go back to make sure I wasn't seeing things.

    It's now my favorite word. Absoposilutely.

  3. Watching as much anime as I do I sometimes wonder just how much self-interpretation is put into subtitles. I mean the have to make them long enough they cover all the necessary points and short enough that it can be read in the allotted time.

    Granted I've seen subtitles go both ways. One word said, whole sentence given. Whole sentence said, couple of words given.

    There's a great scene in Wayne's World where he meets the father who speaks Cantonese about it :).

  4. Thank you so much for your kind comment. I really appreciated it. It brightened my day!

  5. Ha! That's awesome. I actually just blogged about 'Lost in Translation' the other day! :)
    Try not to go too insane...but just enough to make you interesting! lol

  6. haha, those subtitles always make me laugh. sometimes i wonder if it's the difference in syntax. or maybe it's just the subtitler's laziness. i hate it when they leave some of the details!!!

  7. You know, foreign films are always problamatic. If you watch them dubbed you lose the natural flow and rythm of the original dialogue and subtitles always run the risk of loses the poetics of the original dialogue as it is spoken in the native tounge. Someone who understood the language once told me that City of God is crompised of so much slang that hardly any of the origial dialogue appears in the subtitles. But, then again, what can you do?

  8. I know translating chops up a language. There are some words that just can't be translated. PS... I love Groundhog's Day!

  9. Oh God, I have spent the past week working with a translator and typing up subtitles, and it was driving me nuts because most of the time I was convinced I was totally missing out on stuff, but the translator insisted that I was typing up the right stuff. It was horribly nerve-wrecking.

  10. Hi, great job on your blog. The passion comes through!

    Thank you for your tip on mine (which I was planning on correcting as soon as I figure out how - I'm not a techie). I hope you enjoyed your tea! :o)