[LMB] Translations (back on-topic)

Howard Brazee howard at brazee.net
Mon Oct 24 13:48:36 BST 2016

> On Oct 23, 2016, at 10:19 PM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:
> The subtitles themselves have been more fun than the shows sometimes.
> In one case a character called 'Maddison' became 'medicine' in the subtitles.
> The news, which is done on the fly as it happens, has to be taken phonetically
> at times to work out what they actually said. Movies and TV shows seem to
> be subtitled from the scripts, because there's often cases where the character
> says something totally different to the subtitles - same meaning, but different
> words. They must have changed it during filming.

Closed-caption subtitles on live TV shows are the worst.  But errors (irritating and/or funny) occur even on Blu-Ray.

A variation of this is watching translation sub-titles.    Not all translations work.   

I remember once reading someone asking about a joke in Young Frankenstein.    It was the part where the original had a not-very-amusing pun on werewolf and where-wolf.   In his language he had a much better pun, but knew that it didn’t work in English.  This wasn’t subtitled, but was dubbed, so he didn’t know what the English joke was.

I’m curious.   Sometimes a translator would want to work with the original author to find a replacement for something that doesn’t translate well, but fits the author’s overall message.   

Lois - have you had this happen with your translations?

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