As a professional translation service company, we always endeavor to render the most accurate translation possible. Yet as these examples show, there have been some honest to goodness well meaning translations that just turned out awful and downright funny.
Here are a few examples:
1. The movie “Grease” starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John
In Argentina, this was translated to “Vaseline”. In Mexico, it was “Lubricacion”
2. The movie “The 6th Sense” starring Bruce Willis
China’s title was “He’s a Ghost”. So much for surprise endings
3. Now here’s a classic. When the movie “Nixon” starring Anthony Hopkins was shown in China, This was known as the “Big Liar”
4. For all the Star Trek fans, we know that the American Japanese actor George Takei plays the role of Hikaru Sulu of the Starship Enterprise. The only problem is that there is no letter “L” sound in the Japanese language. So in Japan Sulu was translated into “Kato”. That worked well with Bruce Lee in the Green Hornet.
5. As we approach the holidays, do you remember the movie “Bad Santa” with Billy Bob Thornton? Well, the Czech Republic was a little aggressive with their translation and went with- “Santa is a Pervert”
6. Does the name “Bruno Diaz” ring a bell? If not, then maybe you’re familiar with the secret identity of Batman- Bruce Wayne. Yup, in Spanish Speaking Latin America, the billionaire playboy is Bruno Diaz. Not to be outdone, his sidekick Robin, whose identity is Richard Grayson is “Ricardo Tapia”. Who would have guessed?
7. How about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movie- “Kindergarten Cop”. In China, this was “Devil King of Children.” Looks like the comedy flick is now a horror movie.
8. Movie “Dodgeball” is “Straight on the Nuts” in Germany
9. In France, the movie “Jaws” was translated to “The Teeth of the Sea”
10. And to wrap it up, James Bond’s movie- “Dr. No” was translated as “We Don’t Want a Doctor” in Japan.
Go figure. But don’t try to translate these two simple words.