Blockbuster Translation

Published 21st April 2011
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I saw an interesting article recently on Russian translations of Hollywood blockbuster titles, along wih critiques on how the author thought each effort fared. It made me think about how difficult some titles must be to translate, and about the tactics translators can use to get around any potential problems.

As the author of the article rightly pointed out, some titles will be easy to translate, such as the straightforward “127 Hours” or “The Fighter”.

Those that rely more on word play and connotations, however, will prove more of a challenge. However, an experienced translator will know how to deal with a more suggestive title. Take “True Grit”, for instance, which is quite hard to define for even a native speaker. One website offers quite a nice suggestion: “strength of mind and the courage to see through one’s convictions even in the face of strong adversity”. However some countries don’t even seem to have tried to capture this sense of the title, such as Spain, who translated it as “Valor del Ley”.

When hunting for examples of movie translation, I came across this little gem: in a hilarious twist, the movie “Lost in Translation” was translated as “Lost in Tokyo” in many countries.

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Have you seen any particularly good or bad movie title translations lately? How creative do you think it’s acceptable to be?

Hace poco encontré un interesante artículo sobre traducciones al ruso de títulos de películas taquilleras de Hollywood, junto con críticas sobre cada esfuerzo hecho por el autor. Me hizo pensar en lo difícil que resulta la traducción de algunos títulos y en las tácticas que los traductores pueden utilizar ante cualquier posible problema.

Como el autor del artículo señala acertadamente, algunos títulos serán fáciles de traducir, como el sencillo “127 hours” o “The Fighter”.

Sin embrago, los que se forman con juegos de palabras y connotaciones, serán un desafío para el traductor. Pero un traductor con experiencia sabe cómo obtener un título más sugestivo. Un ejemplo es “True Grit”, que es bastante difícil de definir incluso para un hablante nativo. Para su traducción un sitio web ofrece esta buena sugerencia: “La fuerza de la mente y el coraje de ver a través de las propias convicciones, incluso en la cara de la fuerte adversidad”. Sin embargo, algunos países no parecen haber captado este sentido del título, como por ejemplo España, que lo traduce como “Valor del Ley”.

Buscando ejemplos de traducciones de películas, me encontré con esta pequeña joya: en un toque divertido, la película “Lost in Translation” fue traducida en muchos países como “Perdidos en Tokio”.

Lingua Translations ofrece servicios profesionales de subtitulación de cine y televisión de la más alta calidad. Si necesita un doblaje, también ofrecemos actores profesionales hablantes nativos del idioma de destino. Creemos en hacer las cosas bien, incluso para los textos más cortos, y nos aseguraremos de que la gente habla acerca de su película con toda la razón.

¿Has visto alguna traducción de títulos de películas particularmente bueno o malo últimamente? ¿Cómo de creativo crees el traductor debe ser?

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