4 Funny Movie Titles Botched Due to the Lack of Professional Translation and Localization Services

Hilarious Movie Title Translations Fails Caused by Ignoring the Importance of Translation and Localization Services

There have always been issues regarding how producers translate their films into different languages. There are new movies coming up every week and everywhere around the world. Importing new movies outside the host country means employing the use of localization and business translation services from reputable language services providers. 

But when a film is going to be distributed internationally, the movie title is the very first item that must be considered. The host country will ask: Should we translate it, adapt it or just keep the original title? A good movie title will create a buzz, but bad movie translations may result in bad sales of that movie in that country. Using professional localization and translation services is the best way to come up with a culturally and linguistically appropriate movie title. Language Connections takes a look at some humorous translations of English movie titles in foreign countries. 


Silver Linings Playbook (2012) | Title Translations Fails

Each country incorporates its own interpretation and cultural perspective into a movie translation.  Often, this can result in entirely different titles or even meanings. For instance, the movie “Silver Linings Playbook” is a 2012 American romantic comedy.  It’s the story of a former teacher who moves back in with his parents, starts a new friendship, and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. In France, the movie translation is titled “Happiness Therapy” in French.  In Taiwan, the Chinese version of the movie translation is called “Pat’s Happiness Playbook.”


Warm Bodies (2013)

The storyline behind this American paranormal romantic comedy is about a zombie who saves a girl from a zombie attack.  This leads to their eventual romantic relationship. The original title “Warm Bodies” also has the following the subtitle “He’s still dead but he’s getting warmer.” In Taiwan, movie translations kept the English subtitle, but added another one in Chinese which means “How could a zombie be so handsome?” Of course, this has nothing to do with the original meaning! This could be an unfortunate (yet funny) result of skipping out on professional translation and localization services from the movie studio/corporation responsible for the Chinese translation of the movie!


My Little Princess (2011)

The French-Romanian drama called “My Little Princess” in English also has an interesting Chinese title. This controversial movie, written and directed by the famous Parisian actress and photographer Eva Ionesco, was inspired by her relationship with her own mother. Her mother, the well-known artistic photographer Irina Ionesco, also created some noise when she published pictures of her young daughter in the 1970’s. Chinese movie translations were titled “The Goddamn Princess.” This title was eventually banned for obvious reasons! Although literally the title means “Her Mother’s Princess” (later changed to “Her Mama’s Princess,” in Chinese), the word for “Mama” can also be taken to mean “Goddamn.”


Movie Translations for Sinister (2012) | Title Translation Fails

The supernatural horror film titled “Sinister” also has a funny translation in Chinese. The film is about a true-crime writer who finds a box of 8mm home movies in his attic that eventually put his family in danger.  The interesting part of the translation is not the meaning of the word itself. Rather, the sound and tone of the title in Chinese are amusing. The meaning of the Chinese title is indeed the same as the English one “Sinister.”  However, the funny thing is that it also sounds just like the word “bra” in Chinese! Although the two words are spelled differently in Chinese, the pronunciation is exactly the same.



In France, They Call It ‘Happiness Therapy’


About Language Connections:

Language Connections is one of the top language service companies in the US. Over the last 30 years, we’ve focused on providing the best business translation services, interpreting services, as well as interpreter training and customized language training programs. In addition to top-tier corporate language training, we offer certified corporate interpreters and professional business translation services in 200+ languages. Our network includes linguists with backgrounds in all major industries. They’re ready to meet your needs, whether they’re for technical translation services, legal translation, government translation services, international development translation services, education translation services, life sciences translation, or something else. Reach out to us today for a free quote on our cost-efficient and timely translation services, interpreters, or other linguistic services.

Language Connections Logo

Language Connections Inc.
2001 Beacon Street, Suite 105,
Boston, MA 02135
Phone: +1-617-731-3510
Email: service@languageconnections.com


20 Funny English Sign Translations Caused by Not Using Business Translation Services

When travelling, especially in areas that are popular for English-speaking tourists, you may find lots of signs that are intended to make communication easier for English-speaking tourists. However, the quality of translations can sometimes be far from perfect. Without the use of certified business translation services, crucial mistakes can easily be overlooked. Here are some of the times when skipping proper business translation services has proven to be hilarious!


Medical Interpreting Clears Up Major (and Funny) Miscommunications

In the US, patients with Limited English proficiency have a right to receive equal healthcare.  A few legal sources protect this right, including an executive order from Bill Clinton about Title VI in 2000, as well as the findings for Lau v. Nicols in 1974.  Even with a legally-protected right, a shocking number of LEP patients are forced to go without interpreting or translation services when they’re at the hospital or doctor’s office.  (This is especially egregious considering how many great medical translation and interpretation classes are out there.)  Many times, going without a medical interpreting can be dangerous, if not life-threatening.  Having a certified medical interpreter ensures that the misunderstandings and mispronunciations (which could potentially be dangerous!) are easily cleared up.  When they’re caught early, these miscommunications aren’t just nonthreatening– they can be downright funny.  Read on for some examples.


10 International Marketing Fails due to the lack of Translation and Localization Services

Various companies have made linguistic and cultural errors when expanding their businesses into global markets. The lesson to avoid your own international marketing fails? It’s extremely important to localize your marketing materials by using professional localization and translation services from reputed language service companies!


Do You Speak Northern Californian?

You don’t have to be studying education translation services to have heard someone speaking with a Southern California accent, otherwise known as “Valley Girl.” It was first discovered in the San Fernando Valley in northwestern Los Angeles, hence, “Valley” girl. However, the speech patterns that started in Southern California, are just as prominent in Northern California as well. So what is happening to the speech of young girls in California, or, ‘Like, what’s up with that?’   Let a linguistic services company explain.


Translating for Thai Consumers: Homophones, Puns, and Naughty Words

Did you know that in Thai, the word “poo” means “crab?” Or that “porn” also means “blessing?” Did you know that the Thai language is full of puns that are integral to the country’s culture? Unexpected translations and quirks like this abound in Thai. If you’re doing business with Thai consumers, you’ll find more success if you’re open to all these quirks when translating your marketing materials!


So What Is The Meaning of Covfefe?

This past week has been an exciting one for those with an interest in uncovering the meaning behind seemingly new words. The internet has been reeling trying to decipher the true meaning of covfefe – an obscure word used in a recent tweet by President Trump. While most have decided it is meaningless, there are still creative translations and interpretations being suggested about the infamous typo – but on a grander scale, what are the implications of typos such as this one on public communication and translation?


The Little Prince and The Sheep Test

Literary translation is an art by nature – the literary translator must be able to both translate the original story into the target language, while also keeping the artistic sense of storytelling to avoid the risk of sounding too mechanical. However, along with the creativity that comes with the literary translation services, comes the risk of making errors. The Little Prince has an extremely famous example of this…


10 Obsolete English Words

How often do you come across a word you’ve never seen before? Is it possible you’ve been missing out on it all this time? Probably not, more than likely it’s a word that has become “obsolete” English word …but what does that mean? Read more to find out some English words that you don’t come across every day.


A Kiss For A Question: Learning Chinese

Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. But it is also one of the toughest languages to learn if you are not a native speaker or did not have early exposure to the language and culture. Accidents, such asking for a kiss instead of a question might occur. Regardless, the demand for Chinese translation and interpreting services continues to increase.