30 Movie Title Translations From Other Countries That Sound Like A Totally Different Story
As a Lithuanian, I often find myself baffled by the way we translate foreign movie titles. In our country, Superbad became Hard Nuts, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was transformed to The Power of Feelings, and This is the End was renamed to Christmas Cakes, Drugs, and Sex. Turns out, we're not the only […]

As a Lithuanian, I often find myself baffled by the way we translate foreign movie titles. In our country, Superbad became Hard Nuts, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was transformed to The Power of Feelings, and This is the End was renamed to Christmas Cakes, Drugs, and Sex. Turns out, we're not the only ones doing this.

As one linguist said, while the practice of translation is always a work of adaptation, it is much more so when it comes to translating movie titles. For instance, how should the Russian villain in a typical Hollywood production be presented in Moscow cinemas? And what do we do about cultural references? In addition, there is the fact that the title of a movie is supposed to summarize and condense a two-hour story. Therefore, the translator must rifle through nuances, overtones, examples of polysemy, as well as a number of other approaches.

What makes it even more difficult is that the reader has no context to understand the translated title of the film; a title should be evocative and should work with no other references than its own semantic values and connotations. The translator can't use contextual elements to supplement or clarify the meaning. And, as you will see in this list by Bored Panda, sometimes the end result can be pretty far from the original.

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