5 Famous Movie Quotes in Other Languages

A good catchphrase can be the most memorable part of a movie.  These little sound bites get quoted and thrown around so much, even people who’ve never seen the movie are often able to recognize them. They can even become a permanent part of the language. 

But translating them, whether for dubbing or subtitles,  can be quite tricky for a number of reasons. Catchphrases can use slang or idioms that are difficult to translate, they can depend on cultural references that may not make sense to foreign audiences, and the translations have to work within the limitations imposed by dubbing or subtitling.

So sometimes, that catchy quote that we hear in English doesn’t come out quite the same in foreign-language versions of the movie. Here are 5 examples of famous movie quotes in other languages. See how they’ve changed in translation:

“Hasta la vista, baby!”

This quote comes from the 1991 film Terminator 2, Judgement Day (as if you didn’t know.)  In the movie,  teenage John Connor instructs Arnold Schwarzeneggar’s humorless cyborg character to talk more like a human. In this case, a foul-mouthed early 90s teen:

John Connor: No, no, no, no. You gotta listen to the way people talk. You don’t say “affirmative” or some sh* like that. You say “no problemo”. And if someone comes on to you with an attitude, you say “eat me”. And if you want to shine them on, it’s “hasta la vista, baby”.
The Terminator: Hasta la vista, baby.

The Terminator then uses it when he offs the T-1000.

But that’s not what Spanish-language audiences heard. “Hasta la vista” is a common Spanish-language farewell that roughly translates to “Until I see you.” To keep the same edgy vibe, translators used “Sayonara, baby” for the Spanish translation:

And in Japanese? Apparently, he terminated the T-1000 with a deadpan “Cheerio then, love”

“Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

It seems tame now, but this line from the 1939 movie Gone with the Wind contained controversially strong language for the time. And Rhett Butler’s blunt, almost vulgar goodbye to Scarlett O’Hara didn’t carry the same edge in some of the translated versions of the movie.

Here are a few foreign-language variations:

German: Translated back into English, the German version of this line becomes, “To be honest, I’m completely indifferent.”
Russian: Meanwhile, in Russia, Rhett says, “Straightforwardly, my dear, I would not give you a damn.”
French:  French audiences heard“Franchement, ma chère, c’est le cadet de mes soucis, which translates to “Frankly, my dear, it’s the least of my worries.” Read more

Background to labelling sports foods

Background to labelling of sports foods

Back in 2014, an ad campaign by Lucozade was very eloquently entitled “Lucozade Sport vs Water.” In the video, two groups of athletes, one drinking water and one drinking Lucozade, are doing an endurance running test on a treadmill. Eventually, the “water only” athletes give up one by one, exhausted, while the Lucozade group keeps going strong. The reason is, quite simply, that Lucozade “hydrates and fuels you better than water.”

As it turned out, the Advertising Standard Authority had a lot of issues with that slogan. Although it was based on the authorised claim that “carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions enhance the absorption of water during physical exercise,” a dispute ensued between GlaxoSmithKline (the then owner of the brand) and ASA, around whether or not the wording in the ad departed too much from the authorised claim. The ASA eventually ruled that it did, and the ad was pulled off the air.

The details of the exchange between the two parties are quite technical, but they clearly illustrate one thing: in sports nutrition, claims are a big deal. Wherever there’s food marketing there are claims, and while that holds true for all types of food, it’s even more true for sports foods, considering the size of the market. According to a report from the European Commission, the EU retail market for the three categories of sports supplements, protein products, performance boosting products and sports drinks, grew by 11.2% between 2009 and 2014, reaching a total value of €3.07 billion in 2014. Read more

Paul is Dead, the End is Nigh, and Mr. Squidward is Supreme Leader: 10 Language Stories to Read This Week

Looking for some new reading material? Wondering what’s been going on in the language and translation world? We’ve collected 10 language-related stories from the past month. They’re guaranteed to make you laugh, make you cry and give you plenty of office conversation material.

So, sit down, fill up your coffee cup, and let’s dig in.

How Translation Wages Affect the Popularity of Foreign Classics in China

Earlier this month, we posted a story about how literary translators are the unsung heroes of the literary world -and how they are frequently underpaid. This story from The Sixth Tone shows why low wages are a problem – it affects quality in a big way:

“[B]oth translators and editors are forced to work for paltry wages, and under such unfair working conditions, it is difficult to improve the quality of translations. This in turn gives translations of foreign literary works a bad name among Chinese readers, perpetuating a vicious cycle.

What Language Should Algeria Speak?

Next, let’s take a look at how Algeria is currently struggling to balance the country’s four major languages: French, Standard Arabic, Berber, and Darija. It’s quite a challenge to juggle the different languages used at home, on the streets, in the schools, and in courts.

New Imaging Techniques Reveal Secrets Hidden In Ancient Parchments

New imaging techniques have allowed scholars to read the “undertext” of ancient manuscripts. Hundreds of years ago, parchment was valuable.  In an old-school example of recycling, scholars would erase words from old manuscripts so they could be used again.  Some of these manuscripts landed in St. Catherine’s Monastery in Egypt, where scientists have been able to uncover the lost writing, including long-forgotten languages like Caucasian Albanian and Christian Palestinian Aramaic. Read more

UK Translation Qualifications

Navigating the UK’s Linguistic Qualifications

Whether you’re a business looking to procure translation services for the first time, or even the tenth time, understanding the UK’s array of linguistic qualifications can seem a little daunting. How does an MA in Translation Studies differ from an MSc in Translating? Is it worth paying more for a translator with a BA in Translation Studies than for one with a Diploma in Translation? Read more

11 Foreign Phrases to Stop Using Right Now

Some English speakers love peppering their speech with foreign phrases. We think it sounds sophisticated. But here are 11 foreign words and phrases that don’t go over quite as well in their home languages. Let’s all agree to stop using them now.

Phrases to Avoid in French

Bon Appétit! 

According to the Daily Mail, [you can’t really trust this poor excuse for a paper] language learning app Babbel has identified this innocuous-sounding phrase as one of the most common gaffes made by Brits abroad: “It literally invites diners to ‘a good digestion’, suggesting that they are so hungry that they are willing to jump at any food offered.”

There is, however, some controversy about this. A 2007 New York Times article, for example, quotes a French etiquette teacher who says,  “In France, ‘Bon appétit’ is not proper.” But an article in the Guardian a year later found that most Parisian locals had no problem with “Bon Appetit.” Ironically, the few people who did think it rude were English speakers.

So, perhaps the key here is to know your audience. [Our in house French natives say there’s nothing with it]

Garçon for Waiter 

Did you know garçon actually means boy? You might think you sound suave when you address your French waiter this way. But really, you sound like a jerk. Don’t be a jerk. Use “monsieur” instead.

Sacrebleu!

If you’re visiting France, don’t expect the French to express dismay by exclaiming “Sacrebleu!” Unless, of course, you have a Tardis and you’ve time-traveled back to the 19th century.  And if you use it, expect to get some odd looks at best.

Entrée

Watch out for this one if you’re American.  While we tend to use it as a fancy word for “main dish” or “main course”, in France it means an appetizer.

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi?

Yeah, yeah, it’s the French-language chorus of a famous sexy pop song. But it’s not likely to win you any friends in France, and it almost certainly won’t win you any bedmates.  It might win you a slap across the face, though . . .   Read more

The Multilingual Response to Tropical Storm Harvey

A few weeks ago, Jonny wrote a post about translation’s role in times of crisis. And now, unfortunately, there’s another example to add to the list: Tropical Storm Harvey.

This storm has dumped unprecedented amounts of water on the US city of Houston, Texas. It’s turned freeways into rivers and low-lying residential areas into lakes. So far,  at least 38 people have died. And at least 30,000 have had to abandon their homes for shelters due to rising flood waters.

Relief and rebuilding efforts are going to take years . . .  and since Houston is such a diverse city, they’ll have to be multilingual. Here’s how translation has been and will be needed to help Houston recover from the impacts of this devastating storm. Read more

K-international.com is 20 today

K International.com is 20 years old today!

Today marks another milestone in K International’s digital journey: it’s been 20 years since we launched our very first website. Rich (our glorious leader) covered some of the history and the various designs we’ve been through a couple of years ago for our 18th, you can check out that post right here for some nostalgia. It’s been nearly 4 years now since we migrated to WordPress and I’m pleased to say we’ve gone from strength to strength since that day back in December 2013.

Read more

Spanish Around the World: The Different Types of Spanish and Where They’re Spoken  

With 405 million native speakers,  Spanish is the second-most commonly spoken language in the world.  But while all of those 405 million people might speak the same language, they don’t all speak it the same way.

So, let’s take a look at the different types of Spanish, where they’re spoken, and what that means for organizations doing business in Spanish-speaking countries.

How different are the different types of Spanish?different types of Spanish

There’s not as much variation between the various Spanish dialects as there is between dialects in other languages. Most Spanish speakers, no matter where they’re from,  can understand each other simply by speaking more slowly, listening carefully and using context clues for unfamiliar vocabulary.

That said, here are some key facts and statistics about where Spanish spoken and how it differs from place to place:

Spanish in Spain

Number of Speakers: 46.6 million
Where it’s spoken:  Spain

Spain is the motherland of the Spanish language, of course. But these days, Spanish speakers from Spain are greatly outnumbered by Spanish speakers from other places.

Latin American Spanish

Number of Speakers:  More than 418  million 
Where it’s spoken: The United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America 

90% of Spanish speakers are Latin American, though indigenous languages are also spoken throughout Mexico, Central, and South America. In the Latin American market, the largest Spanish-speaking countries are:

  • Mexico.
  • Colombia.
  • Argentina.
  • The United States.

Read more

8 Important Facts About Pidgin Languages and Creoles 

The BBC  just announced that it will now be broadcasting in Pidgin for the West and Central African markets. But wait, what’s Pidgin? Is that even a language?

In fact, pidgin languages and creole languages can be found all over the world. Most them have historically been treated as the bastard children of European languages – denied recognition and looked down upon. But just as in Game of Thrones, it would be foolish to write off pidgins and creoles because of their parentage.

With that in mind, here are 8 things you need to understand about pidgins and creoles.

Isn’t Pidgin English just English with a heavy accent?

Nope. Pidgin languages are makeshift languages that arise whenever multi lingual groups have to communicate on a regular basis without a common language. This can happen because of trade, or as a result of slavery or colonization.

What’s the difference between pidgin languages and creoles?

Pidgin languages are generally simplified and flexible, with a limited vocabulary. Nobody speaks a pidgin language as a first language. But, over time, that can change. If a pidgin language becomes widely used, its vocabulary may grow and additional grammar rules may develop. Children may begin to grow up speaking it from birth. At that point, it’s considered a creole.

And just to make things confusing, since creole languages evolve from pidgins, many languages with “pidgin” in the name have actually evolved into creoles, like Tok Pisin, one of the official languages of New Guinea. Read more

Student Translation Internship

K International’s Student Linguist Program

Here at K International, we pride ourselves on our commitment to supporting the next generation of linguists, to achieve this we set up a comprehensive student placement scheme that lasts between 3 & 6 months. The aim of this program is to give language students a competitive edge in the job market. We offer future linguists the opportunity to immerse themselves in a professional translation environment, where they can put the skills they’ve learned into practice. The placements also provide students with the opportunity to develop key industry knowledge in areas such as project management, CAT tool operation and insights into the day to day workings of a modern Language Service Provider.

In addition to these core skills, K International places great emphasis on developing the student’s personal attributes such as ethics, self-discipline and team work.

Our latest student, Valentine Madignier, has just completed the program. Valentine is a student at the Université Catholique de Lyon in France and this is her feedback on the K International placement scheme… Read more