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Original‎ Chinese Translation of “Colombiana”‎

The distributors of the action movie Colombiana, which stars Zoe Saldana as a female assassin, ran into a bit of a hurdle when they tried to get the movie approved for distribution in Hong Kong.

The problem? An unintentional double entendre in the movie’s original Mandarin title, “Hei-lan-jiao,” which means “Black Orchid Beauty.” Unfortunately, in the local Taiwanese dialect Hoklo, “Hei-lan-jiao” sounds an awful lot like “penis.” Whoops!

Taiwanese government censors were not pleased with the translation. According to the Taipei Times, the Government Information Office called the title a “violation of public morals.” In a comment to Reuters, the department further elaborated that “While film promotion and marketing needs to be creative and eye-catching, one must also consider public perceptions, and in this recent case, the title went too far.” Read more