movie title translations

29 More Hilarious Movie Title Translations

Translating movie titles is a tricky business, and sometimes the original title gets lost in translation. So, let’s play a game. Here are 29 more hilarious movie title translations. Can you guess the original English title? The answers are below the fold!

  1. Six Naked Pigs
  2.  If You Leave Me, I Delete You
  3.  Warm Shots
  4. Son of  Devil
  5. King Devil of Children
  6. A Supertough Kangaroo
  7. Floppy Coppers Don’t Bite
  8. Straight in the Balls
  9. Mysterious Murder in Snowy Cream
  10. Urban Neurotic
  11. Big Liar
  12. The Spy Who Behaved Very Nicely Around Me, or Spy On Secret Missionary Position
  13. American Virgin Man 
  14. Just Send Him To University Unqualified 
  15. Santa is a Pervert 
  16. Meetings and Failures in Meetings
  17. Please, Do Not Touch The Old Women
  18. A Twin Seldom Comes Alone
  19.  This Dead Person is Very Alive
  20.  Because She’s Ugly 
  21.  Jack’s Weird World
  22. The Rebel Novice Nun 
  23. Spinning Sex
  24. Trump Card Big Liar
  25.  Seabed General Mobilization
  26. New York Style Happy Therapy
  27. I Believe A Horse Is Kicking Me
  28.  The Knights of the Coconut
  29. Vaiana – The Paradise Has A Snag

Here are the answers:

  1. The Full Monty in China.  Slang is notoriously difficult to translate, and the phrase “the full monty” has no direct Chinese equivalent. So, Six Naked Pigs it is – although that seems a bit insulting.
  2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Italy.
  3. Hot Shots wasn’t so hot in the Czech Republic.
  4. Junior in China. In China, movie title translations often use the same character to represent a specific actor across different films. I’m not exactly sure what Arnold did to make the Chinese mad, but most Chinese translations of his movies use a character that means “demon” or “devil.”
  5. Kindergarten Cop in China. See above.
  6. The Pacifier in Spain.
  7. Dragnet, in Germany.
  8. Dodgeball, in Germany. They wanted to emphasise the film’s main selling point: people getting hit by dodgeballs right where it hurts.
  9. Fargo, in Cantonese. But wait – as hilarious as the translation sounds, it’s a clever way to handle the fact that most Chinese people have never heard of Fargo, North Dakota. That’s because “the last two Cantonese words are pronounced “fah go”.
  10.  Annie Hall, in Germany. Honestly, “Urban Neurotic” would make a good title for just about any Woody Allen movie, so I guess it works.
  11. Nixon, in China. Maybe it did take Nixon to go to China, as the conventional wisdom goes. But that doesn’t seem to have helped his reputation there at all.
  12. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me in Malaysia and Germany, respectively. In both regions, “The Spy Who Shagged Me” was apparently too explicit, but the German version substitutes a slightly less vulgar innuendo while the Malaysian version avoids the issue altogether.
  13.  American Pie, in China.
  14. Risky Business, in China.
  15. The title for Bad Santa in the Czech Republic sounds more like a holiday-themed adult film.
  16. Lost in Translation, in Portuguese.
  17. The Producers, in Italian.
  18. The Parent Trap, in German. File this one under “stating the obvious.”
  19. Weekend at Bernie’s, Spanish edition.
  20. Never Been Kissed, as released in the Philippines. Ouch, that’s harsh!
  21. The Nightmare Before Christmas, Spanish edition.
  22. The Sound of Music, as released in Mexico.
  23. Dirty Dancing, in Polish. As if the original title wasn’t naughty enough.
  24. No, it’s not a biography of the current US President. It’s Jim Carrey’s Liar, Liar, in Chinese.
  25. This sounds like it should be an underwater military movie. Actually, it’s Finding Nemo, in Chinese.
  26. Anger Management, in Japanese.
  27. That’s Animal House, in German. That sounds like a strange choice for a title, since nobody gets kicked by a horse in the movie. However, according to The Local, ” it’s also a phrase expressing astonishment that can be translated as something like “well, blow me down”.
  28. Monty Python and the Holy Grail, German edition.
  29. That would be Disney’s Moana, in German. According to GermanWay.com, Disney had to rename the title character to comply with German copyright laws and to avoid some rather unsavoury associations (at least for a children’s film):

“By German copyright law, no new film can have the exact same title as any earlier motion picture. There was an Italian made-for-TV movie or miniseries entitled “Moana” (2009) about the life and career of the Italian porn star Moana Pozzi (1961-1994), with Italian actress Violante Placido in the title role. The producers also wanted to avoid any confusion over the Italian actress herself.”

How well did you do? Post your score in the comments!

As you can see, there’s more than meets than eye when it comes to translating titles, slogans, and catchphrases. Whether you’re renaming a movie, a videogame, or a new product, linguistic and cultural differences must be considered carefully. As you expand your business into new markets, consider seeking expert help from international branding specialists like the team at K International. We’ll make sure your marketing has the same impact in a new language as it did in the original.  For more information, take a look at our transcreation and marketing translation services and contact us for your next project.

1 reply
  1. Nacara
    Nacara says:

    Translation of number 6 is wrong. In Spanish the title is “A supertough babysitter” as they use the word “canguro” for “babysitter. The number 21 is also wrong, that title must have been in Latin American Spanish, but in Spain the title is the literal translation of The Nightmare Before Christmas, so “Pesadilla antes de Navidad”. As for Moana, in Spain it is also called Vaiana.

    Reply

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