Tv blabs, movie blabs, book blabs. Lots of blab, but no flab.

Wednesday, August 24

Subtitles Can Make A Film

Subtitles are funny things. I always wonder who the people who write subtitles are. I also frequently wonder how they interpret what is being said. I understand the trimming of lines so they aren't as long to read, but some of the times I get annoyed by the parts they leave out.

Subtitles for non-English films are usually quite ok, but I've no idea whether they actually represent what the characters are saying.

Judging by this blog post about the English translation of a chines dubbing of Star Wars 3, I have doubts about whether a movie like House of Flying Daggers is actually a Monty Python-eske comedy!

If the test in these subtitles had been the actual dialogue for the film, I probably would have found the story more interesting.

Post found via Scifi Daily.

4 viewers interjected with:

Blogger Lisa Rullsenberg said...

One of my Politics tutors at 6th form told us that when younger he had been working no a Kibbutz. They were lukcy enough to see "saturday Night, Sunday morning" - the Albert Finney film of Alan Sillitoe's novel set in Nottinghamm (yes! Nottingham, my home town. When I grew up a lot of it still looked as it does in the film)

I digress.

Anyway, there is a rather notable scene when Finney's character goes home and there is something of a tirade greeting.

The subtitle:


Still makes me laugh!

24/8/05 1:18 am

Blogger Kirsten said...

That is hilarious! And to think that we just watched House of Flying Daggers because you told us it had the original language with subtitles, not just the dubbing!

(I do still prefer subtitles to dubbing on foreign language films, though)

24/8/05 10:04 pm

Blogger Casyn said...

:-) That is one of the flaws in classic kung-fu films, is the Cantonese dialogue going for much longer than the English translation.

I hope the DVD you hired had the original Mandarin, Kirsten, or I'll feel horrible for leading you astray!

24/8/05 10:33 pm

Blogger onanymous said...

O, subtitles are funny.

A lot of our local soaps and series are bi- and sometimes tri-lingual, so they are usually accompanied by English subtitles. Though they are not as bad as the 'Star War' ones (they are absolutely hilarious,btw), they can still be pretty funny sometimes. Whoever translates it usually has a serious problem with swearwords, and no matter what is said on screen, it is always translated to something like 'damn'.

Still, I don't know what I would do without my subtitled foreign films...

25/8/05 4:24 pm


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