History Main / TactfulTranslation

12th Sep '17 2:13:49 AM ShorinBJ
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* ''Literature/SpaceCadet'' by Creator/RobertAHeinlein. One of the Patrolmen is getting annoyed over the amount of time the Venusians are taking to free their rocketship from the mud. Their matriach replies "Tell your daughter (all intelligent Venusians are female, so assume the same of humans) to catch her fish and I shall catch mine". When the Patrolman replies, "All right, keep your shirt on" his companion translates this as "My daughter thanks thee for your advice."

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* ''Literature/SpaceCadet'' by Creator/RobertAHeinlein. One of Tex wants to how the Patrolmen is getting annoyed over Venusians, once they have cleared away the amount of time the Venusians are taking to free their rocketship mud from the mud. Their matriach replies pit the rocket ship is in, expect to get the ship out of the pit. Oscar translates, and their matriarch replies, "Tell your thy impatient daughter (all intelligent [all Venusians we see are female, so they assume the same of humans) humans] to catch chase her fish and I shall catch mine". chase mine." Tex replies, "No need for her to be rude about it." When the Patrolman replies, "All right, keep your shirt on" his companion translates this as "My daughter matriarch asks what he said, Oscar tells her "'She' thanks thee for your advice.the lesson."
5th Sep '17 7:40:49 PM Wyvern76
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* Done to hilarious effect in Creator/MelBrooks' ''Film/SilentMovie.'' When Marty Eggs offers a woman a lengthy proposition (which is not translated to a title card), she smacks him over the head with her purse. Marty stumbles around until Mel Funn steadies him; Mel's mouth visibly forms the phrase, "You dumb son of a bitch!" The title card, however, reads, "You bad boy."
5th Sep '17 7:29:12 PM Wyvern76
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--> '''Colonel Yu''': This Doctor respects you greatly, and you are right. It is quite a mess, this epidemic. But my superior said if your men cannot control it, then our army will be happy to come out here and help you. After seeing this place, it's so overwhelming, I'm afraid once our soldiers are here they won't want to leave.

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--> '''Colonel Yu''': [in Chinese] This Doctor respects you greatly, and you are right. It is quite a mess, this epidemic. But my superior said if your men cannot control it, then our army will be happy to come out here and help you. After seeing this place, it's so overwhelming, I'm afraid once our soldiers are here they won't want to leave.
5th Sep '17 7:23:56 PM Wyvern76
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* In ''Film/ThePaintedVeil'', the CrowningMomentOfFunny in a mostly serious movie occurs when Walter Fane (a British doctor in China), with his government-assigned translator Col. Yu, goes to a local warlord to request his cooperation in fighting a cholera epidemic. When the warlord responds with an angry tirade, Walter tacitly invokes this trope to let Col. Yu take over negotiations. The Colonel proceeds to "translate" an insult into a tactfully-worded ''threat'' that gets the result they need:
--> '''Colonel Yu''': [deadpan] [[TranslationYes He said no]].
--> '''Walter Fane''': He doesn't speak any English, does he? Tell him that's the most ridiculous suit that I've ever seen.
--> '''Colonel Yu''': This Doctor respects you greatly, and you are right. It is quite a mess, this epidemic. But my superior said if your men cannot control it, then our army will be happy to come out here and help you. After seeing this place, it's so overwhelming, I'm afraid once our soldiers are here they won't want to leave.



* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Captain Pellew in the ''[[Series/HoratioHornblower Hornblower]]'' episode "The Examination for Lieutenant" (also known as "The Fire Ships"). Upon learning that the Spanish intend to break their alliance with the British, Pellew is too [[{{Angrish}} flustered]] to formulate a reply, and simply tells Hornblower (acting as a translator/interpretor, [[CommonTongue speaking French with the Spaniard]]) to tell the Spanish officer the [[HarpoDoesSomethingFunny sort of thing Pellew would say]], leaving Hornblower to figure out an appropriate reply on the spot while Pellew grits his teeth.

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* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Captain Pellew in the ''[[Series/HoratioHornblower Hornblower]]'' episode "The Examination for Lieutenant" (also known as "The Fire Ships"). Upon learning that the Spanish intend to break their alliance with the British, Pellew is too [[{{Angrish}} flustered]] to formulate a reply, and simply tells Hornblower (acting as a translator/interpretor, translator/interpreter, [[CommonTongue speaking French with the Spaniard]]) to tell the Spanish officer the [[HarpoDoesSomethingFunny sort of thing Pellew would say]], leaving Hornblower to figure out an appropriate reply on the spot while Pellew grits his teeth.
23rd Aug '17 9:46:41 AM GrammarNavi
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* ''Creator/EphraimKishon'' once did this for a fight between one of his Hungarian relatives and a shopkeeper. He did it so well that they made peace. At the end, he thought he should try the same thing with the USA and the SovietUnion.

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* ''Creator/EphraimKishon'' once did this for a fight between one of his Hungarian relatives and a shopkeeper. He did it so well that they made peace. At the end, he thought he should try the same thing with the USA and the SovietUnion.[[UsefulNotes/SovietRussiaUkraineAndSoOn Soviet Union]].
21st Aug '17 12:51:16 PM CosmicFerret
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* One story arc of ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' has Garfield auditioning for a cat food commercial. Unfortunately, on the first take he discovers that the food is vile and pitches the bowl over his shoulder, whereupon it hits the director in the face.
-->'''Director:''' [muffled angry noises through the cat food]
-->'''Garfield:''' Rough translation, I don't get the part.
17th Aug '17 7:46:38 AM angie710
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* In the original Japanese version of ''Anime/HeatGuyJ'', Clair comments to a hired hitman named Luca that "Perverts who think they're artists are the worst," after Luca boasts about his work and calls it "art." (Why Clair used ''that'' term in particular [[FridgeLogic is never explained]].) In the English dubbed version, he simply calls Luca a fool. (Which actually makes more sense, given the context.)
12th Jun '17 5:51:34 AM WillBGood
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4th Jun '17 12:33:24 PM MsZephy7
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* In ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven2016'', Red Harvest examined a plate of food with disgust and commented that, "white men's food is only fit for dogs" in Comanche. When asked about what he said, Chisolm replied that Red Harvest wasn't hungry.
30th May '17 6:51:38 PM nombretomado
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* ''TheWestWing'' averts this regarding the deaf pollster Joey Lucas, whose translators always say exactly what she signs. Her (well, her translator's) first line involved calling Josh an "unmitigated jackass". It also lead to a few funny moments.

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* ''TheWestWing'' ''Series/TheWestWing'' averts this regarding the deaf pollster Joey Lucas, whose translators always say exactly what she signs. Her (well, her translator's) first line involved calling Josh an "unmitigated jackass". It also lead to a few funny moments.
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