Completely Different Title
You know, it still amazes me the influence the series has. It's now been shown in over a hundred countries and of course each country translates it to fit their own culture. For example, in Japan, I understand it's called, "Sulu, Master of Navigation."
When translating works of fiction sometimes you keep the original title in the original language
. Sometimes you try to make up your own translation or equivalent. Sometimes you just make up a title. Often the results of copyright disputes or because the title cannot be translated and keep making sense (because it's based on a pun or a specific expression in the language it was made in, for example).
Related to, but not to be confused with Market-Based Title
. That trope is when titles are changed in the same language. This trope is when titles are changed in translation. If the title is changed to make it seem like the work is related to a totally unrelated work, it's a case of Translation Matchmaking
. See also The Foreign Subtitle
and In Name Only
Examples are divided by language. Please list examples under the language being translated into
, rather than the language translated from
Remember that what you are reading could be a translation of a translation of a movie title, or even a translation of a specific interpretation of a "Blind Idiot" Translation
... so particularly perplexing titles might not actually be a mistake on someone's part, it just worked out that way.
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Anime and Manga
- The Arabic dub of Digimon referred to the show as a title that translated to "Digital Heroes", as (apparently) the translators didn't like the word "monster". Curiously Pokémon (which is short for Pocket Monsters) didn't receive a similar fate. More than likely due to "Pocket Heroes" having more than a few double meanings.
Chinese translated titles often have little to do with their English titles, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong, which likes to take extreme liberties with the text in the name of it sounding more "poetic". Here are just a few examples:
Anime and Manga
- Bleach became "Death Gods". Which is essentially the job of the protagonists of the series, so at least it's logical (moreso than the original), if overly literal.
- Naruto becomes "Fire Shadow/Hokage Ninja", which doesn't at all translate the title, but fits.
- Similiar to Naruto, One Piece became "Pirate King".
- The World God Only Knows's Hong Kong dub title: God of Gaming's Walkthrough in Pick-up.
- Medaka Box is changed to Strongest Student Council President
- Sankarea: How can a Zombie be this Moe?
- Gone with the Wind became something to the effect of "Wartime Romance".
- Les Miserables is renamed "An Unhappy World." (The Japanese title also means the same thing).
- Freaky Friday (2003) became "Hot Mom, Hot Daughter".
- Star Wars is Battle of the Planets.
- One of the Oliver Twist movies became Lost child in foggy city.
- Taken becomes 96 minutes.
- Inception becomes Realm of the Dream Thieves or Comprehensive Launch. The eponymous act in the dubbed version's dialog is called 'direct insertion'.
- Paul becomes We Hit An Alien!
- Cantonese dubs of Kamen Rider give it a title than translates back to English as Masked Superman.
- Of course, 'Kamen' is itself Japanese for 'Mask,' so it wasn't a fully English title to begin with.
- Thunderbirds became known as Thunderbird Superhuman Fleet.
- Doctor Who is "Mysterious Professor".
- Final Fantasy became "Space Warriors".
- Breath of Fire in Chinese is known as Dragon Warrior (龙战士). This has carried over to licensed Chinese versions of the Comic Book Adaptation of Breath of Fire IV as well.
- Pokémon has two: Magical Treasures (Mandarin) and Pet Elf (Cantonese).
- About to become three, with the name change to Spirit Treasures can Dream. An unusual case since it's not a translation, but a rough transcription ("Treasure can Dream" in Chinese is read as Baokemeng).
- Digimon also has two. Coincidentally, it's Digital Treasures in Mandarin, while it's Digital Tyrannosaurus in Cantonese.
- Code Lyoko became "Unreal Warriors". (The odd thing is, it's name didn't change anywhere else).
- At least in Mandarin, the Hong Kong TVB dub has it called 至Net奇兵 (Odd Soldiers on the Net?).
- DuckTales became known as "Donald Duck's Club". However, the title doesn't make sense as the series doesn't revolve around Donald (who is only seen in the pilot and a handful of other episodes), only his extended family.
Anime and Manga
- This is mostly the case with animated movies (e.g. Despicable Me, which was translated as How Gru Stole the Moon).
- Airplane! was renamed into Is There a Pilot on This Plane?
- Fame has the (arguably more fitting) title of Dream of Fame.
- Taken was changed into 96 hours. Its sequel, Taken 2 has the added subtitle Istanbul.
- Young Adult was retitled into Again and from the Start.
- As far as Mel Brooks's movies go,Silent Movie was renamed as Silence, We're Laughing!, History of the World Part I as The Funny Fide of History, Dracula: Dead and Loving It as Dracula: The Joyful Dead Guy, ...
- Parody movies are also no stranger to this:
- While Scary Movie was translated somewhat correctly, Scary Movie 2 for some reason became Scary Scary Movie.
- Meet the Spartans was translated into The Spartans are Coming.
- Vampires Suck has the title of No Bites, Please.
- Starter Wife was translated as Goodbye, Ex.
Film (Live Action)
- Jane Austen's novel Persuasion has several translations. The most well-known is titled Anne Elliot after the protagonist. Another one is called Pride and Persuasion, probably in an attemt to pair it with Pride and Prejudice.
- The Swedish movie Fucking Ĺmĺl was given a title that translates to Love Is Love.
- A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare has several variants, but Dream of St. John's Night seems to have won and is set in the minds of the Czechs as the one. St. John's Eve is perceived as the most magical summer night in folklore tradition, and the title is very poetic and just sounds amazing.
- Oscar Wilde's play The Importance of Being Earnest has quite a history of interesting titles. The word play with the meaning of adjective earnest and the hero's name doesn't work in Czech, and it was first translated as What is important. The next translation used a different word play, but Jack Worthing's name of choice was Philip. 'To have philip' is a Czech idiom that means 'to be clever', and the play is known How important is to have Philip. In 2012, Pavel Dominik wrote a fresh translation commissioned by one theatre. However, the copy rights holders of the previous translation insisted that the same title must not be used, ignoring the fact that there is no other first name that would work so well. The play's title is rather bland How important is to have him, but the play itself still uses the name Philip.
- Spirited Away is called "Chihiro og Heksene" (Chihiro and The Witches).
- The original Swedish title of Simona Ahrnstedt's debut novel, Överenskommelser, can be translated into "Agreements" or "Understandings". But the Danish title, "Aegtepagten", can be translated as "The marriage pact". Which is rather close to being a literal translation, actually.
- Tangled was changed to "To pĺ Flugt: Et Hĺrrejsende Eventyr" (Two on the Run: A Hair-Rising Fairy Tale/Adventure). The subtitle is probably a call-back to the original title.
- Winnie the Pooh is called "Peter Plys".
- When early Bill Murray movies were released in Denmark, the title used to often have the word "Rřv", meaning "ass" in it. "Caddyshack" became "Rřven Fuld af Penge", which means, translated to nearest English equivalent, "An Assload of Cash". "Stripes" was "Rřven af Fjerde Division", "The Ass of Fourth Platoon" and Meatballs was "Med Rřven i Vandskorpen", "With the Ass in the Edge of the Water", which is a danish idiom meaning something like "In a tricky situation".
- Airplane! is called Is er een piloot in het vliegtuig? ("Is there a pilot on this plane?") in Belgium.
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? became known as Weekend Miljonairs ('Weekend Millionaires').
- Note that this may well have been done Just for Pun, as Weekend Miljonairs sounds exactly like Wie kent miljonairs ('Who knows millionaires?')
- Some TV series (in the 1970s and 1980s) were named after their main characters, regardless of the original titles
- SBS6 which caters to housewives, mostly, has a lot of British magazine programmes, like Home in the Country etc. with only the voiceovers dubbed into Dutch. The names change as well into things like "Huizenjacht" (Househunting). They do this with zoo programmes, security programmes (Like Airport or Trainstations) as well, which'd expand this list unnecessarily.
Anime and Manga
- Himitsu Sentai Goranger became known as Star Rangers.
- A number of Asian dramas also do. The most recent examples are 49 Days (which became Pure Love) and Scent of a Woman (which became Helena's Promise, alluding to the name that the Filipino dub used for the protagonist, Yeon Jae).
- Most of the time, though, Philippine TV networks either use the literal English translation of the original title or the one that is already prepared by the production company in the event of international distribution. Example for the latter: Heartstrings was the international title for the drama that was shown as Neon Naege Banhaesseo (You've Fallen for Me) in South Korea. The Filipino dub kept the international title.
Anime and Manga
- All Dogs Go to Heaven got the rather plain title Kaikenkarvainen Charlie, which could loosely be translated along the lines of "Charlie-of-All-Trades" (though it's also a slight pun on "karvainen" being the Finnish word for "hairy").
- Tangled became the rather non-sensical Kaksin karkuteillä - hiuksia nostattava seikkailu (On the Run by the Two of Us - A Hair-raising Adventure).
- Recess: School's Out became Tehtävä – Pelastakaa kesäloma (Mission - Save the Summer Holidays), making it one of the few dubs to not use the title of the show in the movie's name at all.
- Home on the Range was called Lehmäjengi (lit. "Cow Gang").
- In Finland Jaws was called Tappajahai - "Killer Shark".
- When Airplane! was released in Finland, its Finnish title was Hei, me lennetään, which translates to Hey, We're Flying!. Naturally, Airplane II: The Sequel was then called Hey, We're Flying Again!. This led to a flurry of comedies, none which had anything to with Airplane!, being given a Finnish title that begins with "Hey, We're...", possibly in the hope that the viewers would've thought they were sequels to Airplane! or perhaps a series akin to the British Carry On series. Here are some examples:
- The Finnish title for the Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night was the rather idiotic Yeah! Yeah! Tässä tulemme! (translates as Yeah! Yeah! Here We Come!)
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail became Monty Pythonin hullu maailma (ie. Monty Python's Mad World)
- The Fifth Element was called Puuttuva tekijä (The Missing Factor)
- At least it wasn't Boori.
- American Graffiti got saddled with Svengijengi -62 (Swing Gang '62)
- The Ice Pirates got titled Jäävuoren ryöstäjät (Raiders of the Iceberg)
- Once Upon a Time in the West became Huuliharppukostaja (The Harmonica Avenger)
- Blazing Saddles was called Villiä hurjempi länsi (The Rougher Than Wild West)
- Some Like It Hot was called Piukat paikat (Tight Places)
- One of the most outrageous examples would be The Shawshank Redemption, which was changed to downright spoilerrific Rita Hayworth - avain pakoon (Rita Hayworth - The Key to Escape)
- Clear and Present Danger became Isku Kolumbiaan (Strike on Columbia)
- From Russia with Love became the more literal Secret Agent 007 in Istambul.
- The Car became rather descriptive Kalmankaara (Deathmobile).
- Underworld became Varjojen valtakunta (Kingdom of Shadows). The titles of the sequels were left untranslated.
- The Magnificent Seven became 7 rohkeata miestä (7 Brave Men).
- Raising Arizona was literally titled Arizona Baby in Finland (yes, they changed the English title into a different English title). Similarly, Everything Must Go was renamed Neighbour for Sale.
- Animal House was named Delta-jengi.
- The third book in the The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, became Kaspianin matka maailman ääriin ("Caspian's Trek to the End of the World") in Finland.
- The Discworld book Equal Rites was published in Finnish as Johan riitti! - roughly "That's enough!" or "I've had enough!", to make a different pun on the word "rite" (riitti in Finnish).
- The first Twilight book was named Houkutus ("Temptation") in Finnish and the third book, Eclipse, got the name Epäilys ("Doubt"). The titles of the second and fourth books were translated literally.
- Pet Sematary became Uinu, uinu lemmikkini (Sleep, Sleep My Pet).
- The original Swedish title of Simona Ahrnstedt's debut novel, Överenskommelser, can be translated into "Agreements" or "Understandings". But the Finnish title, "Unelmia ja yllätyksiä", can be translated as "Dreams and surprises".
- Desperate Housewives became Täydelliset naiset, (The Perfect Women).
- The Big Bang Theory is called Rillit huurussa (literally "Spectacles Fogged Up") in Finnish.
- A strange case of this happened with the show Hells Kitchen. When the English-language version started airing in Finland, it went by the name of Kauhukeittiö (literally "Horror Kitchen"). Later, when a Finnish version of the show was made, it aired under the name... Hell's Kitchen Suomi (Suomi meaning Finland). So they used the English title for the Finnish version, and the Finnish title for the English version.
- Kitchen Nightmares is called Kurjat kuppilat (which could be best translated as "The Wretched Diners").
- How I Met Your Mother was originally translated as Ensisilmäyksellä (literally "At First Glance", the Finnish version of the English phrase "Love at first sight"), though uses the English title when it airs on FOX.
Greek translations, especially of older movies or TV shows very often are completely irrelevant, due to either the original title being untranslatable or just unmarketable, or just from plain ignorance of the translator.
Anime and Manga
- Moonlighting became "Αυτός, Αυτή και τα Μυστήρια" (He, she and the mysteries).
- The Shawshank Redemption became "Τελευταία έξοδος: Ρίτα Χέιγουόρθ" (Last Exit: Rita Heyworth).
- Blazing Saddles became "Μπότες, Σπιρούνια και Καυτές Σέλες" (Boots, Spurs and Burning Hot Saddles)
- The Ring became "Σήμα κινδύνου" (Danger Signal).
- My Stepmother Is An Alien became "Η Σεξογήινη", a pun combining sex and alien, roughly translated as "(she-) Sexalien"
- The Blues Brothers became "Οι ατσίδες με τα μπλε" (the smart guyes in blue - note that blue is *only* a color, it doesn't resemble the "blues")
- Final Destination became "Βλέπω το θάνατό σου" (I See Your Death)
- Police Academy became "Η μεγάλη των μπάτσων σχολή" (roughly "The big school of cops"). There is a pun here that relates this to "Η μεγάλη του Γένους σχολή" (The Great School of the Nation), the oldest Greek school in Istanbul - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phanar_Greek_Orthodox_College.
- Short Circuit became "Και τα ρομπότ τρελάθηκαν" (Robots have also gone crazy), which is a reference to Gods Must Be Grazy (which was properly translated as "Και οι Θεοί τρελάθηκαν" - Gods have also gone crazy).
- Top Secret! became "Άκρως κουφό κι απόρρητο" (literally "Extremely deaf and secret", "deaf" was a slang word in the '80s to mean something like "far out"). This really related to the phrase "Άκρως απόρρητο" which is the direct translation of "Top Secret" (literally "Extremely Don't-Say-it"), so it's not that far off.
- Airplane! became "Μια τρελλή κι απίθανη πτήση" (One crazy and wonderful flight).
- The Hudsucker Proxy became "Ο κύριος Χούλα Χουπ" (Mister Hoola-Hoop).
- Bruce Almighty became "Θεός για μια εβδομάδα" (God for a Week).
- Evan Almighty became "Νώε για μια εβδομάδα" (Noah for a Week).
- Ocean's 11 (and 12, 13 etc) became "Η συμμορία των 11" (The Gang of 11 - people that is, not 11 o'clock).
- Hot Shots! became "Στραβοί πιλότοι σε F-16" (blind/crooked pilots in F-16 - even though there wasn't any F-16 in the movie, it's a well known fighter plane in Greece, and the bulk of Greece's Air Force)
- Knight Rider became "Ο Ιππότης της Ασφάλτου" (Asphalt's Knight). Not so far off, really.
- An industry running gag is translating thriller (erotic or otherwise) titles as a "Deadly X" or "Fatal X" with the X being vaguely related to the movie subject / original title (For example, Terminator got translated to something along the lines of "Deadly Mission" or "Deadly Quest")
- Parodies and spoof comedies are often translated as "The X died laughing". The practice started when the "Naked Gun" series were translated as "The Gun died laughing", spread to other Leslie Nielsen movies and turned into an epidemic aftewards.
- Then when Scary Movie came out, it was named "Dying To Scream" (to make sure you know it's a Scream parody). This caused a whole bunch of comedy films to be named "Dying to X", including the Chris Rock comedy Down To Earth, which was named "Dying to Laugh".
- Israel is one of the numerous countries where Alien is titled "The Eighth Passenger". Aliens is titled "Return of the Eighth Passenger".
- The Hangover was translated to Hebrew as "On your way to the wedding, stop at Vegas" with the sequal naturally replacing Vegas with Bangkok.
- In a somewhat older example, the 1971 film McCabe & Mrs. Miller was called in Israel "The Card Player and the Prostitute". Subtle, huh?
- Die Hard is "Met Likhyot".. Can be translated as "Dying to Live" or "Dead Desperate to Live"
- Independence Day is "The Third Day". Probably because Israel's own Independence Day is a very important holiday.
- Probably the most egregious example is the 2002 film Riders (also known as Steal) which was released under the name "High Risk" - not the Hebrew equivalent of the words "High Risk", but the transliteration of the English words "High Risk".
- The Canadian series The Collector was first titled The Soul Collector. It was later changed into The Collector, a technically correct translation incorrect in context, since Hebrew uses a different word for the collection of debts.
- Oddly, when Mad Men was first broadcast in Israel, it was titled "The Men of Madison Avenue" (a sort of play on The Bridges of Madison County - the Hebrew words for "men" and "bridges" only differ by one character), since the original Double Meaning Title would be meaningless in Hebrew. However, after the first season the series was renamed and simply transliterated as "Mad Men".
- When Moonlight was about to air, despite its very simple and straightforward title, a contest was held to select a local title. "Dark Hours" won.
- Loom is titled The Weavers. There is a (voiceless) Hebrew version.
Film (Live Action)
- Some classic examples of Hollywood films dubbed in Hindi for Indian markets- the Hindi titles have been translated here:
Anime and Manga
- Sailor Moon: Varázslatos álmok ("Magical Dreams", although it was translated from the French dub rather than the original Japanese)
- Moero! Top Striker, most likely again based on the French version, L'École des champions (The School of Champions), was titled A pálya ördögei (Devils of the [football] field)
- The Emperor's New Groove became Eszeveszett birodalom ("Mindless Empire"), probably as a pun on Elveszett birodalom (The Lost Empire).
- Spirited Away, in Hungarian, is "Chihiro szellemországban" (Chihiro in Spirit-Land), with a hint to Alice in Wonderland in the title.
- Despicable Me became... Gru.
- The Pagemaster to Reszkessetek, nem hagyom magam! (roughly "Tremble, I'm not giving up!", after Home Alone's Hungarian title)
- Alien's title was changed to ''Nyolcadik utas a Halál ("The eighth passenger is Death").
- The sequels took it up with Theme Naming: A bolygó neve: Halál ("The Planet's Name: Death", Aliens), Végső megoldás: Halál ("Final Solution: Death", Alienł) and Feltámad a Halál ("Resurrection of Death", Alien: Resurrection).
- Brokeback Mountain became Túl a barátságon (Beyond Friendship).
- The Shawshank Redemption became A remény rabjai (The Prisoners of Hope).
- The Hurt Locker became A bombák földjén (In the Land of the Bombs).
- An Education became Egy lányról (About a Girl).
- The Blind Side became A szív bajnokai (Champions of the Heart).
- True Grit became A félszemű (The One-Eyed).
- Many comedies have completely different titles in Hungarian that contain a pun, even if the original title didn't have one.
- Inception became Eredet (Origin).
- Event Horizon was given the straightforward title of Halálhajó (Death Ship). Somewhat justified since the direct translation of "event horizon" would've sounded completely bland and uninteresting to the target audience.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail was known in Hungary as Gyalog galopp (ie. Galloping on foot). To the translator's defense, it is a lot shorter and they do gallop on foot in the movie.
- Home Alone to Reszkessetek, betörők! ("Tremble, Burglars!")
- Blade Runner to Szárnyas fejvadász ("Winged Bounty Hunter")
- Early Edition to the pretty fancy sounding A kiválasztott — Az amerikai látnok ("The Chosen One — The American Visionary")
- Foul Play to Óvakodj a Törpétől ("Beware the Dwarf"), the famous last words of Scotty.
- The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms to Pánik New Yorkban ("Panic in New York")
- Twenty Million Miles To Earth to the creativity-lacking Űrszörny ("Space Monster")
- Citizen Kane is Aranypolgár ("The Golden Citizen")
- Several of Ahnold's movies went through partial title changes. The Terminator became A halálosztó ("The Deathbringer"), and Total Recall (1990) was translated as Az emlékmás (roughly "The Memory Double"), a wordplay on hasonmás (meaning "double" or "lookalike").
- Pain and Gain was advertised as Izomagyak ("Muscle-brains"), but the cinematic release reinstalled the English title.
- The Man, a 2005 action-comedy starring Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy became the infamous "Ki a faszagyerek?" (roughly "Who's the badass motherfucker?").
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie to 3000 röhejes filmodüsszeia ("3000 Laughable Film-Odysseys")
- In Bruges became Erőszakik (a pun on "erőszak" - "violence" and "szakik" - "experts"). This title is especially hated among the movie's fans, because it sounds like a title for a light comedy, and doesn't fit the film's Darker and Edgier tone at all.
- Watership Down to Gesztenye, a honalapító, or "Hazel, the Founding Father".
- To Kill a Mockingbird to Ne bántsátok a feketerigót ("Don't Hurt the Blackbird"), probably because the mockingbird as a species is not really known in Hungary.
- Being Human has the succinct title of A vámpír, a vérfarkas és a szellem (A Vampire, a Werewolf and a Ghost).
- MythBusters was presented as Állítólag... ("Allegedly...")
- Walking with Dinosaurs and its sequels got the folowing treatment:
- WWD itself: Dinoszauruszok, a Föld urai ("Dinosaurs, Rulers of Earth", regular TV dub and book); Dinoszauruszok között ("Among Dinosaurs", Discovery Channel version); Séta a dinoszauruszokkal ("A Walk with Dinosaurs", The Arena Spectacular and various other places); A dinoszauruszok visszatérnek ("The Dinosaurs Return", only used in The Ballad of Big Al special). In a surprising event of consistency, the 3D movie was also given the title Dinoszauruszok, a Föld urai, after the show's original dub.
- Walking with Beasts: Szörnyek a Földön ("Monsters on Earth", VHS dub and book); Azok a csodálatos őslények/ősállatok ("Those Wonderful Prehistoric Creatures/Animals", regular TV dub/TV promos); Ősállatok között ("Among Prehistoric Animals", Discovery cut)
- Walking with Monsters: Szörnyek bolygója ("Planet of Monsters", regular TV dub)
- Married... with Children: Egy rém rendes család, same as the German translation, "A terribly nice family".
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Kaliforniába jöttem ("I Came to California")
- Doctor Who's title was changed to Ki vagy, Doki? (literally, "Who are you, Doc?")
- Every country's version of Wipeout (2008) to Lehetetlen küldetés ("Impossible Mission").
- Breaking Bad's title became Totál szívás, literally "Total Suckage", where the "szívás" part could be a reference to drug usage.
- The Big Bang Theory to Agymenők (a pun on "agy" - "brain" and "nagymenők" - "cool guys").
- TaleSpin became the much more straightforward Balu kapitány kalandjai ("The Adventures of Captain Baloo").
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers got the rather cute (and alliterative) title Csipet Csapat ("Tiny Team" or "Morsel Team").
- The Emperor's New School is simply known as Királysuli ("King School", or alternatively, "Cool School").
- Regular Show became Parkműsor ("Park show").
- Cubix was called Saiko Robotto Konbokku, and was given a Dub Name Change (for example, the eponymous character was renamed Konbokku (or "Conbock"), and Connor was renamed Ken Ichirō).
- Both Judge Dredd's films are named as such in Japan, the remake was just named Dredd anywhere.
- Tangled became Rapunzel of the Top of the Tower (a rough translation of Tou no Ue no Rapunzel).
- The Hunchbackof Notre Dame became Notre Dame no Kane (The Bells of Notre Dame) because the Japanese considered the word "hunchback" as an insult.
- In Japan, Brave is known as Merida and the Scary Forest.
- Wreck-It Ralph was retitled Sugar Rush, which is named after the candy-themed racing game that Ralph goes to. It makes sense, considering that most of the movie takes place inside that particular game, and that the eponymous credits song is sung by AKB48, a wildly popular Japanese idol band.
- Up is called Kâru jiisan no sora-tobu ie ("Old Man Carl's Flying House") in Japan.
- The Lorax became Uncle Lorax's Magic Seed
- Frozen became Ana to Yuki no Joô (Ana and the Snow Queen).
- The Land Before Time is known as Littlefoot in Japan.
- The Japanese title for The Living Daylights translated as something like Death Has the Scent of Roses.
- Meet The Spartans became the much more imaginative Almost 300.
- Following the same pattern, Vampires Suck became Almost Twilight.
- Batman & Robin became known as Batman and Robin: The Return of Mr. Freeze.
- This trope was once the standard for films that were named after characters, since some translators felt that a long foreign name in katakana wouldn't memorable enough. Forrest Gump became Ichigo, Ichie ("a once-in-a-lifetime meeting"), for example, and Bonnie and Clyde became Oretachi ni Asu wa nai ("for us there is no tomorrow"). Since they were designed to be poetic and descriptive, some people on both sides of the Pacific actually like these titles better.
- Army of Darkness becomes... CAPTAIN! SUPERMARKET!
- When released in Japan, The Beatles' movie A Hard Day's Night, as well as the album and song with that name, were renamed Beatles ga Yattekuru Yaa! Yaa! Yaa! ("The Beatles are Coming, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!") When the 2009 remastered versions of the band's albums came out, the album and song were changed back to "A Hard Day's Night."
- Translator's notes from a recent chapter of Mahou Sensei Negima! indicate that Japan retitled 1957 movie The Spirit of St. Louis as Oh Wings! That is the Light of Paris.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World became Scott Pilgrim tai Jaaku na Moto Kare Gundan ("Scott Pilgrim vs. The Army of Evil Ex-Boyfriends").
- A Knight's Tale became Rock You!
- Season of the Witch became Devil Quest.
- King of California became California Treasure.
- The Running Man became Battle Runner.
- The Wraith became Jyokei Rider (Executer Rider), a word play from Kamen Rider
- Sucker Punch became Angel Wars.
- The Book of Eli became The Walker
- Dawn of the Dead became Zombie: Chikyū SOS – Shisha ga Yomigaetta Hi (Earth SOS – The Day when the Dead Revived).
- As Good As It Gets -> The Romance Novel writer
- The Shawshank Redemption -> Shawshank's Sky
- Apocalypse Now -> Apocalypse in Hell
- Benny & Joon -> My little Sister's Lover
- Stranger Than Fiction -> I was the Main Character
- The Pianist -> Pianist on the Battlefield
- Dance of the Vampires -> Vampire
- Sense and Sensibility -> Always on bright days
- Out of Africa -> The End of Love and Sorrow
- The Parent Trap -> Family Game
- This Means War became Black & White.
- Being There became Chance.
- G.I. Joe: Retaliation became G.I. Joe: Back 2 Revenge
- The Good Son became "Deadly Play".
- Another Gay Movie became Onegai! Cherry Boys, with the title is a word play of Onegai Teacher
- Gravity became Zero Gravity.
- That's My Boy became Ore no Musuko (My Son). The Japanese title is notable because the word for Son (Musuko) is written in katakana (ムスコ) rather than kanji (息子) implying the protagonist father is not very smart.note
- The Fast and the Furious became Wild Speed
- Fast 2 Furious = Wild Speed X2
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift = Wild Speed X3: Tokyo Drift
- Fast & Furious = Wild Speed Max
- Fast Five = Wild Speed Mega Max
- Fast & Furious 6 = Wild Speed: Euro Mission
- 12 Years a Slave became Soredemo Yo wa Akeru (roughly translated as "And Yet, The Night is Dawning")
- The Dictator became Dictator: Mimotofumei de New York (Dictator: Incognito in New York)
- Freddy Got Fingered became Freddy no Waisetsu na Kankei (Freddy's Obscene Relation)
- The Basic Instinct films became Koori no Bishou (Freezing Smile)
- Once Upon a Time in the West is unironically called Western.
- Il Giorno della Civetta, another Claudia Cardinale movie, from the same year even, also got the horribly generic title Mafia.
- The Japanese titles of the Disney Fairies chapter books are usually pretty close to the original English, but sometimes they're completely different. For example, "The Trouble with Tink" is "Tinker Bell's Secret," "Iridessa, Lost at Sea" is "Iridessa and Tink's Big Adventure," "Tink, North of Neverland," is "Tinker Bell and Terence," and "Dulcie's Taste of Magic" is "Dulcie's Happiness Cake."
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince became Harry Potter and the Mysterious Prince. Fushigi (mysterious) is a common word for a Japanese title.
- To Kill a Mockingbird became Alabama Monogatari (Alabama Story).
- While the novel A Song of Ice and Fire has it's title translated literally to Japanese (Koori to Honoo no Uta), the sequels had different names there:
- A Game of Thrones became Nana-oukoku no Gyokuza (The Throne of the Seven Kingdoms)
- A Clash of Kings became Ourou-tachi no Senki (The Battle Flag of the Wolf Kings)
- A Storm of Swords became Kenran no Daichi (The Land of the Stormy Swords)
- A Feast for Crows became Ran'u no Kyouen (The Feast of the Rebel Crows)
- A Dance with Dragons became Ryuu-tono no Butou (The Dance of the Dragon Lords)
- The Hedge Knight became Hourou no Kishi (The Wandering Knight)
- His Dark Materials is titled Lyra's Adventure over in Japan.
- The Discworld series became Amazing World.
- Both the animated movie and the first novel The Colour of Magic is named Amazing World: Yuushi no Kikan (Amazing World: The Return of the Hero), possibly a word play from the last book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, named The Return of the King.
- The Hobbit became Hobbit no Bouken (A Hobbit's Adventure) for the original novel, but the films are named as Hobbit instead.
- While the first movie's subtitle was translated literally from English, the last two films has different titles in Japan:
- The Desolation of Smaug became Ryuu ni Ubawareta Oukoku (Roughly translated as "The Stoled Dragon Kingdom")
- There and Back Again became Yukite Kaerishi Monogatari (A Returning and Going Back Story)
- Where's Wally? became Wally o Sagase! (Find Wally!)
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?? was called Quiz $ Millionaire, though the original title is also used in its logo.
- George Takei once joked that the Japanese title of Star Trek was "Sulu, Master of Navigation", which isn't true but is kinda funny.
- My So-Called Life became Angela 15-sai no Hibi (15-Year-Old Angela's Days).
- Game of Thrones (the TV adaptation of the aforementionated novels) keeps the original name in English in the Japanese version, but for some odd reason they gave each season a subtitle when the seasons in the original English version are nameless instead:
- The first season is Nana-oukoku Senki (Chronicles of the Seven Kingdoms)
- The second one is Oukoku no Gekitou (Clash of the Kingdoms)
- The third and fourth seasons are Senran no Arashi: Senben (third)/Kouhen (fourth) (Storm of War: Prequel/Sequel)
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Japan was (roughly) "Buffy 〜 Loving Cross" to emphasize the romantic elements.
- The Italian/Spaniard TV film Imperium: Nerone becomes Nero: The Dark Emperor. Yes, the Japanese title is in English.
- Bad Grandpa became Jackass: Kuso-Jijii America Oudan Chin-Douchuu (Roughly translated as Jackass: Our Journey Across America with a Fuckin' Geezer. Yeah, that's the name they gave in Japan to this movie).
- In the 60's and 70's it was common practice in Japan to rename songs and albums, presumably because the (mostly English) original titles were considered to hard to pronounce for the average Japanese. Some examples:
- Mary Hopkins, "Those Were the Days" → "Kanashiki Tenshi" (Angel of Sadness)
- The Rolling Stones, "Fool to Cry" → "Orokamono no Namida" (The tears of the foolish one)
- The Beatles, "I Should Have Known Better" → "Koisuru Futari" (Couple in Love)
- Bon Jovi, Slippery when Wet → Wild in the Streets
- The Transformers was released in Japan under two titles. The first two seasons were known as Fight! Super Robot Life-form Transformer, while the third became Transformers 2010.
- It was planned for Perfect Dark to have its name changed to Red and Black, but they didn't go with it and kept its original name.
- The Megadrive Action-RPG game Crusader of Centy is known under the name Shin Sōseiki Ragnacënty in Japan.
- While it still carried its original license, the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the NES became Geki Kame Ninja Den (Fierce Turtle Ninja Legend). This was before the Japanese dubs of the cartoons and films were made, since sequels kept the original American moniker in Japan.
- PowerSlave became Seireki 1999: Pharaoh no Fukkatsu ("Year 1999 A.D.: Return of the Pharaoh").
- The original Swedish title of Simona Ahrnstedt's debut novel, Överenskommelser, can be translated into "Agreements" or "Understandings". But the Latvian title, "Nepaklaviga", can be translated as "The non-economic".
Anime and Manga
- The Malay adaptation for the One Piece manga is called Budak Getah, which literally means "Rubber Kid".
- The Rurouni Kenshin manga has it's title changed to Satria Pedang, which means "Sword Warrior".
- The Malaysian version of The Kindaichi Case Files is Penyiasat Remaja, which translates to "Teen Investigator".
- The Dragon Ball manga was released in Malaysia as Mutiara Naga, which in Malay means "Dragon Pearl".
- When released in Malaysia, the Dragon Quest manga (Dai no Daibouken to be specific) was called Misteri Naga, which could translate to "Mystery Of The Dragon" in Malay.
- The Crayon Shin-chan manga is known as Dik Cerdas. However, the dubs of the anime and films keep the name Crayon Shin-chan.
- For some reason, in the theatre subtitles, Finding Nemo was translated as Nemo, Si Comel, which translates to Nemo, the Cute.
- In Malaysia, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger was referred to as Leo Rangers by the network. Despite this, the characters refer to theselves as the Gaoranger within the show.
- Spirited Away was called Chihiro og heksene(Chihiro and the witches).
- The Emperor's New Groove was, oddly enough, initially titled Et kongerike for en lama (A Kingdom for a Llama). Later releases of the movie had it retitled Keiserens nye stil, a direct translation of the original title, with the original Richard III-derived title demoted to a small-font subtitle on the cover.
- Up is called Se Opp ("Look up"/"Watch out").
- Winnie the Pooh is "Ole Brumme"
- Airplane! is called Hjelp, vi flyr! (Help, we're flying!'')
- And This Is Spinal Tap is called Hjelp vi er i popbransjen (Help we're in the Pop Industry)
- Jaws is called Haisommer (Shark Summer'').
- The Prey was titled Řksemannen (The Axeman) when it was released on video.
- The original Swedish title of Simona Ahrnstedt's debut novel, Överenskommelser, can be translated into "Agreements" or "Understandings". But the Norwegian title, Frihet og fangenskap, can be translated as "Freedom and captivity".
- While Family Guy isn't dubbed, its title on the program list usually gets changed into Familien Griffin(The Griffin family).
- King of the Hill was, amusingly enough, changed to The King of Grills ("Grillkongen"). "I sell propane and propane accessories."
- Despicable Me became Jak Ukraść Księżyc (How to Steal the Moon). The sequel was named Minionki Rozrabiają (Minions Go Wild), in reference to Gremlins, which had the title Gremlins Go Wild in Poland.
- Epic was renamed as Tajemnica Zielonego Królestwa (translable to Mystery of the Green Kingdom). Understandable as the word epic, if translated literally into Polish as epicki, would mean simply "of the epic poetry genre" (unless counting the slang meaning that is identical to English meaning, but would be outstanding in the kids' movie). And the Polish name describes much more.
- A Bug's Life became Dawno temu w trawie (Long ago in the grass).
- Frozen became Kraina lodu (Land of ice).
- Die Hard's title was changed to Szklana Pułapka (literally: The Glass Trap), for its Polish release. Strangely enough, sequels retain this increasingly inappropriate title.
- Good thing the fourth one is called Die Hard 4.0 in Europe. Or else it would be Live Free of Glass Trap in Polish.
- Spy Hard was released in Poland as "Szklanką po łapkach". This is a borderline Word Salad Title, as it roughly means "To hit somebody's hands with a (drinking) glass", and the title was chosen only because it sounds similar to "Szklana pułapka".
- The official translation of Dirty Dancing's title translates back into Whirling Sex.
- Airplane! is called Czy leci z nami pilot? (which roughly means Is there a pilot with us?) in Polish while its sequel is called Spokojnie, to tylko awaria (Don't worry, it's just a malfunction).
- Poland in general used to be really silly in this kind of thing. If you thought that Elektroniczny Morderca (Electronic Murderer) was silly enough, you haven't seen the proposed title of the polish RoboCop (1987) release: Policyjny Gliniarz (roughly Police Cop). It ended up being released as Superglina (Super cop) though.
- The 'Terminator' case is justified by the fact that in the 80's the Polish word 'terminator' was still used as a synonym to 'the apprentice', especially by older people.
- Alien and Aliens had their titles extended because singular and plural forms of the word 'alien' in Polish are identical. So the movies become known as, respectively, Obcy: Ósmy pasażer Nostromo (Alien: Eighth Passenger of Nostromo) and Obcy: Decydujące starcie (Aliens: The Decisive Conflict).
- The Hurt Locker became W pułapce wojny, i.e. In the Trap of War.
- Analyze This and Analyze That were released as Depresja gangstera (A gangster's depression) i Nawrót depresji gangstera (Relapse of the gangster's depression).
- Austin Powers: The International Man of Mystery became Austin Powers: Agent specjalnej troski (Austin Powers: Agent of the special care). The sequel was called Austin Powers: Szpieg, który nie umiera nigdy (Austin Powers: A spy who never dies).
- Blade Runner was released as Łowca androidów (The Android Hunter) but the SF fans usually use its original title.
- One Night at McCoy's is known as Czego pragną kobiety (What do women want).
- Girl, Interrupted was translated to Przerwana lekcja muzyki (An Interrupted Music Lesson).
- Hey Dude was translated simply as Rancho while it was shown in Poland.
- And Ship To Shore turned into Wyspa Przygód (lit. Island Of Adventures).
- Who Wants to be a Millionaire is called simply Millionaires.
- Since Scrubs have no additional meaning in Polish, series was given subtitle "Hoży doktorzy"- "hoży" is somewhat old-fashioned word for "cheerful" but also reads the same way as "chorzy"-"sick".
- Rugrats became Pełzaki. It can be translated to Crawlers, which can be related to original title.
- Fairly OddParents became Przygody Timmy'ego (Timmy's Adventures) when premiered on Disney Channel Polska. When Nickelodeon Polska was lanuched, it moved here, was renamed Wróżkowie Chrzestni, which means the same as the original title, and got a new dub.
- Back at the Barnyard became Zagroda według Otisa (The Croft According to Otis).
- Tuff Puppy became Turbo Dudley - psi agent (Turbo Dudley - dog agent).
- Powerpuff Girls became Atomówki (Atomic Girls).
- Fish Hooks became Akwalans.
Given Brazil (and Portugal as well at times) has the tendency of doing this to half their titles, we'll try to single out the most egregious examples.
Anime and Manga
- Dragon Quest: Dai no Daibouken ("Dragon Quest: Dai's Great Adventure") became Fly, o Pequeno Guerreiro ("Fly, the Little Warrior"). Some theorize it was to avoid conflict with Dragon Ball.
- As in many contries, Saint Seiya became Os Cavaleiros do Zodíaco ("The Knights of the Zodiac").
- Fuuma no Kojiro ("Kojiro of the Fuuma"), from the same creator of Saint Seiya, became Os Guardiőes do Universo ("The Guardians of the Universe"). The term was also used in the very first Brazilian opening song of Saint Seiya; take that as you will.
- Yoroiden Samurai Troopers ("Legendary Armor Samurai Troppers") mixed the original title with the American title (Ronin Warriors), becoming Samurai Warriors. Not to be confused with that game series.
- Urusei Yatsura ("Those Obnoxious Aliens") became the painfully generic A Turma do Barulho ("The Noise Gang"; a generic term used to an upbeat group [of, usually, children]).
- Gankutsuou ("The King of the Cave") became just Montecristo. The more complete "O Conde de Montecristo" ("The Count of Montecristo") is used in-show.
- As in the rest of Latin America, Captain Tsubasa became Super Campeőes ("Super Champions").
- Oliver & Benji in Portugal. However, the season Captain Tsubasa J, which is part remake, part adaptation of then-new material, is titled Super Campeőes, possibly because it was the Spanish dub that was aired, with Portuguese subtitles.
- The still-unaired Inazuma Eleven anime will have its name changed to "Super 11". There's just something between the word "Super" and soccer.
- Original name kept in Portugal.
- Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi ("Sen and Chihiro's Spiriting Away") became A Viagem de Chihiro ("Chihiro's Travel", or "Chihiro's Voyage"). It has a nice double meaning for those who already watched the movie.
- Neko no Ongaeshi ("The Cat's Retribution") became O Reino dos Gatos (The Kingdom of the Cats).
- Porco Rosso runs into similar Animation Age Ghetto issues as the below example of Despicable Me in Portugal, where it's known as O Porquinho Voador ("The Little Flying Pig").
- Kiki's Delivery Service is called Kiki - A Aprendiz de Feiticeira ("Kiki - The Sorceress' Apprentice") in Portugal (it should be noted that to Portuguese speakers the title can both mean that she's learning from a sorceress or learning to be one on her own).
- In Portugal, the seventh Pokémon movie substitutes Destiny Deoxys for Alma Gémea, which is an equivalent expression to "Soul Mate" but literally means "Twin Soul". It supposedly refers to the existence of two Deoxys.
- One 80's issue of Spider-Man dealt with Spidey busting an arms trafficking ring, complete with an Anvilicious message about gun violence. The Brazilian title was A Cidade Apresenta Suas Armas (The City Presents Its Weapons), which also happened to be the first verse of a popular, then-recently released Brazilian rock song by band Paralamas do Sucesso. It fit amazingly well, possibly because the song had a similar anti-violence theme.
- In Brazil, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was named Tá Chovendo Hambúrger ("It's Raining Hamburgers").
- Portugal's title is a combo of both titles; Chovem Almôndegas ("It's Raining Meatballs").
- Despicable Me became Meu Malvado Favorito ("My Favorite Bad Guy").
- Hoodwinked became Deu a Louca na Chapeuzinho ("Little Red Riding Hood's Gone Crazy").
- Not only that, but the two Happily N'Ever After movies, which have nothing to do with Hoodwinked to begin with, became Deu a Louca na Cinderela ("Cinderella's Gone Crazy") and Deu a Louca na Branca de Neve ("Snow White's Gone Crazy"), sounding like they were ''Hoodwinked' sequels.
- Portugal turned FernGully into As Aventuras de Zack e Crysta na Floresta Tropical ("Zack and Crysta's Adventures in the Rainforest"), but Brazil only uses that as a subtitle instead of the "The Last Rainforest".
- Strange example involving The Secret of NIMH: in Portugal, the dubbed VHS (it hasn't been released in DVD over there) are known as A Jóia Encantada ("The Enchanted Jewel") and use O Segredo de NIMH (literal English title) as a barely visible subtitle. But the subbed VHS were just O Segredo de NIMH. In Brazil, it's also different: A Ratinha Valente ("The Brave Girl Mouse"). Note that both titles became Artifact Titles with the sequel, in which Mrs. Brisby barely shows up and the amulet is only seen/mentioned in the flashback sequence at the beginning.
- The Land Before Time is Em Busca do Vale Encantado ("Search for the Enchanted Valley").
- A Troll in Central Park is O Anăozinho Mágico ("The Little Magical Dwarf").
- The Pebble and the Penguin is Hubie, o Pinguim ("Hubie, the Penguin").
- In Portugal, The Nightmare Before Christmas is O Estranho Mundo de Jack ("Jack's Strange World").
- My Girl was translated to Meu Primeiro Amor ("My First Love"), causing a huge feeling of oddness when the sequel came up...
- O Meu Primeiro Beijo ("My First Kiss") in Portugal.
- Kung Fu Hustle became Kung-Fu-Săo, a pun on Kung-Fu and Confusăo (literally confusion, but usually means mess). Previously, Shaolin Soccer was Kung Fu Futebol Clube.
- No movie from the Scary Movie-derived Shallow Parodies was unscathed. It all started with a pun with Scream, and there it goes...
- And, while we're at that: Scream = Pânico ("Panic"). Go figure.
- Not only Scream became Pânico (Panic), but The Grudge became O Grito (The Scream).
- Weird Scary Movie-inspired title: the Brazilian title is Todo Mundo Em Pânico("Everybody in Panic"). Shaun of the Dead is Todo Mundo Quase Morto("Everybody Almost Dead").
- Seltzer and Friedberg's Disaster Movie was translated to Super Heróis: Liga da Injustiça ("Super Heroes: Injustice League"), so it could pass off as a sequel to Superhero Movie. Considering more superhero spoofs appear than ones for disaster films, it's actually more accurate than the original.
- Not only that, but Epic Movie became Deu a Louca em Hollywood ("Hollywood's Gone Crazy", much like the Hoodwinked example below) and Date Movie became Uma Comédia Nada Romântica (Something along the lines of "A Not-Romantic-At-All Comedy").
- A reviewer said the title for Meet the Spartans, Os Espartalhőes (mixing "espertalhőes", smart-asses with Sparta) is much more clever than any of the jokes in the movie.
- Jaws is Tubarăo. "Shark". Okay, can't complain about that.
- The success of Fright Night, which became A Hora do Espanto ("Fright Time") led to many similar titles: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) became A Hora do Pesadelo ("Nightmare Time"), The Dead Zone became A Hora da Zona Morta ("Dead Zone Time"), Re-Animator became A Hora dos Mortos Vivos ("Undead Time"), and an alternate title for Critters is A Hora das Criaturas ("Critters Time" - the regular one is plain Criaturas).
- The subtitles for first two Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery became 000: Um Agente nada Discreto ("An not-very Discreet Agent") and The Spy Who Shagged Me became O Agente Bond Cama ("the agent good at bed", a pun on James Bond).
- That the James Bond titles all add "007" (most of the times with "vs." or "and"), OK. Adaptation of words hard to translate (Thunderball became 007 vs. the Atomic Blackmail, Moonraker became 007 vs. the Deadly Rocket), also passes. But Octopussy became 007 vs. Octopussy when she isn't a villain, and Skyfall became 007 - Operation Skyfall when Skyfall is a location. Both titles were probably picked without the full movie to watch.
- And let's just say one-worded titles don't go well with Brazilian names. Saw, for instance, is Jogos Mortais ("Deadly Games").
- And to confuse things further, Stay Alive's Brazilian name is Jogo Mortal ("Deadly Game")
- An early example that goes from One-Word Title to Long Title: Giant is Assim Caminha a Humanidade (Mankind Walks Like This).
- One of the genres that has this mostly are Westerns: Shane is "The Brutes Also Love", The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is "Three Men in a Conflict"... but one is mostly an improvement: The Wild Bunch had the badass translation Meu Ódio Será Tua Herança ("You Will Inherit My Hatred").
- For a non-Brazilian example: in Portugal, Planet of the Apes became the kinda spoileriffic O Homem Que Veio Do Futuro ("The man who came from the future"). Bizarrely, the Tim Burton remake was called Planeta dos Macacos ("Planet Of The Monkeys/Apes" - the Brazilian title of the original, BTW) and Rise of the Planet of the Apes was called Planeta dos Macacos: A Origem ("Planet Of The Apes: The Origin") but the rereleased original kept the aforementioned spoileriffic title.
- The Hangover became Se Beber, Năo Case ("If you drink, don't marry"). Gets worse when Hot Tub Time Machine became A Ressaca which means... "the hangover"!
- North by Northwest is Intriga Internacional ("International Intrigue").
- The Hurt Locker became Guerra ao Terror - "War On Terror". A reviewer said this makes it sound like a Chuck Norris film. Named Estado de Guerra ("State of War") in Portugal.
- The Portugal title for the obscure satirical film Buffalo Soldiers was Os Policias do Mundo ("World Police", the derogatory nickname for the US later used in Team America). One reviewer called it "the only known instance where a translated title is on par with the original"
- In Brazil, Basic became Violaçăo de Conduta, "Breach of Conduct", and Law Abiding Citizen, Código de Conduta, "Code of Conduct".
- In Portugal, the first Die Hard movie is called Assalto ao Arranha-céus which can be translated as "Skyscraper Siege" OR "Skyscraper Heist" hinting at the stated and hidden motives respectively of the antagonists. Die Hard 2 became "Airport Siege/Heist", Die Hard with a Vengeance became Die Hard: The Revenge, Live Free Or Die Hard became Die Hard 4.0: Live or Die, and A Good Day to Die Hard got a subtitle that subverts the original title: Die Hard: It's Never a Good Day to Die.
- No Country for Old Men is known in Brazil as Onde Os Fracos Năo Tem Vez, "Where The Weak Have No Chance".
- Brazil titled Police Academy 'Loucademia de Polícia'', "Crazy Police Academy".
- And The Naked Gun is Corra que a Polícia Vem Aí ("Run Because The Police Is Coming"), while in Portugal it's Onde Pára a Polícia? (can be construed as both "Where Is The Police" or "What Is The Police Coming To?").
- The title given to Hot Shots! in Brazil became a pun on the main target of the film (Top Gang). The sequel does the same, trading the "Part Deux" for the subtitle Rambo: First Blood Part II - the film's main parody along with Rambo III - received there (Top Gang 2: The Mission) In Portugal, both were Ases Pelos Ares (Aces [Blown] In the Air).
- Airplane! in Brazil was Apertem Os Cintos, O Piloto Sumiu ("Fasten Your Seatbelts, The Pilot Has Vanished").
- Hide and Seek obtained the far better-fitting title O Amigo Oculto, literally translating to The Imaginary Friend.
- Jack and Jill became Cada Um Tem a Gęmea Que Merece (Each Person Has the Twin it Deserves)
- Ferris Bueller's Day Off became O Rei dos Gazeteiros (The King of Truants) in Portugal and Curtindo a Vida Adoidado ("Enjoying Life Crazily") in Brazil.
- The Evil Dead franchise had some rough time with this. The first movie was translated as A Morte do Demônio (The Devil's Death), which, until then, could be considered okay, but when the second film came, it was translated as Uma Noite Alucinante (One Crazy-Ass Night). When part three came out and they found out it was a trilogy, they first translated Army of Darkness to Uma Noite Alucinante 3, which made them change the second one to Uma Noite Alucinante 2, and finally, to connect the first to the rest, they added this title as a subtitle to the first movie (A Morte do Demônio: Uma Noite Alucinante).
- In Portugal it was worse; even though the titles connected to the storylines, they had no connection between themselves: the first one was translated as A Noite dos Mortos-Vivos (The Night of the Living Dead), the second one, as A Morte Chega de Madrugada (Death Comes By Dawn, possibly a reference to the deadites taunting "Dead by dawn! Dead by dawn!"), and finally, the third one was translated as Exercito das Trevas (fittingly, Army of Darkness).
- Vertigo earned the somewhat adequate Um Corpo Que Cai (A Body That Falls) in Brazil and the downright Spoiler Title A mulher que viveu duas vezes (The Woman Who Lived Twice) in Portugal.
- In Portugal, Citizen Kane is O Mundo a Seus Pés ("The World At His Feet").
- The Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy:
- MacGyver is called Profissăo: Perigo (something like Profession: Danger) in Brazil.
- Kamen Rider Black was referred to as Black Man for some reason in his theme song.
- Horrible Histories became "Deu a Louca na História" ("History's Gone Crazy").
- A lot of TV Shows also get their titles changed in Portugal, not counting literally translated titles.
- Hawaii Five-0 to "Havai: Força Especial" ("Hawaii: Special Forces").
- NCIS to "Investigaçăo Criminal" ("Criminal Investigation").
- Burn Notice to "Espiăo Fora-de-Jogo" (something like "Spy Out-of-His-Game").
- White Collar to "Apanha-me se Puderes" ("Catch Me If You Can").
- Persons Unknown to "Desconhecidos" ("Unknown").
- How I Met Your Mother to "Foi Assim que Aconteceu" ("That's How it Happened").
- Series/Homeland to "Segurança Nacional" ("National Security").
- Shameless to "No Limite" ("At the Limit"/"At the Edge").
- It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia to "Nunca Chove em Filadélfia" ("It Never Rains in Philadelphia").
- Modern Family to "Uma Família Muito Moderna" ("A Very Modern Family").
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has a different case. Instead of changing the name, they changed the meaning of it. Instead of "Crime Scene Investigation" it's "Crime Sob Investigaçăo" ("Crime Under investigation"/"Crime being Investigated").
- Brazil had some cases too:
- Brazil's title for SpongeBob SquarePants, like Spain (below), is Bob Esponja, but retains the surname in both the character name and the theme song ("Bob Esponja, Calça Quadrada!").
- The Brazilian dub of Fish Hooks changed it to Adolepeixes, a combination of the words "Adolescent" and "fishes"
- Kellogg's Frosted Flakes are called Sucrilhos in Brazil.
Anime and Manga
- Spirited Away becameCesta do fantázie ("The Journey into Fantasy").
- Epic received a rather obnoxious rename to Kráľovstvo lesných strážcov ("The Kingdom of the Forest Guardians").
- Airplane! and its sequel are Pripútajte sa, prosím ! ("Fasten your seatbelts, please !"). As with the original, the sequel was numbered in addition to the translated title.
- The Die Hard series is known as Smrtonosná pasca ("Lethal Trap") and the installments are simply numbered, with the exception of the fifth one, titled Späť v akcii ("Back in Action"). The fourth one also had a minor variation, being numbered as 4.0. While the translation of the franchise's name is consistent, it can cause some degree of confusion with the Lethal Weapon series - since that one was translated literally, as Smrtonosná zbraň.
- Alien is Votrelec (lit. "Intruder"). The same translation choice was used in Czech as well, and a similar one was used in the Polish translation. Since calling the titular creatures "intruders" gives them a unique colloquial name in addition to the more scientific term "xenomorph", Slovak fans of Alien can easily avoid mistaking the creatures in a discussion for generic sci-fi aliens. As for the sequels : Aliens became accordingly pluralized to Votrelci ("Intruders"), while Alienł and Alien: Resurrection became simply Votrelec 3 ("Intruder 3") and Votrelec: Vzkriesenie ("Intruder: The Resurrection").
- The Shawshank Redemption is a slighter example of this, translated as Vykúpenie z väznice Shawshank ("Redemption from Shawshank Prison").
- Amélie (Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain) was translated as Amélia z Montmartru ("Amélie of Montmartre").
- The Bourne Identity was translated as Agent bez minulosti ("Agent Without A Past"), both in Slovak and Czech. A rather descriptive name, but actually justified by the fact that the eponymous Robert Ludlum novel and its earlier film adaptation were translated that way too. So, it was chosen consciously to attract Ludlum's existing audience. However, the sequel got the pretty inexplicable name of Bournov mýtus ("Bourne's Myth" or "The Myth of Bourne"). We have as much a clue about what it was supposed to mean as any other person, i.e. not much... As for The Bourne Ultimatum, its title simply received a direct translation.
- Romancing the Stone became Honba za drahokamom ("Chase for the Gemstone") and its sequel, The Jewel of the Nile, became Honba za klenotom Nílu ("Chase for the Jewel of the Nile").
- Dark City was one of the relatively rare cases to get a pretty dumb title translation. Instead of the obvious Temné mesto, it was renamed to Smrtihlav (lit. "Deathhead", but also a colloquial name for the death's-head hawkmoth). This begs the question wheter the translator saw some death and moth symbolism within the film's narrative...
- Olympus Has Fallen was translated as Pád Bieleho domu ("Fall of the White House").
- Pacific Rim had its title translated as Ohnivý kruh ("The Fiery Circle / Circle of Fire"), referring more poetically to the volcanic chain that lines the Pacific Rim, and indirectly to the battles the Jaegers face with kaijus.
- Oceans Eleven, Oceans Twelve, etc., underwent a slight change when the "Ocean's" of the title was swapped for the character's given name instead - "Danny's". Hence Dannyho jedenástka ("Danny's Eleven"), Dannyho dvanástka ("Danny's Twelve"), etc.
- Basic got renamed to the flatly descriptive Zelené peklo ("Green Hell") both in Czech and Slovak, given the film's jungle setting in Panama.
- The Hunt for Red October became Honba na ponorku ("Pursuit/Hunt of the Submarine").
- The Hurt Locker was changed to the pretty apt-sounding, but more generic Smrť číha všade ("Death Lurks Everywhere").
- The Book of Eli became Kniha prežitia ("The Book of Survival").
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen - both the comic book and its silly film adaptation - were changed to Liga výnimočných ("The League of the Extraordinary Ones").
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince became Harry Potter a polovičný princ ("Harry Potter and the Half Prince" or "Harry Potter and the Partial Prince"), while Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows became Harry Potter a Dary Smrti ("Harry Potter and the Gifts of Death"). The reason behind the change of the second title is related to the one mentioned in the previous entry: "Relic" usually has a far more specific and narrower meaning in Slovak than in English.
- Relic Hunter became Lovkyňa tajomstiev ("Huntress of Secrets"). It kind of makes sence, since the word "relic" usually has a narrower meaning in everyday Slovak use (i.e. referring to a reliquary or a relic of a saint, not just any old ancient relic).
- LOST was broadcast under the slightly more creative title of Nezvestní (the meaning being essentially the same, though closer to "Missing"). The change was probably done so the show's title wound sound less generic and be a little different from the directly translated title used by Czech broadcasters of the show. In any case, a lot of people still casually refer to the show by its original English title.
- Charmed was renamed to Čarodejnice ("Witches", though the word is more neutral and would be closer in meaning to "Female Sorcerers").
- TaleSpin got the rather generic and boring title of Rozprávková jazda ("Fabulous Ride", or more literally "Fairytale Ride"). Most people call it "Medveď Balú" ("Baloo the bear") anyway, after the main character of the series.
Happens pretty often in Spanish speaking countries. Also, they often get two different titles: one for the Spanish market and one for that of Latin America.
Anime and Manga
- Up is called Up: Una aventura de altura ("Up:High Adventure") in Latin America.
- Homeonthe Range is Vacas Vaqueras (Cowboys Cows)in Latin America and Zafarrancho en el rancho (A mess in the ranch) in Spain.
Live Action Television
- One of the most well-known examples in Spain is Die Hard. The title is impossible to translate directly into Spanish, so it was called "Jungla de cristal" ("Crystal Jungle") instead. The title made sense for the first film, but not so much for the rest of the series, so they had to adapt it as the films came out. Whether this is a case of Woolseyism or "Blind Idiot" Translation is a topic of fierce debate in Spain.
- It was translated as "Duro de Matar" (Hard to Kill) in Latin America, a much more accurate translation.
- True Grit:
- Valor de Ley ("The courage of the law") in Spain.
- Temple de Acero ("Temper of steel") in Latin America.
- Rosemarys Baby gets comprehensively spoilered in Spain by the title La semilla del diablo ("The devil's seed").
- They Shoot Horses Dont They:
- Danzad, danzad, malditos ("Dance, dance, damn you!") in Spain.
- Baile de ilusiones ("Dance of illusions") in Latin America.
- Codename Geronimo will be named Cazando a Bin Laden (Hunting Bin Laden) in Latin America.
- The film is called żY dónde está el piloto? ("Where is the pilot?") in Latin America. This also crept unto other Leslie Nielsen films, like The Naked Gun being called żY dónde está el policia? ("Where is the policeman?") and Repossessed being called żY dónde está el exorcista? ("Where is the exorcist?").
- In Spain it's called Aterriza como puedas ("Land as you can"), and similar to Latin America, it was used as the based for later Leslie Nielsen. For example, The Naked Gun was Agárralo como puedas ("Catch it as you can").
- Some Like It Hot is Con faldas y a lo loco ("With skirts and like crazy") in Spain.
- My Girl is called "Mi primer beso" (" My first kiss") in Latin America
- Kickin' It is called "Los Guerreros Wasabi" (The Wasabi Warriors) In Latin America.
- Kamisama Kiss becomes Soy Una Diosa żY Ahora Que? (I'm a Goddess, and Now What?) in Latin America.
- Pain and Gain becomes Sangre, Sudor y Gloria (Blood, Sweat and Glory) in Latin America.
- Planes, Trains and Automobiles got a great title in the Spanish and Latin American markets: Mejor Solo Que Mal Acompańado (Better Alone Than Badly Accompanied).
- Bad Grandpa became El Abuelo Sinverguenza (The Shameless Grandpa) in Latin America.
- The Swedish movie Fucking Ĺmĺl was translated to a title meaning Discovering Love in Argentina and Chile.
- Total Recall is El Vengador del futuro (The Future's Avenger) in Latin America and Desafío Total (Total Challenge) in Spain.
- Home Alone is Mi pobre angelito (My poor cherub or My Poor little angel) in Latin America.
- Oceans Eleven is La gran estafa (The big scam) in Latin America.
- Taken is Búsqueda Implacable (Implacable Search) in Latin America.
- In Spain, Choujuu Sentai Liveman became known as Bioman as a consequence of dubbing over the French dub (where the series was known as as Bioman III: Liveman in reference to Choudenshi Bioman being the first Super Sentai series that had been brought over to France).
- Star Trek was called Viaje a las Estrellas (Voyage to the Stars).
- SilverHawks became Halcones Galacticos (Galactic Hawks) in Latin America.
- Iznogoudnote became El Califa (The Caliph) in Latin America, even though Iznogoud is a Grand Vizier and his whole motivation is becoming a caliph. Even Latin American fans calls him as such, despite this.
- American Dad! is Un agente de familia (A family agent) in Latin America and Padre made in USA (Father made in USA) in Spain
- Family Guy is Padre de Familia (Family Dad) in Latin America and Spain.
- Shark Tale is called "Hajar som hajar", meaning approximately "Sharks who get it", substituting one untranslatable pun for another.note
- Hoodwinked is called "Sanningen om Rödluvan", meaning "The Truth About Little Red Riding Hood".
- Airplane! is called "Titta vi flyger!'' ("Look, we're flying!")
- American Graffiti is called "Sista natten med gänget", meaning "The Last Night with the Gang".
- Once Upon a Time in the West is called "Harmonica - En hämnare", meaning "Harmonica - An Avenger".
- The Terminator was originally translated into "Dödsängeln", meaning "The Angel of Death". Nowadays, everyone uses the English title, including the official DVD covers.
- Citizen Kane was originally translated into "En sensation", meaning "A Sensation". Nowadays, everyone uses the English title.
- North by Northwest is called "I sista minuten", meaning "At the Last Minute".
- Vertigo is called "Studie i brott", meaning "Study in Crime". This might be a reference to En Studie I Rött, the Swedish title of the first Sherlock Holmes novel.
- Double Indemnity is called "Kvinna utan samvete", meaning "Woman without conscience".
- Reservoir Dogs is called "De hänsynslösa", meaning "The Ruthless [Ones]". However, the English title is predominantly used.
- Unforgiven is called "De skoningslösa", meaning "The Merciless [Ones]".
- The Untouchables is called "De omutbara", meaning "The Unbribable [Ones]".
- Buster Keaton's films have been translated without much regard for the original title's meaning, sometimes for Added Alliterative Appeal. Some examples:
- Sherlock Jr is called "Fart, flickor och faror", meaning "Speed, Girls and Dangers".
- Our Hospitality is called "Krut, kulor och kärlek", meaning "Gunpowder, Bullets and Love".
- The General is called "Sĺ gĺr det till i krig", meaning approximately "That's what happens in wars".
- Cool Hand Luke is called "Rebell i bojor", meaning "Rebel in Shackles".
- High Noon is called "Sheriffen", meaning "The Sheriff".
- Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious is called "Kvinna — spion", meaning "Woman — Spy".
- The Big Sleep is called "Utpressning", meaning "Blackmail".
- The Night of the Hunter was given a Spoiler Title, namely "Trasdockan", meaning "The Ragdoll".
- The Graduate is called "Mandomsprovet", meaning approximately "The Test of Manhood".
- The Killing is called "Spelet är förlorat", meaning approximately "The Game is Lost".
- The Princess Bride is called "Bleka dödens minut", meaning "The Minute of the Pale Death".
- The Manchurian Candidate is called "Hjärntvättad", meaning "Brainwashed".
- Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back is called "Stjärnor utan hjärnor", meaning "Stars without Brains".
- The James Bond films have different names from time to time. Some examples:
- Dr. No is called "Agent 007 med rätt att döda", meaning "Agent 007 with a Licence [literally the Right] to Kill".note
- From Russia with Love is called "Agent 007 ser rött", meaning "Agent 007 Sees Red" (as in, becomes infuriated, but the pun on Russia being associated with red works in both languages).note
- For Your Eyes Only is called "Ur dödlig synvinkel", which is the Swedish translation of "From a View to a Kill".note
- A View to a Kill is called "Levande mĺltavla", meaning "Living Target", as they couldn't use the appropriate title (see above).
- The Living Daylights is called "Iskallt uppdrag", meaning "Ice-cold Mission".
- Licence to Kill is called "Tid för hämnd", meaning "Time for Revenge", as they had already used "Licence to Kill" previously (see above).
- Skyfall managed to get a completely different title without even being translated. The Swedish word "Skyfall"note means "downpour", a heavy rain.
- An Unfinished Life is called "En dag i livet", meaning "A Day in the Life".
- Beverly Hills Cop is called "Snuten i Hollywood", meaning "The Cop in Hollywood", despite not actually being set in Hollywood.
- The Vacation movies are called "Ett päron till farsa [...]", meaning "A Pear for a Father".note
- Deliverance is called "Den sista färden", meaning "The Final Journey".
- Fatal Attraction is called "Farlig förbindelse", meaning "Dangerous Connection", which really softens the title.
- Forgetting Sarah Marshall is called "Dumpad", meaning "Dumped".
- Getting Even With Dad is called "Nu är vi kvitt[,] farsan!", meaning either "Now We're Even, Dad!" or "Now We're Rid of Dad!", depending on whether the comma is included or not.
- Girl, Interrupted is called "Stulna ĺr", meaning "Stolen Years".
- Goodfellas is called "Maffiabröder", meaning "Mafia Brothers".
- Jason and the Argonauts is called "Det gyllene skinnet", meaning "The Golden Fleece".
- Murder by Death is called "Släpp deckarna loss, det är mord", meaning "Release the Detectives, It's Murder".note
- Rat Race is called "Sk(r)attjakten", meaning either "The Laughter Hunt" (with the "r"), or "The Treasure Hunt" (without it).
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes is called "Apornas planet: (r)Evolution", meaning "Planet of the Apes : (r)Evolution".
- The first Road to ... film, Road to Singapore, was called Tvĺ glada sjömän gĺr iland, meaning "Two Jolly Sailors Go Ashore". All later films in the series, even if not nautically-related, received titles starting with Tvĺ glada sjömän, except the final film of the series, The Road to Hong Kong, which averted this trope by using the direct translation Vägen till Hong Kong.
- Alfred Hitchcock's Sabotage is called "Fĺglarna sjunga kl 1,45", meaning "The Birds [Will] Sing at 1:45".
- Schindler's List gets a completely different title without even being translated (altough the apostrophe is removed). The Swedish word "list" means "cunning".
- Shallow Hal is called "Min stora kärlek", meaning "My Big [/Large] Love".
- The Conversation is called "Avlyssningen", meaning approximately "The Wiretapping"note .
- The Fugitive is called "Jagad", meaning "Pursued" (by law enforcement, that is).
- The Magnificent Seven is called "7 vĺgade livet", meaning "Seven [People] Risked Their Lives".
- The Shawshank Redemption is called "Nyckeln till frihet", meaning "The Key to Freedom".
- The Thing from Another World is called "Fantomen frĺn Mars", meaning "The Phantom from Mars".
- Touch of Evil is called "En djävulsk fälla", meaning "A Devilish Trap".
- Way Down East is called "Genom stormen", meaning "Through the Storm".
- 12 Angry Men is called "12 edsvurna män", meaning approximately "12 Men Under Oath".note
- Jaws is called "Hajen", meaning "The Shark".
- The Longest Yard is called "Benknäckargänget", wich can be translated to "The Bone-breaker Gang."
- Stephenie Meyer's books:
- Except for The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, all the Twilight books have completely different titles in Swedish (though the series as a whole is commonly referred to as the Twilight series anyway, probably because the movies kept the original titles):
- Twilight — Om jag kunde drömma ("If I could dream")
- New Moon — När jag hör din röst ("When I hear your voice")
- Eclipse — Ljudet av ditt hjärta ("The sound of your heart")
- Breaking Dawn — Sĺ länge vi bĺda andas ("As long as both of us are breathing")
- Her stand-alone novel, The Host is titled Genom dina ögon ("Through your eyes").
- Fifty Shades of Grey is translated to what amounts to "Fifty shades of him", possibly since the pun in the title is untranslatable.
- To Kill a Mockingbird is called "Dödssynden", meaning "The Deadly Sin". The film is called "Skuggor över södern", meaning "Shadows over the South".
- The Hobbit is called "Bilbo", the name of the protagonist.
- The Lord of the Rings was originally called "Härskarringen", meaning, approximately, "The Ruling Ring". The books have since been retranslated, giving the series as a whole and each part direct translations of the original English.
- The Fellowship of the Ring was called "Sagan om ringen", meaning "The Tale of the Ring". This name is also on occasion used to refer to the trilogy as a whole.
- The Two Towers was called "Sagan om de tvĺ tornen", meaning "The Tale of the Two Towers".
- The Return of the King was called "Sagan om konungens ĺterkomst", meaning "The Tale of the King's Return".
- The American TV series JAG has a different title in Sweden because Jag in Swedish is the first-person pronoun. Coincidently, the movie A Few Good Men also has the same title: "Pĺ heder och samvete", which is a phrase taken from the Swedish witness oath and literally means "by honor and conscience".
- Jim Henson's The Storyteller was called "Sagor för stora barn" ("Fairytales for older children") in Sweden. A not too subtle but very accurate warning to kids and parents about the rather grim feeling in many of the episodes.
- Scrubs was called "Första Hjälpen," meaning "First Aid," when it first aired. The name did not stick.
- Fairy Liquid is known a "Yes" in Sweden, allegedly because Swedish women find it difficult to say "Fairy".