Follow TV Tropes

Following

History BlindIdiotTranslation / Literature

Go To



File (Literature)


Added DiffLines:

* Early English translations of [[Creator/MarcelProust Proust's]] ''À la recherche du temps perdu'' (literally: "at the search [again] for time lost") translated the title as "Remembrance of Things Past." Later translators corrected this, opting for "In Search of Lost Time" instead, which is the closest English translation, both literally and otherwise.


* The infamous Polish translations by Jerzy Łoziński, of which that of ''LordOfTheRings'' is the best known (he also did ''Dune''). Where do we start?

to:

* The infamous Polish translations by Jerzy Łoziński, of which that of ''LordOfTheRings'' ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'' is the best known (he also did ''Dune''). Where do we start?



* Tolkien's works in Hungarian generally fared very well, and the translations are regarded as utter masterpieces, save for a single instance: in this version of the ''LordOfTheRings'', it was Merry (called Trufa in the translation) who landed the finishing blow to the Witch-King, not Éowyn.

to:

* Tolkien's works in Hungarian generally fared very well, and the translations are regarded as utter masterpieces, save for a single instance: in this version of the ''LordOfTheRings'', ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', it was Merry (called Trufa in the translation) who landed the finishing blow to the Witch-King, not Éowyn.


** Even worse was the whole witches vs. wizards deal. There are two possible words for magic-user in Hebrew: ''mechashef'' and ''kosem''. The translations of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic chose to use ''mechashef''. Unfortunately, there's only one word for "witch": ''machshefa'' (''kosemet'' would only mean "female magic-user"). So when Equal Rites comes along and they make a big deal over the fact that Esk is the first female magic-user ''as opposed to witch'', it would have made sense to put a translator's note at the beginning saying "up until now we used ''mechashef'', but in this book a wizard is a ''kosem''" -- and made Esk the first ''kosemet'' and Granny Weatherwax a ''machshefa''. But if they'd done that, I wouldn't be entering it in this page, right? They made Esk the first ''kosemet'' and Granny Weatherwax a ''machshefa'' - but they left wizard as ''mechashef''! So they made a big deal over the first ''kosemet'' appearing, and accidentally implied that there was no such thing as a male ''kosem''!

to:

** Even worse was the whole witches vs. wizards deal. There are two possible words for magic-user in Hebrew: ''mechashef'' and ''kosem''. The translations of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic chose to use ''mechashef''. Unfortunately, there's only one word for "witch": ''machshefa'' (''kosemet'' would only mean "female magic-user"). So when Equal Rites comes along and they make a big deal over the fact that Esk is the first female magic-user ''as opposed to witch'', it would have made sense to put a translator's note at the beginning saying "up until now we used ''mechashef'', but in this book a wizard is a ''kosem''" -- and made Esk the first ''kosemet'' and Granny Weatherwax a ''machshefa''. But if they'd done that, I It wouldn't be entering it in this page, right? They made Esk the first ''kosemet'' and Granny Weatherwax a ''machshefa'' - but they left wizard as ''mechashef''! So they made a big deal over the first ''kosemet'' appearing, and accidentally implied that there was no such thing as a male ''kosem''!


* The belief that ''The Grapes Of Wrath'' was translated into Japanese as "The Angry Raisins" [[http://www.snopes.com/language/misxlate/raisins.asp is merely an urban legend.]]

to:

* The belief that ''The Grapes Of Wrath'' was supposedly translated into Japanese as "The Angry Raisins" Raisins", but (un)fortunately it [[http://www.snopes.com/language/misxlate/raisins.asp is merely an urban legend.]]


** The original translation also muddled up the iconic "freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four" line into "freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make '''two'''". The translator must've cherished the right to practice bad arithmetic.

to:

** The original translation also muddled up the iconic "freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four" line into "freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make '''two'''". The translator must've cherished the right to practice bad arithmetic.arithmetic and have nobody correct you.


*** They also had the somewhat understandable error of not realizing that "witch" and "wizard" are gender specific (though exceptions exist in other works). That coupled with the vague descriptions of certain characters caused certain characters to [[ShesAManInJapan spontaneously change genders between books]])

to:

*** They also had the somewhat understandable error of not realizing that "witch" and "wizard" are gender specific (though exceptions exist in other works). That coupled with the vague descriptions of certain characters caused certain characters to [[ShesAManInJapan spontaneously change genders between books]])books]].


* Mark Twain's short story ''The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County'' was translated into French. Suspecting that the lukewarm response to it was due to poor translation, Twain relates that with the assistance of a dictionary he translated it word for word back to English (producing a BlindIdiotTranslation of a BlindIdiotTranslation). The result is arguably [[CrowningMomentOfFunny even funnier than the original]].

to:

* Mark Twain's short story ''The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County'' was translated into French. Suspecting that the lukewarm response to it was due to poor translation, Twain relates that with the assistance of a dictionary he translated it word for word back to English (producing a BlindIdiotTranslation of a BlindIdiotTranslation). The result is arguably [[CrowningMomentOfFunny [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments even funnier than the original]].

Added DiffLines:

* The Spanish translation of Literature/TheStarsAreLegion often translates the verb "to sign" (saying something using sign language) as "señalar" (pointing something). As a result, dialogues in sign language become quite jarring.

Added DiffLines:

** The Russian translation habitually ignores Tolkien's own explanation for the etymology of names, resulting in names that appear to be straightforward in English (e.g. Glorfindel seeming to come from the root "glory") having a very different meaning in the fictional Sindarin language ("golden-haired"). So some now know the character as Vseslavur ("all-glory"), although the official translation just goes with the transliteration.

Added DiffLines:

** In King's ''Literature/TheShining'', the boy is supposed to be walking around saying "Red rum" (opposite of "murder"). The Russian translation ends up being funny because the opposite of "ubiystvo" is "ovts yibu", which sounds an awful lot like "[I] f***k sheep". Reportedly, King laughed his ass off after learning about this. The Russian dub of the movie keeps the potentially funny/scandalous translation.


* Rob Grant's ''Incompetence'' has the main character attempt to fix his boiler using an instruction manual that was "translated from Japanese to English by a Kalahari bushman whose closest encounter with either language had been a chance encounter with a German explorer trying to acertain the going rate for a second hand camel in terms of petroleum and shiny beads."

to:

* Rob Grant's ''Incompetence'' ''Literature/{{Incompetence}}'' has the main character attempt to fix his boiler using an instruction manual that was "translated from Japanese to English by a Kalahari bushman whose closest encounter with either language had been a chance encounter with a German explorer trying to acertain the going rate for a second hand camel in terms of petroleum and shiny beads."

Added DiffLines:

* In the Finnish translation of ''[[WarCraft2016 Warcraft:]] Durotan'', the prequel novel of the 2016 film, the name of the orc clan Bleeding Hollow received the rather perplexing translation of "Vuotavan vajouma", which roughly means "shallow hole of the leaking one". The clan's name is supposed to be derived from the tradition of their chieftains partaking in ritualistic EyeScream, "hollow" in this context referring to an empty eyesocket, and the translator presumably wasn't aware of this.


* The belief that ''The Grapes Of Wrath'' was translated into Japanese with the title of "The Angry Raisins". [[http://www.snopes.com/language/misxlate/raisins.asp This is an urban legend and did not happen.]]

to:

* The belief that ''The Grapes Of Wrath'' was translated into Japanese with the title of as "The Angry Raisins". Raisins" [[http://www.snopes.com/language/misxlate/raisins.asp This is merely an urban legend and did not happen.legend.]]


* One of the most {{egregious}} examples could be ''[[http://www.zompist.com/spoke.html English as She is Spoke]]'', an 1800s book by a Portuguese man, who only spoke Portuguese, writing an English phrasebook with the help of a Portuguese-French phrasebook and a French-English dictionary. HilarityEnsues.

to:

* One of the most {{egregious}} JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples could be ''[[http://www.zompist.com/spoke.html English as She is Spoke]]'', an 1800s book by a Portuguese man, who only spoke Portuguese, writing an English phrasebook with the help of a Portuguese-French phrasebook and a French-English dictionary. HilarityEnsues.



* The Hungarian [[SmallNameBigEgo translator]] of ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' went {{memetic|Mutation}} ([[http://fuckyeahtoteas.tumblr.com/ for the curious and bilingual]]) because of this trope. After he arrogantly denied mistranslating anything, when an interviewer asked him why on Earth did he translate Music/KingsOfLeon as Disney/TheLionKing a local blog called [[http://leiterjakab.blog.hu/ Leiter Jakab]][[note]]They specialize in finding Blind Idiot Translations and {{Translation Train Wreck}}s.[[/note]] took issue with the statement and tone. To date they found 6 lengthy blogposts worth of {{egregious}} examples of these and are only 1/4 through the book.

to:

* The Hungarian [[SmallNameBigEgo translator]] of ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' went {{memetic|Mutation}} ([[http://fuckyeahtoteas.tumblr.com/ for the curious and bilingual]]) because of this trope. After he arrogantly denied mistranslating anything, when an interviewer asked him why on Earth did he translate Music/KingsOfLeon as Disney/TheLionKing a local blog called [[http://leiterjakab.blog.hu/ Leiter Jakab]][[note]]They specialize in finding Blind Idiot Translations and {{Translation Train Wreck}}s.[[/note]] took issue with the statement and tone. To date they found 6 lengthy blogposts worth of {{egregious}} JustForFun/{{egregious}} examples of these and are only 1/4 through the book.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 139

Top

Example of:

/
/

Feedback