Follow TV Tropes


Blind Idiot Translation / Film

Go To

The Thin Covering (Film)

    open/close all folders 

    Animated Films 
  • In the Norwegian dub of The Lion King (1994) "meerkat" is translated to "marekatt", the Norwegian word for Guenon. So Timon was essentially called a monkey until the release of the third movie...
    • The otherwise decent Greek dub has the minor mistake of, for whatever reason, changing Simba's asking Scar what he should do to asking what would become of him.
  • The Greek dub for Aladdin, while an example of good dubbing for the most part (thanks in part to a famous clown actor playing the Genie), ruined the "Doubting Thomas" pun by making it "Κύριε Μουστάφα Αμφιβάλογλου" (for an English equivalent, there's "Mr. Mustafa Doubtingman").
  • The Norwegian dub of Ratatouille used a really odd translation of the word "cook". While there is no good equivalent other than literally saying "to make food", the closest word might have been "kokke" (slang for making food), but the translators either didn't think of it or must have thought it didn't fit the lip sync, so they went for the word "koke", which means "boil", so... "Anyone can boil".
  • Frozen:
    • One of the lines in "Love is an Open Door" is "We finish each other's - sandwiches!" However, the wordplay of "sentences" vs. "sandwiches" isn't really translatable into other languages - for instance, in the French translation, the line ends up being something like "How a stranger finishes - all your sentences?" and completely ignores the "sandwiches" bit. Unfortunately, this creates a problem in that now this part doesn't foreshadow that Hans is the Big Bad.
    • One song was unused in the final product to specifically avoid this trope. It involved the trolls telling Kristoff and Anna to wear each other's shoes. It was scrapped because the writers were worried certain cultures wouldn't understand what "putting yourself in someone else's shoes" meant. It was ultimately replaced with "Fixer Upper".
  • In Big Hero 6, immediately after the first time Tadashi shows Baymax to Hiro, Tadashi asks Hiro what he thinks, to which Hiro replies that "That was sick!". The Hebrew dub translates the word "sick" into "חולני", which means "sickly", despite the obvious signs for this not being the correct definition - Hiro punches the air in excitement, and his intonation sounds enthusiastic. In fact, his intonation while saying this is enthusiastic even when saying the exact opposite in the dub.
    • The German title was "Baymax: Riesiges Rohuwabohu", which means something like "Baymax: Giant Chaos-Bot" or "Baymax: Giant Robo-Mess". "Rohuwabohu" is a pun on "Tohuwabohu", a German term for "chaos" or "disorder"note , but little kids aren't likely to get that.
  • The Swedish subtitles for A Christmas Carol (2009) translates the "ghost" part of "Ghost of Christmas" as spöke. Spöke does indeed mean "ghost"... except it does so in the sense of a person appearing after death. The proper word, not to mention the "official" translation for the "Ghosts of Christmas", is ande, or "spirit".
  • The Icelandic version of "Deliver Us" in The Prince of Egypt, during the "mud, sand, water, straw" part, has the water part translated into "fire". Go look at it here.
  • At least one dub of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 translates the Cheespider's name to "Cheese Spider". While in itself there's no issue, the spider's clearly inspired by a cheeseburger.
  • The official English subtitles for the Hungarian film Son of the White Horse contain some deliberate and accidental mistranslations.
    • When the White Mare gets pregnant for the third time, the dragons threaten the snake keeping the Mare captive that they will kill it if it lets the third son escape. In the subtitles, the dragons talk to the Mare instead, saying she won't have enough milk to raise her son, probably because the translator misheard "ha te evvel" (if you [can't deal] with this) as "a tejeddel" (with your milk) and reinterpreted the rest of the line from there.
    • The subs add that Irontemperer works iron "in his forge", yet there's no actual forge, just a stream to cool the iron with.
    • The griffin father is strangely referred to as a "she" in the subs.
    • The Gnome's second name that means "Hoe Handle-Sized Dick" is reinterpreted to refer to the size of his beard. This translations is in line with the film's visuals though, as he does sway his beard around when introducing himself.
  • The Incredibles:
    • The Finnish subtitles somehow translated "take a shot" as shooting people instead of playing a Drinking Game. The quote was left out entirely in the Finnish dub.
    • Also in Finnish, when Helen mentions to Edna the blonde Affair Hair she found on Bob's clothes, she uses the word "tukka" (full head of hair) instead of "hius" (single strand of hair), making it sound like she is complaining about the color of Bob's hair.
  • Animal Soccer World:
    • In the Swedish dub, the dog asks the Ambulance Duck "Is it difficult?" whereupon the duck answers "No, only abrasions and bruises". The dog was actually asking if the injuries of the black panther are severe.
    • The English dub is far, far worse, leading to hilariously Google Translate-y lines like "Everyday's the same, the same of nothing happen".
  • In The Super Mario Bros. Movie's Danish subtitles, Donkey Kong's line "This is fun!" is translated as "Ram der hen bold!", which translates to "Hit this ball!" This is corrected in the Danish dub, which translates the line more faithfully as "Det her er mega sjvot!", which means "This is mega fun!"

    Live-Action Films 
  • Danne Lehmussaari of Death Academy fame tends to provide his own English subtitles to his films, with mixed results. For example, Svart död features an exchange where a character mutters "Svammel"note , which gets rendered as... "Waffle." (While he is half right in that the verb form "svamla" could be translated to "waffling", the noun forms don't really work the same way.)
  • A bootleg Indonesian copy of Live Free or Die Hard had the words "Soyabean cake" appear in every third sentence due to the Indonesian words for "know" and "tofu" being homonyms, which sounded ridiculous to many viewers reading the subtitles. And the lines that didn't contain any references to that particular foodstuff were if anything even less coherent. For example:
    Jack: We must eat Soyabean Cake!
    Phone operator: I'm about die, Jack, but the Terrorists is are to blow up about the whole plane! We is about to only 3 seconds to do this.
    Jack: Dial up now the agency, for we are about to blow up teh 'Soyabean cake'!
  • Fugitive Alien
    • Several dials/meters on the Bacchus 3 are labeled hilarious things, such as: Space Speed, Cabin Air Presser, Tenperature, Sunny Side, and Other Side.
    • The computer actually shows a shipping manifest.
    • Or the members of the Bacchus 3 wearing jumpsuits emblazoned with the badge "Security Guard".
  • Found in the Danish extended version DVD of Terminator 2: Judgment Day. When Sarah Connor is about to smash the Terminator's chip John stops her, saying that "they need the Terminator's help". The word need can be translated into Danish in a couple of different ways, depending on whether the need is practical or mental. The translator chose the word for "mental need", which then implied that John's need of the Terminator is of a sexual nature.
    • When the T-1000 disguised as Sarah Connor calls to John, and John realizes it's actually the 1000, he calls onto the actual Sarah to "SHOOT!" The Dutch subtitles of some versions of the movie translated it as "Damn it!" May not make sense in the context of the situation, but it might be noted that, in English, "shoot" can be used as an expression of frustration similar to "damn it."
  • Found in Good Morning People, a student film shown at 2008 Asian American Showcase. Most of the spoken lines were in Japanese, with subtitles translating it literally, keeping the original Japanese grammar and sentence construction intact.
  • When the remade versions of the Star Wars films were shown in Norway, the subtitles were really badly translated. The most widely known example is that the word "lightsaber" was translated as "lettsabel", which does, in fact, mean "light saber", as in the opposite of a heavy saber. In Attack of the Clones, "you will be invincible" was translated as "you will be invisible". The very same movie had the phrase "Let the execution begin" end up as "Let the excursion begin".
    • Also, calling the Millennium Falcon the "Thousand Year Falcon", while not exactly wrong, certainly could have benefitted from a less direct translation.
    • In the first French dub of Star Wars, Darth Vader is referred to as "Dark Invader." Obviously the translators caught on to this and edited it to "Dark Vador" rather than use the original name. Much later, the original name was finally used in the French-Canadian dub of Episode III, which ironically had Blind Idiot Translations of its own ("thousands of star systems of the Republic" translated to "thousands of galaxy of the Republic").
    • One of the early Russian dubs of Star Wars: A New Hope renamed Obi-Wan to "Obi-1". That is, they pronounced his name: "Obi-Odeen" - "odeen" being the Russian word for "one." They misheard "-Wan" as "One" and translated it literally.
    • Then there is the ever memetically famous Star War The Third Gathers: The Backstroke of the West, a bootleg version of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, translated to Chinese, with English subtitles. But in writing the subtitles, they didn't write it in the original English - No, they retranslated the Chinese back into English. Hilarity ensued. Some of the translations are funny but comprehensible, especially if you know the original dialogue (e.g. Vader's Big "NO!" being subtitled, "Do Not Want!" or the clone pilot being chased by droid fighters reporting, "They're all over me!" being subtitled, "He is in my behind!") Other translations, especially names, are crazy but are at least somewhat (though still not always) consistent. "Jedi Council" is subtitled "Presbyterian Church" or "Hopeless Situation Parliament." Jedi Knights are called "Hopeless Situation Warriors." Meanwhile, "Obi-wan Kenobi" is variously subtitled "Ratio the Tile", "Ratio Tile", "Ratio Prosperous", "Section pulls the Ratio" or "The Willing to Compares". Finally, a large part of the subtitles is simply straight-up gibberish.
      • The unique characteristics of the Chinese language play into this. Chinese must render all foreign words using its own characters, all of which already have their own meanings. Therefore, out of context, this can potentially lead to Bite the Wax Tadpole. For example, to translate the word "Jedi", the translator probably used the characters 绝态 to get the sound "Juétài". Except in Chinese, the characters 绝态 already have a meaning: "hopeless situation." Thus in the subtitles "Jedi Knight" is rendered as "Hopeless Situation Warrior". Repeat this same process for every off-the-wall name in the subtitles and you have your answer.
    • The Hungarian dub of A New Hope contained a clever bit of Woolseyism by incorporating two teeth-related expressions into the talk between Han and Greedo ("I've been sharpening my teeth for you for a long time." — "Just be careful, or they might break."). For the Blu-ray release, Greedo's subtitles were for some reason rewritten, so now they're faithful translations of the originals, but Han's finishing line in turn became a non-sequitur.
  • Similarly to Backstroke of the West, a recursive translation of The Matrix from English into Chinese and back again had every instance of the mention of Neo's name be rendered as "The One", every single instance of the name "The Oracle" be rendered as "The Prophet" and every instance of the mention of Trinity's name be 3 random Chinese syllables, rendered with Roman letters, among countless translation mistakes.
  • One infamous Russian translation of the Back to the Future Part II scene with the multiple "You are FIRED!" faxes goes "You were burned". Marty is a spy.
    • And exactly the same mistake was made in the Russian translation of RoboCop (1987). Making Robocop shooting Dick Jones rather... nonsensical.
    • In the Italian dub of all the Back to the Future movies, the Flux Capacitor is always translated as "flusso canalizzatore", literally "Canalizer Flux" or "Channelizer Flux."
      • This is only slightly better in (Castilian) Spanish: Capacitor is translated correctly, but Flux is substitued by the non-existent, and therefore meaningless word "Fluzo". Flux in Spanish is Flujo.
      • Another small error in the Castilian version is that whenever Marty talks about going to school, it is translated as colegio. Without further context, a colegio is a primary school, whereas Marty should be big enough to go to high school (instituto).
    • The German dub translates "Flux Capacitor" as "Fluxkompensator" instead of "Fluxkondensator", and "Enchantment under the Sea", which should be "Verzauberung unter der See" or "Verzauberung unter dem Meer", as "Verzauberung unter dem See", which translates back as "enchantment under the lake".
  • The Russian version of The Scarlet Letter gets translated as "Scarlett's Letter" ("letter" meaning "the thing you mail"). Which renders the subsequent appearance of the red letter "A" nonsensical.
  • Another famous Norwegian translation mistake is the line "It's not a motorcycle, it's a chopper" from Pulp Fiction, translated as "It's not a motorcycle, it's a helicopter" in Norwegian.
    • The same line was turned into "It's not a motorcycle, it's a rocket" in the official Russian dub. At least that sorta made sense?
  • A major restoration on DVD of Metropolis suffers from this: in the restoration all the intertitles and in-film text was translated from German to English, including the shot of Freder reading from the "Boot of Revelations". Nice job, Kino.
  • In-universe example in Shoot 'Em Up. When Mr. Hertz first meets hooker Monica Belucci's character he insults her in Italian, orginially using a phrase that had been translated via Babelfish. A rather confused Monica, being an Italian native, had to provide a more accurate version.
  • Space Cowboys gave this In-Universe example:
    Frank Corvin: "Let me tell you something, my dear. Those instructions were written by a fellow in Japan when they made this damn thing. They were probably translated by some gringo who was an expatriate American that couldn't get a job in this country. And then the Japanese guy probably translated him just to double check on him. You don't need these instructions. Not at all. Tear them up."
  • Norwegian releases have an unfortunate tendency toward this, some which are catalogued in one newsletter's "Language and Culture" section:
    • The release of Friends translates "make-up sex" as "sminkesex", leaving viewers confused as to what rouge and lipstick have to do with sex.
    • "The Yellow Brick Road" of The Wizard of Oz became "That Road Which Is Paved With Yellow Cobblings".
    • In Apollo 13, "Go for launch!" became "Gå til lunsj", meaning... "Go to lunch".
    • In The District, the reassuring "I'll be right behind you, watching your back" becomes a moderately creepy "I'm standing behind you, looking at your back".
  • On the back of the Swedish DVD of the Sin City film, it says that the film is based on the work of "comedy book author" Frank Miller, an obvious failure to get what "comic book" means. (For the record, the correct Swedish word for "comic" is serie, literally "series".)
  • During one of the audio commentaries on Pirates of the Caribbean, there's a discussion about the sores on Jack Sparrow's face. In the Swedish DVD translation, however, "the scab" is translated into "strejkbrytaren", i.e. strike-breaker. Technically a correct translation, but completely nonsensical in context.
    • The Pirates of the Caribbean films had rather blasé translations in Hungary, with a lot of naval terminology and pirate lingo heavily simplified or removed and some lines completely botched. In Dead Man's Chest, Davy Jones' line "I'm sorely tempted to accept that offer." became "This offer isn't too tempting." In the opening scene of At World's End, after Lord Beckett is informed that the pirates sentenced to hanging have started to sing, Beckett contentedly utters "Finally." because getting them to sing their sacred shanty was part of his grand plan. In the dub, he says "I have ears." in an annoyed voice, which obfuscates his role in the film's plot and reverses the meaning of the scene.
  • In the Japanese version of Sukeban Deka: Codename = Asamiya Saki (also referred to in English as Yo-Yo Girl Cop), the English subtitles seem to have been generated by attempting to translate the individual words directly into English, including the names, causing it to veer between this trope and a Translation Train Wreck. The seemingly meaningless phrase "of temple" keeps recurring in the dialogue — baffling, until you realise this was a translation of Asamiya, the heroine's family name.
  • The Finnish TV subtitles for Shaft once had a very literal translation for "Shaft is a bad motha".
  • Similarly, the legendary mistranslation of "Must be another drill" in the Finnish TV broadcast of Star Wars as "Ehkä se on pora," referring to the hole-making tool rather than a training routine.
    • In the trench run sequence, "Switch all power to front deflector screens" became "Switch front projection (monitor) screens to full power".
    • Also, instead of the usual existing translations for blasters and the Force, there was whammers and the Might. That was a conscious (and bad) choice by the translator, though.
  • In the James Bond movie A View to a Kill, Silicon Valley is mentioned. The German dub confused it with silicone.
    • The German word for silicone is Silikon while the German word for silicon is Silizium. As you may expect these words are often mixed up in translations.
      • The Spanish dub did the same. Silicon is Silicio while Silicone is Silicona.
    • It was said that when the first film Dr. No got released in Japan, the title was translated into Japanese as We Don't Want a Doctor.
  • The Brazilian dub of Tropic Thunder turns "I am a lead farmer" into "I'm the leader of the farm". Obviously because "lead" as in "leading" and "lead" as in "lead paint" are spelled the same.
  • The official theatrical Swedish subtitling for Transformers: Revenge of The Fallen consistently translated "the sliver" (as in the small shard of the Allspark) to "silvret", meaning "the silver".
    • The Hungarian dubs of the Transformers Film Series are ripe with lazy and odd translations.
      • The cruelly comedic exchange between Megatron and Jazz in the first movie ("You want a piece of me?" - "No, I want two pieces!") got mangled into "You want one?" - "No, you want one.", somehow completely dropping the obvious bit of Dark Humor that the banter ends with Megatron ripping Jazz into two. Many lines are also simply missing from the dub, Megatron's dramatic cry of "Prime!" upon meeting Optimus got replaced with a bored grunt.
      • In Revenge of the Fallen, Ironhide's name was accidentally left in English in one scene. It happens with Sentinel too in one scene from Dark of the Moon.
      • In Dark of the Moon, when Prime gets separated from his trailer, he exclaims that he needs the flight equipment the trailer was carrying. In the dub, he says he needs a "technician", right as the team technician Que is standing there next to him. Also, during the climax, Megatron mistakenly mixes up the names of Optimus and Sentinel.
      • Cogman from The Last Knight is a Headmaster, a Transformer who turns into the head of a larger robot. The dub mistook the name's meaning and claimed Cogman is a "principal" — this goof hardly matters though, since his Headmaster ability wasn't showcased on screen.
    • Revenge of the Fallen's subtitle was often translated into foreign languages as though "the Fallen" was plural... however, the titular Fallen is a singular character, sometimes referred to as Megatronus in other continuities, rather than a group of characters.
  • The Lord of the Rings
    • The Norwegian movie subtitles for the movies were so hilariously bad that they were changed in the DVD versions. Not because they were Blind Idiot Translations, but because they were so flowery and archaic that the audience quite simply started laughing. Elrond's "Kast den inn i eldmørja!" ("Cast it into the fire!", but really leaning more towards "Cast it into the sea of flames-infernal!") and Théoden's "Mitt kjøde er knust" ("My body is broken", but really more like "My corpus is undone") are both still buzzwords.
    • The Return of the King, airing on Norwegian television a while back, had subtitles that made several really ridiculous mistakes, like having Gollum consistently refer to Frodo as "Husband" rather than "Master", or Sam's whole "I can't carry it for you but I can carry you!"-scene being translated into "Så la oss dra av sted med den, en gang for alle! Jeg kan ikke bære den til deg, men jeg kan bære deg!" ... Which, incidentally, means "Then let us get going with it, once and for all! I can't carry it to you, but I can carry you!"
    • The Japanese subtitles were also pretty infamous. Fan complaints resulted in the translator being replaced for the next movie.
    • One of the better LotR mistranslations is the former page image for Hilarious in Hindsight, when Sam asks Frodo, "Why so serious?"
    • In the Swedish DVD bonus material for the trilogy, the camera showed one of the staff at the Weta Workshop creating a chainmail prop for the movie and commenting "This is chainmail." This was translated in the subtitles as "Detta är ett kedjebrev" meaning "This is a chain letter" instead of correct "Denna är en ringbrynja".
  • Battle Royale is quite notorious for having a few bootlegs with bad subtitles. People in North America often had to turn to bootlegs since the film didn't have a US distributor until 12 years after its original release. The most notorious boot is a Korean DVD with some hilariously bad translation errors. Some priceless examples include "That were my friends!!!", "Anyone who sees this must be scribble", "That knife I stabbed with you, sometimes I think I threw it away, but now it's my treasure" and lots more.
  • The English language track in Drunken Master contains a threat "I'll see you sink in hellfire!" that probably sounds more menacing in the original Chinese.
  • Many years ago, a short press article on the poor quality of Polish film translations had two outrageous examples: a phrase "The computer is down" was translated into "The computer is in the basement", and W.C. Fields was changed into "Toilet Pastures".note 
  • The otherwise decent Québec translation of Children of Men had a silly case in the subtitles. Early on, one of the governement's propaganda spot flash "Only Britain Soldiers On", the translator interpreted the line strangely literally and translated it as "Seul L'Angleterre a des soldats à bord" ("Only Britain has soldiers onboard").
  • The Czech translation of The Rock has become legendary in the Czech Republic. There are two major mistranslations. Firstly, "... he was trained by British Intelligence" was translated as "Byl vycvičen britskou inteligencí", but this means "He was trained by the British intellectual elite", as "inteligence" in Czech means "intelligentsia", as in scientists and academics as a social group. The second flaw was even more legendary, when Connery's character is granted "amnesty from General Attorney". In the Czech translation, it is "milost od generála Attornyho" ("amnesty from general Attorney"), as in amnesty from someone with the rank of general and name Attorney, instead of "Prokurátor", which is the correct translation of "General Attorney".
  • The Latin American translation for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is RIDDLED with awful translation errors which confuse viewers to the point they don't understand the movie at all. For instance, they translated the movie directly from the American version but they kept the British title, so while the movie is titled "The Philosopher's Stone", the titular item is referred throughout the movie as "The Sorcerer's Stone".
    • One particularly jarring example comes in the scene where Professor McGonagall punishes the kids for nightstrolling. In the original it's:
      McGonagall: ...all four of you will receive detention.
      Malfoy: Excuse me, Professor? Perhaps I heard you wrong. I thought you said "the four of us"?
Malfoy's line is translated more or less directly as "Disculpe, creí escuchar que dijo ¿'los cuatro'?" except that the line he was responding to had been translated more loosely as "Todos serán castigados" (you'll all be punished), making his statement a non-sequitur. It's possible the mistake is the fault of the adapter rather than the translator. In most foreign-language dubs, the script doesn't go straight from the translator to the voice actors; the lines are adapted to avoid Lip Lock.
  • An official Hungarian subtitle for the first RoboCop (1987) movie somehow came upon the brilliant realization that the word "chopper" can also be translated as "szecskavágó" (chaff cutter), aside from its usual bland translation, "helikopter". This leads to the following lines:
    "I want a chaff cutter. Now!"
    "I will board the chaff cutter with my hostage."
  • This happens in-universe with the 2009 Japanese film, Fish Story. An English-language novel is translated into Japanese by someone with no grasp of the language, and as a result, his word-by-word translation borders on Translation Train Wreck. The original opening phrase of the book is, "My own solitary fish story may scare a whale in its size and ferocity." The translation ends up, "The story of my solitude. If my solitude were a fish, it'd be so enormous, so militant, a whale would get out of there."
  • Russian bootleg translation of Beowulf (1999) was titled "Biovolk", i.e., "Biological Wolf".
  • An unusual example of a country completely butchering its own subtitles is Repo! The Genetic Opera, which came with some hilariously misquoted subtitles such as "I'll man his grave" instead of "on Marni's grave".
    • The particularly memorable: "Penile tissue, inch by inch..." and "I can't read!"
  • The Finnish translations of two Batman DVD Extras have these goofs:
  • The Swedish version of Fist of Fury is quite badly translated. Notable is the line "This time you're eating paper, but the next time you'll be eating glass" which becomes "Den här gången äter ni papper, men nästa gång blir det glass". "Glass" is the swedish word for ice-cream...
  • In the English subs for Jean-Luc Godard's Une Femme est une femme, the French words verre and vert were confused by the translator, so "a glass of coffee" becomes "green coffee." (The French sometimes order coffee in a glass when they're in a hurry — it cools quicker.)
  • 102 Dalmatians: Cruella De Vil's probation officer's suggestion of her working with something on the sewers was translated for Brazilian audiences as suggesting Cruella would work with seamstresses. This movie might be sequel to one that described Cruella as a big name in the fashion industry but still, to mistake sewers with sewing...
  • The Hungarian dub of Jurassic Park (1993) reinterpreted John Hammond's "People are dying!" line as "And can people die?", making it seem like he thought that the previously discussed lysine-dependency of the cloned dinosaurs could somehow have an effect on humans. While not as frustrating as this, Gennaro's famous "Are these characters... auto-erotica?" (he was trying to say "animatronic") line was changed to "Are these characters... anthropoids?", which isn't necessarily a mistake, but it kills the original joke. And finally, after losing his eyewear, Nedry's "I can afford more glasses!" line was misinterpreted as "And I have no replacement!"
    • The official Hungarian Netflix subtitles for Jurassic Park aren't immaculate either, translating the word nerd as "computer faggot" and hacker as "pirate" and "computer pirate", none of which are terms anyone uses in a normal conversation. The actual dub lines during Lex and Timmy's argument take a liberal approach to the English dialogue as well (Lex says she does "mental work" on the computer to which Tim quips that she's "mental", and the words hacker and nerd never come up), but they at least make sense.
    • In Italian, Tim's line "God bless you!" when a Brachiosaurus sneezes is translated too literally as "Che tu sia benedetto" ("May you be blessed") as opposed to what you'd say to a sneezing person ("Salute" - literally, "health"), making it sound as if he's thanking the dinosaur for sneezing. Given that the dinosaur just sneezed all over his sister, this isn't totally non-sequitur, although it does make him seem rather mean-spirited.
  • Hungarian mistranslation again, this time in the movie Mallrats. The translator evidently did no research on any of the Marvel Comics characters that get mentioned during the film, because then, The Thing and Doctor Doom wouldn't have been called "Dolog" and "Doktor Végzet" respectively (which are actually correct translations, but the names are "Lény" and "Fátum Doktor" in the comics), nor would the X-Men have become "X Emberek" ("X People", whereas the comics leave it as X-Men), and most importantly, the Hulk wouldn't be "Hihetetlen Hajós" ("the Unbelievable Seaman").
  • An Arabic dubbing of the documentary "Lawrence of Arabia: The Battle for the Arab World" says at one point that Lawrence "saraqa al-adhwa'" (سرق الأضواء). This is a literal translation of the English idiom "stole the light", but in Arabic it doesn't make any sense.
  • A documentary on the DVD of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries translated "a prettyish sort of wilderness" to "een Brits stukje wildernis" ("A British sort of wilderness") in the Dutch subtitles.
  • The movie The Mask with Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz has two examples where you can imagine some sweating translators.
    • When Stanley Ipkiss (Jim Carrey) is locked in prison he tries to convince his dog to fetch the keys from the sleeping guard. Unfortunately, the dog mishears "keys" as "cheese" and decides to bring a cheese sandwich. Stanley says: "Not the cheese, the keys!" The German word for keys is Schlüssel - no chance to connect it with Käse (cheese). So they decided to say: "Nicht das aus der Schüssel, den Schlüssel!" (Not the thing from the bowl, the keys!) which doesn't makes much sense, because the plate is obviously not a bowl, and the whole sentence sounds very strange.
    • The police are after the Mask, and Lt. Kellaway shouts "Freeze!". The Mask (in cartoon mode) freezes in the air, complete with icicles. In German the policeman shouts: "I will get you ice cold!", and after the Mask freezes, the policeman says: "Not you ice cold, me ice cold!". Luckily for the translators, all those words are spoken off screen, but it makes no sense at all.
  • One bootleg Czech translation of Titanic (1997) features an excusable mistake of the sort. Upon winning the game of poker, Jack exclaims "Full house, boys!" in the English version, obviously referring to the hand he ended up with. The translator, however, went for "Pivo pro všechny!" which literally means, "Beer for everyone!" Considering that he was in a pub at the time, this one gets a freebie.
  • Perhaps the most ridiculous Spanish mistranslation ever is the literal translation of "the Holy Ghost" as "el Santo Fantasma" in the Spanish dub of The Mission. In Spanish, the Holy Ghost is called el Espíritu Santo ("Holy Spirit"), while "el Santo Fantasma" is... some saint... that is a ghost? (in Spanish the name usually goes before the adjective, contrary to English). It doesn't help that "fantasma" is also slang for someone who tells tall tales.
  • In the German dub of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Ilia refers to "das Wesen" (the Creature), an obvious mishearing of "the Creator". Later scenes do not make the same mistake, oddly enough, making it even more baffling why this one instance was not corrected.
  • A rare case, but occasionally some Russian translators may confuse the English measurements of "foot" and "foont" (which is Russian for "pound"). Now imagine how Attack of the 50 Foot Woman was translated. The people are either getting attacked by a giant woman who somehow only weighs as much as an average kindergartener or a giant £50 hooker.
  • The Hungarian dub of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla asserts that every time Godzilla, Mechagodzilla and Anguirus appear, they're different specimens, and that there are several Godzillas roaming Earth. Thus, the story changes from the two title characters clashing multiple times to Mechagodzilla killing the real Godzilla, then another one randomly showing up at the end to fight him again. However, in certain scenes, they also say there's only one Mechagodzilla.
  • The Chilean Spanish dub of The Color of Friendship suffers of this and also overlaps with Separated by a Common Language as well: The slur kaffir is translated as Cafre, since it's the Chilean Spanish translation of that word. The problem came with the fact in some countries like Mexico, the word Cafre stands exclusively for reckless driver, without any racial connotation, making the Mexican audience to scratch their heads when Senator Dellum is angry when he thinks South Africans are bad drivers rather than be black.
  • In Thor: The Dark World, the Finnish subtitles on Disney+ render 'Soul Forge' as sielunväärennys. Väärennys does indeed mean forge—specifically, in the sense of fabrication or counterfeiting. Oops.
  • The Chinese subtitles for Avengers: Age of Ultron were replete with these. For example "son of a bitch" became "my old, familiar partner". See more examples here.
  • The Polish translation of Avengers: Infinity War has Eitri's people referred to with the word "karzeł" - which means a "dwarf" in a real world sense, i.e. a little person. The correct term referring to mythological dwarves would be "krasnolud". And then we of course find out that these dwarves are definitely not small...
    • Mind you, there is the matter of the translation conventions of fantasy versus those of folklore...
  • The Korean translation of Avengers: Infinity War has many mistakes:
    • Spider-Man's line "I did think this through" is translated as "I didn't know," which, of course, is the exact opposite of the original line.
    • When Wong explains the power of each Infinity Stone, the English word for each stone's ability is transliterated as if it was a proper noun, making it difficult to understand for non-English speakers. The dialogue is also very redundant, being translated as "The Space Stone controls space, the Reality Stone controls reality...", etc.
    • When Thor tells the Guardians that Thanos killed half his people, the subtitles don't specify this, and make it sound like Thanos killed all of them. Drax also says that his race was also slaughtered by Thanos, again not specifying that it was only half.
    • After defeating Ebony Maw, Doctor Strange asks if it's possible to go back to "our home planet" as if he doesn't know he's from Earth.
    • Steve's line "We don't trade lives" is rendered as "I don't ditch my friends." Apparently, if Vision wasn't his friend, Cap would just let him die.
    • When Thanos tells Doctor Strange that he proposed killing half of Titan, his line is mistranslated as "I killed them randomly." This makes it sound like Titan accepted his solution, only for the planet to go extinct anyway. As a result, Thanos's motives no longer make sense, as he continues to massacre half of other planets despite knowing that his original idea didn't work.
    • Doctor Strange's line "We're in the endgame now," was translated as "There's no hope," which gives the impression that he just gave up instead of having a plan to beat Thanos. It also confused many Korean viewers as to why he would give up the Time Stone.
    • Nick Fury's Curse Cut Short was translated as "Oh, mother." As in, his biological mother.
  • The Spaniard dub of Evil Angels translated "inquest" as encuesta ("poll"), rather than the correct investigación.
  • The Legend Is Born: Ip Man has an In-Universe example when a British businessman inquires where to buy bone china, but the interpreter butchers it as meaning "Chinese bones" and almost points him to a "killing animal house" (slaughterhouse) before Ip Man clears up the misunderstanding.
  • While Monty Python and the Holy Grail famously plays this trope for laughs in the opening credits, the 2001 DVD release contains an actual example with two scenes from a Japanese TV dub of the film. The French Taunter's dialogue is mostly translated correctly, though the translator clearly had difficulty with his insults, which are reduced to him calling King Arthur dumb and making Your Mom jokes. However, the Knights Who Say Ni's dialogue is completely butchered; now the Knights are apparently all clones, and inhabit a forest filled with living (as in, mobile) trees, while King Arthur claims never to have heard of them before, yet is still somehow terrified by their reputation.
  • The people in charge of the Latin American Spanish dubbing for The Dark Knight seemed to believe that the original actors made mistakes, so they "corrected" them. Because of that, when at the start of the film Joker says "I believe that whatever doesn't kill you only makes you... stranger" they translated it as "stronger" instead (though in this case the pun would have been lost with a direct translation, so maybe they simply chose to ignore it). Later, though, when Joker tells Two-Face that Chaos is "fair" they interpreted that word as "fear", which completely changes the entire meaning of the phrase, not to mention Two-Face's motivation.
  • The Hungarian dub of Battle for the Planet of the Apes somehow screwed up the term "human race", using the wrong meaning of "race" and translating it as "contest of the humans".
  • Howling II: Stirba: Werewolf Bitch: In Russian bootleg translation, the translator mixed up milleniums and millions, and thus made poor Stirba ten million years old - far older than humanity itself.
  • The translation in the English dub of the Mexican exploitation film Night of the Bloody Apes is very literal, having been translated word-for-word without adjusting the phrasing or syntax to English norms, resulting in lines such as:
    “I’ll say that’s absurd, the proofs are circumstantial, it’s more probable that of late more and more you’ve been watching on your television many of those pictures of terror.”
  • The title of A History of Violence (as well as that of the graphic novel it was based on) was translated in Castilian Spanish as Una historia de violencia. In Spanish the word historia means both "history" as in the study of the past, and "story" as in tale, but not "history" as in personal record, so the title's meaning becomes the rather generic "A Story of Violence". An accurate Spanish translation to convey the intended original meaning would be "Un historial de violencia".
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released in French under the name L'Invasion des profanateurs de sépultures which clearly shows that it was translated by someone who didn't actually see the movie, as its French title translates Body Snatcher as "Grave Robbers" rather than its intended "hijacking someone else's body" meaning.
  • Much of the dialogue in the Israeli film An American Hippie in Israel gives the impression of having been originally written in Hebrew and then sloppily translated into English. Some samples:
    "World, you’re so full of shit. You’re so badly contaminated that it’s impossible to find a corner free of smell."
    "They turned me into a... murdering machine. [Do] you understand? Me at nineteen a murdering machine!"
    "Shut your ass!"
  • A well-played joke in Casablanca where a German Refugee couple has decided that, in preparation for their arrival in America, they would only speak to each other in English, not their native German. The following exchange occurs:
    Husband: Liebchen— er, sweetnessheart... what watch?
    Wife: (checks time) Ten watch.
    Husband: Such much?
    • While this is not the correct way to ask for the time and react to the answer in English, it's nearly a direct translation of the conversation in German.
  • In Ed Wood's Hungarian dub, a washed-up Bela Lugosi says he hasn't worked in forty years instead of four. Since the film takes place in the '50s and his star-making role only came in 1931, not to mention he's had an active career in the intervening two decades, the dub's supposed timeline is all wrong.
  • In Mars Attacks!, the first attempt at translating what the Martians say is...less than successful.
    General Decker: What the hell does that mean?!
  • The 2011 film Mr. Popper's Penguins was released in European French as Monsieur Popper et ses pingouins, which is a mistranslation: in French, a "pingouin" is an "auk"; the word for "penguin" is "manchot". However, penguins are often referred to as "pingouins" in French, even though this usage is technically inaccurate, and they may have done this deliberately so the title stayed alliterative. Averted in the Canadian French version, which is named Monsieur Popper et ses manchots.
  • In Iron Man 2, the Russian news announcement Vanko is watching of Tony Stark's hearing headed by Senator Stern reads "Сенаторы вопрос Тони Stark". It's obviously supposed to mean "Senators question Tony Stark". However, "вопрос" is a noun, meaning in Russian it reads, "Senators the question Tony Stark." Additionally, his first name is written in Cyrillic (Russian alphabet) but his last name strangely is still in the Latin alphabet.
  • The Portuguese title for the film Cast Away is "Náufrago", which literally means "shipwrecked". The translation makes no sense as the main character gets stranded on an island after an airplane crash.
  • Bruce Lee Fights Back from the Grave is translated well enough from the original Korean version to at least make it possible to follow the storyline, but some of the individual scenes are translated badly enough to render them near-incomprehensible, most notably this scene where lead character Wong Han is accused of murder:
    Police Chief: So, it's just your story that it was self-defence. What can I do? You could get the chair.
    Wong Han: And what sort of chair is that?
    Police Chief: You what? What's with this guy, he wants his own special kind?
    Police Officer: He wants to have his own made.
    Police Chief: (throwing his arms up) THE FOOL!