Saturday, 26 June 2010
subtitling blunders, Polish-English
Just read a very funny post on a site called Polandian about the subtitling of a Polish film (which I haven't seen) called Dom Zły. The wonders of screenshot technology allow the poster to show us the subtitlers' amazing coinages (the mind boggles at 'dephlegmator'), poor syntax (a sentence beginning 'Probably you can' is unlikely to originate in English), collocational innovation and disregard for niceties like apostrophes and capitalisation.
Of course it's a tiny bit unfair to take single subtitles out of context and subject them to minute scrutiny, but here one can understand the temptation. Always get a native speaker to do your subtitles (and then a second native speaker to check your first native speaker). And then people won't mock your film in public. Well, they might, but not because of a bad translation.