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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Sunny South coast,

I am not a native English speaker, yet I'm working as a subtitler for Skynews.
So far, nobody complained about my 'poor syntax'!!
But thank you for the sensible advice anyway!!