As a Lithuanian, I often find myself baffled by the way we translate foreign movie titles. In our country, Superbad became Hard NutsEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was transformed to The Power of Feelings, and This is the End was renamed to Christmas Cakes, Drugs, and Sex. Turns out, we're not the only ones doing this.

Even though the task of translating a movie title to a local audience seems like a fairly simple one, handled by one of those fancy types who speak more than one language, it's really complex. So much so that it sometimes makes the story sound like a totally different thing. Continue scrolling this list by Bored Panda and see for yourself.

#1

Vaseline (Argentina)

Vaseline (Argentina)

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Vic
Community Member
1 year ago

As long as it's slippery..

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As one linguist said, while the practice of translation is always a work of adaptation, it is much more so when it comes to translating movie titles. For instance, how should the Russian villain in a typical Hollywood production be presented in Moscow cinemas? And what do we do about cultural references?

In addition, there is the fact that the title of a movie is supposed to summarize and condense a two-hour story. Therefore, the translator must rifle through nuances, overtones, examples of polysemy, as well as a number of other approaches.

#2

Big Liar (China)

Big Liar (China)

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 year ago

Truer words have never been spoken.

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#3

Meth Dad (Slovakia)

Meth Dad (Slovakia)

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A.M. Pierre
Community Member
1 year ago

It sounds like the sitcom version of the show. “Next week on ‘Meth Dad’: Can Walter handle drug dealers, watching his kids for a day, AND his nosy neighbor? Find out on ‘Meth Dad’!”

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What makes it even more difficult is that the reader has no context to understand the translated title of the film; a title should be evocative and should work with no other references than its own semantic values and connotations. The translator can't use contextual elements to supplement or clarify the meaning.

The translation of movie titles involves not only retaining/giving it meaning, but there are also rhythmic constraints (in this case, this comes closer to literary translation and more specifically, poetic) and commercial ones (bringing us closer to marketing translation). It's a minefield.

#4

It's Raining Falafel (Israel)

It's Raining Falafel (Israel)

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 year ago

Why? Falafel does not contain meat.

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#5

Die Hard: Mega Hard (Denmark)

Die Hard: Mega Hard (Denmark)

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Daria Zozula
Community Member
1 year ago

Polish: Glass Trap

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#6

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Behaved Very Nicely Around Me (Malaysia)

Austin Powers: The Spy Who Behaved Very Nicely Around Me (Malaysia)

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 year ago

The original title sounded too x-rated for Malaysia.

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#7

Santa Is A Pervert (Czech Republic)

Santa Is A Pervert (Czech Republic)

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I I
Community Member
1 year ago

Czech title is on the money

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#8

Mom, I Missed My Plane (France)

Mom, I Missed My Plane (France)

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Emma_Aitana yay
Community Member
1 year ago

I mean, it's not wrong.

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#9

If You Leave Me, I'll Erase You (Italy)

If You Leave Me, I'll Erase You (Italy)

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Vic
Community Member
1 year ago

Italian version: Try it, I dare you..

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#10

My Partner With The Cold Snout (Germany)

My Partner With The Cold Snout (Germany)

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Karel Parth
Community Member
1 year ago

It's same in Czech

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#11

The Urban Neurotic (Germany)

The Urban Neurotic (Germany)

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Aaron Kara
Community Member
1 year ago

Sums it up nicely

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#12

Super Power Dare Die Team (China)

Super Power Dare Die Team (China)

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Vic
Community Member
1 year ago

Sounds like a catch phrase a power ranger would use..

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#13

The Unbelievable Trip In A Wacky Aeroplane (Germany)

The Unbelievable Trip In A Wacky Aeroplane (Germany)

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 year ago

Which explains the entire plot.

Chihuahua Schombel
Community Member
1 year ago

We Germans are so humorless. xDDD

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Radek Suski
Community Member
1 year ago

Polish: "Is there a pilot flying with us?"

MERMONKEY34
Community Member
1 year ago

Rodger, Rodger!

RiaDeCatterpillar
Community Member
1 year ago

"I'm Sorry, your title was unable to translate in to this language. Would you like us to stick the plot of the movie as the title instead?"

CatWoman312
Community Member
1 year ago

Surely you can’t be serious I am serious and don’t call me Shirley

kathoco
Community Member
1 year ago

France: Y a-t-il un pilote dans l'avion ? = Is there a pilot on the plane?

Faith Nicole
Community Member
1 year ago

This movie is classic , absolutely love it 😆

Sam T Godfrey
Community Member
1 year ago

That sounds like 'Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines'. Maybe they should just call it "Shirley".

Luciano Wanderley
Community Member
1 year ago

In brazilian portuguese: "Apertem os cintos, que o piloto sumiu" = "Fasten your seat belts, the pilot's gone"

Philly Bob Squires
Community Member
1 year ago

Pretty much, yeah! Still one of my favorite comedies. I also had a thing for Lorna Patterson back then too! LOL! (Randy the stewardess)

Cleo Carter
Community Member
1 year ago

Brazil: Fasten your seatbelts...the pilot is missing

respulero
Community Member
1 year ago

Spain: "land as you can"

ubik
Community Member
1 year ago

in italy "The Craziest plane in the World"!

Cybele Spanjaard
Community Member
1 year ago

The long version..

Monica Siciliano
Community Member
1 year ago

in italy " the craziest airplane of the world"

Eric Forster
Community Member
1 year ago

It's the little room in the front of the airplane where the pilot sits, but that's not important now.

Mónica Elisabeth Sacco
Community Member
1 year ago

Too German. Argentina: "Where's the pilot?". Could've been worse...

Max L.
Community Member
1 year ago

Iraly : the craziest airplane in the world

Luis Hernandez Dauajare
Community Member
1 year ago

Latin America was ¿Donde esta el piloto? (Where is the pilot?)

Hannah Edwards
Community Member
1 year ago

Surely Germany could have come up with something a bit more catchy. (Don’t call me Shirley.)

Nicolas Schirvel
Community Member
1 year ago

France : Is there a pilot in the plane ?

Lydie Balthazar
Community Member
1 year ago

France : Is there a pilot in the plane?

Acacio Lima
Community Member
1 year ago

In Brazil "Fast your seat belts. The pilot is missing!"

Mariana Schneider
Community Member
1 year ago

fasten*

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dev mehta
Community Member
1 year ago

Much of the dialog in this movie probably didn't translate well into non-English languages.

Giamaica
Community Member
1 year ago

italy: the craziest airplane in the world

Bruce Mills
Community Member
1 year ago

In Australia it was 'Flying High'

Fabio Di Pane Masi
Community Member
1 year ago

The craziest airplane in the world (Italy)

Premislaus de Colo
Community Member
1 year ago

Polish: Is the pilot flying with us?

David Constante
Community Member
1 year ago

In Spain is" land as you can"

Doc Thissen
Community Member
1 year ago

(sarcasm alert) Wait! Germans have a sense of humor? Since when?

Paul Davis
Community Member
1 year ago

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I've heard sarcasm doesn't work well in German language or culture, so this is to be expected.

J. F.
Community Member
1 year ago

Oh, we germans can be very sarcastic - and sarcasm works great with the right emphasis in german 😉

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#14

Rita Heyworth, Key To Escape (Finland)

Rita Heyworth, Key To Escape (Finland)

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Wyn Williams
Community Member
1 year ago

Works both ways, a Finnish film called girl you will be a star was translated to English as beauty and the beast :) the translator also changed a lot of what was said as apparently he didn't like the movie

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#15

Knight Of The Night (Spain)

Knight Of The Night (Spain)

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willi santiago
Community Member
1 year ago

The Spanish title is better

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#16

My Boyfriend Is A Psycho (Russia)

My Boyfriend Is A Psycho (Russia)

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Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 year ago

To be fair, they're both kinda crazy.

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#17

This Hitman Is Not As Cold As He Thought (China)

This Hitman Is Not As Cold As He Thought (China)

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denzoren
Community Member
1 year ago

As much as I lol'ed at this, I prefer the original.

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#18

Six Naked Pigs (China)

Six Naked Pigs (China)

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chi-wei shen
Community Member
1 year ago

This sounds a bit condescending.

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#19

Son Of Devil (China)

Son Of Devil (China)

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Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 year ago

So...Arnie gave birth to the antichrist?

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#20

The Hole Of Malkovich (Japan)

The Hole Of Malkovich (Japan)

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Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 year ago

Was this the porn parody title?

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#21

If You Drink, Don't Marry! (Brazil)

If You Drink, Don't Marry! (Brazil)

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kathoco
Community Member
1 year ago

France: Very bad trip (so the title is changed but it's still in English, not French)

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#22

His Powerful Device Makes Him Famous (China)

His Powerful Device Makes Him Famous (China)

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Candace Fitzpatrick
Community Member
1 year ago

"Powerful device" 😂

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#23

Dimwit Surges Forth (Thailand)

Dimwit Surges Forth (Thailand)

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Stephanie Keith
Community Member
1 year ago

I mean a dimwit did surge forth.

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#24

A Supertough Kangaroo (Spain)

A Supertough Kangaroo (Spain)

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Emma_Aitana yay
Community Member
1 year ago

ok?

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#25

The Teeth From The Sea (France)

The Teeth From The Sea (France)

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Jihan Kim
Community Member
1 year ago

poetic

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#26

Captain Supermarket (Japan)

Captain Supermarket (Japan)

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I I
Community Member
1 year ago

yep , Black Friday shoppers

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#27

Pigs And Diamonds (Mexico, Spain)

Pigs And Diamonds (Mexico, Spain)

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JuJu
Community Member
1 year ago

Germany too.

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#28

The Gun Died Laughing (Israel)

The Gun Died Laughing (Israel)

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Premislaus de Colo
Community Member
1 year ago

Polish: Shooting with laughter

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#29

American Virgin Man (China)

American Virgin Man (China)

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I I
Community Member
1 year ago

ask the pie if hes a virgin

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#30

Full Of The Nuts (Germany)

Full Of The Nuts (Germany)

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Nela Rothenbach
Community Member
1 year ago

Well, more like "full on the nuts"

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