Okay, I've posted a lot of really detailed info pretty recently so I thought today I'd lighten things up with something I read from www.tofugu.com, a website that is ridiculous and yet suprisingly correct about the japanese culture (with a lot of helpful japanese learning resources too). I have to say they are "the website" when I want to learn and laugh at the same time. They call themselves "a wonky Japanese language and culture blog." Below I've copied the parts of the article that literally made me laugh out loud. Click here to read the full article.
10 Japanese Movie Title Translations That Make No Sense
In the 60s, a Japanese song became incredibly popular not only in Japan but across the world. In Japan, it was called 上を向いて歩こう or roughly, “I Will Walk Looking Up.” It was an emotional song about the defeat of a popular Japanese protest movement against American military bases in Japan.
But people in English-speaking countries renamed it “Sukiyaki,” after a tasty Japanese dish which has absolutely nothing to do with what the song is about. It almost seems a little insulting — they might as well have renamed it “Sushi” or “Yakisoba.”
Little did we know that the Japanese have been exacting their revenge over our dumb translation for years, butchering American movie titles behind our backs. Fortunately, the all-knowing, all-seeing IMDB (Internet Movie Database) has the scoop on Japan’s translations and reinterpretations of movie titles.
Here are 10 of the worst Japanese translations and interpretations of American movie titles:
Napoleon Dynamite = “Bus Man”
I can’t really see many people outside of the US really “getting” Napoleon Dynamite. Its humor is pretty strange, and was even kind of hit-or-miss in the states.
Karate Kid = “The Best Kid”
I love it when a Japanese movie title cuts right to the chase and tells you what the movie is about. What’s Karate Kid about? A kid who’s the best (around). What more do you need to say, really?
You Only Live Twice = “007 Dies Twice”
Even though You Only Live Twice is the only James Bond movie set mostly in Japan, so it’s a little confusing to see the title of it mangled so strangely.
Ratatouille = “Remi’s Delicious Restaurant”
I’m really not surprised that the Japanese changed the name of this movie — when it was marketed in the US, the movie posters had a pronunciation guide on them (“rat・a・too・ee”).
Labels: humor, inspiration, Japan, Japanese, japanese culture, japanese movie title translations, language, tofugu, translation