Maybe you´ve already seen somewhere something that has become kind of famous among Internet users: the “You’re doing it wrong” pictures. They are photos where people just write this sentence on – and it somehow ends up funny. Examples:
Playing baseball: You’re doing it wrong!
Talking on the phone: You’re doing it wrong!
Which one is the largest: You’re doing it wrong!
This article, however, is not about photos – but movies. Movie titles actually. Considering that the movie titles translation into Portuguese does not always have to be literal, we have to give the poor translators a break. Their efforts to get the best translation for a movie are for sure huge – but many times just in vain.
Take a look at my choice of movie titles that deserve the prize of “Translation – You’re doing it wrong!” in Brazil:
Original title: Airplane!
Title in Portuguese: Apertem os Cintos… O Piloto Sumiu (Fasten your seat belts… The pilot is gone)
Original title: Tremors
Title in Portuguese: O Ataque dos Vermes Malditos (The attack of the cursed worms)
Original title: The Tuxedo
Title in Portuguese: O Terno de 2 Bilhões de Dólares (The 2 billion dollars suit)
Original title: Mystic River
Title in Portuguese: Sobre Meninos e Lobos (About boys and wolves)
Original title: Saw
Title in Portuguese: Jogos Mortais (Deadly games)
Original title: War
Title in Portuguese: Rogue – O Assassino (Rogue – The murderer)
There is still another thing that the Brazilian translators seem to think is important: telling a part of the story in the title.
Original title: Closer
Title in Portuguese: Closer – Perto demais (Closer – Too close)
Original title: Pulp Fiction
Title in Portuguese: Pulp Fiction – Tempo de violência (Pulp Fiction – Times of violence)
Original title: Blade Runner
Title in Portuguese: Blade Runner, o caçador de androides (Blade Runner, the android hunter)
Original title: Erin Brockovich
Title in Portuguese: Erin Brockovich – Uma mulher de talent (Erin Brockovich – A talented woman)
Original title: Moulin Rouge
Title in Portuguese: Moulin Rouge – Amor em vermelho (Moulin Rouge – Love in red)
Original title: Babe
Title in Portuguese: Babe, o porquinho atrapalhado (Babe, the clumsy pig)
Original title: Forrest Gump
Title in Portuguese: Forrest Gump – O contador de histórias (Forrest Gump – The story teller) (but why not Forrest Gump – The runner?)
In case there is still a chance to change the already existing titles, I would suggest:
Original title: Titanic
Title in Portuguese: Titanic – O navio que afunda (Titanic – The ship that sinks)
Original title: The Sixth Sense
Title in Portuguese: O Sexto Sentido – O menino que via mortos (The Sixth Sense – The boy who saw dead people)
Original title: Juno
Title in Portuguese: Juno – A jovem que engravida (Juno – The young girl who gets pregnant)
Well I guess you can understand what I meant.
Bottom line: Translators, congratulations for you effort, but you’re just doing it wrong.