August 1, 2012

Movie Title Translations

Watching TV earlier, I noticed some movies are given different titles translated into Norwegian. I believe the movie being advertised on TV was Couples Retreat, but being translated into something different it was something like Trøbbel i paradiset. Translated it would be Trouble in the Paradise - you can see the similarities in the language in that title.

All original English speaking movies are still spoken in English with no voice overs, but they are shown in Norwegian subtitles. There is an exception to this with children's movies and TV programs which do have Norwegian voice overs.

I asked Arild why some movie titles are in English, some are translated, and some are translated into names completely different. He said he really didn't know and thought of a coffee table book he has which has a list of the most off-titled movie translations. He pulled out Typisk Norsk from under the coffee table and started reading these to me:

I'll do the correct English title, the Norwegian title, and the Norwegian title translated to English

10. Keeping the Faith -  Tro, håp og forviklinger - Faith, Hope and Complications
9. If Lucy Fell - Tro, håp og selvmord - Faith, Hope and Suicide
8. Two Can Play That Game - (English title) How to make your man behave in ten days
7. Spinal Tap - Hjelp, vi er i popbransjen - Help, we are in the pop business
6. Blue Movies - Hjelp, vi er lager pornofilm! - Help, we are making a porno!
5. In the Shadows - (English title) Something in the shadows
4. Saturday Night Fever - Lørdagskjøret - Saturday run
3. The Maid - Hjelp, jeg er hushjelp! - Help, I am a maid!
Another movie shares number 3...
Volunteers - Hjelp, vi får hjelp! - Help, we're getting help!
2. Europa, Europa - Jøde i Hitlerjugend - Jew in the Hitler youth
1. The Onion Field - Patruljebil 6Z4 svarer ikke - Patrol car 6Z4 doesn't respond

I'm not so sure what's going on with movie titles beginning with "Help!" but from my understanding this was popular in the 1980s in Norway.

(Sehjerven, P., Westgaard, K., Bolstad, H., Snekkevåg, M., Solheim, E., & Torkelsen, F. Typisk norsk. (p. 221). Oslo, Norway: NRK)


umang chaudhary said...

Its good and helpful for those who wants to learn English to Norwegian translation

rustom said...

Great post.The importance of a Norwegian translation being accurate and efficient can indeed not be overstated. Especially in the ever faster moving world of globalized business, successful information and technology transfer within multinational businesses can make the difference between win or lose.