Lost in Translation
What are the worst movie titles of all time?
Fortunately, very many of those title translations are so bad and sense-free, that I decided to share some of them with you … simply by re-translating their meaning back to English:
- For your eyes only | In tödlicher Mission = On a deadly Mission
- The Living Daylights | Der Hauch des Todes = The Breath of Death
- Dodgeball | Voll auf die Nüsse = [with] full [impact] on the nuts [= balls, testicles]
- The Spy who shagged me | Spion in geheimer Missionarstellung = Spy in secret missionary position
- A Hard Day's Night | Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
- The Big Silence | Leichen pflastern seinen Weg = Bodies pave his way
- Conspiracy Theory | Fletchers Visionen = Flechter's Visions
- The Deer Hunter | Die durch die Hölle gehen = Those who go through Hell
- Die Hard | Stirb langsam = Die slowly
- Don't look now | Wenn die Gondeln Trauer tragen = When the Gondolas wear Mourning
- The Man who knew too little | Agent Null Null Nix – Bill Murray in hirnloser Mission = Agent Zero Zero Zilch – Bill Murray on a brainless Mission
- My Bodyguard | Die Schulhofratten von Chicago = The Campus-Rats of Chicago
- North by Northwest | Der unsichtbare Dritte = The invisible Third [Man]
- Once upon a Time in the West | Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod = Play the Song of Death for me
- Outrageous Fortune | Nichts als Ärger mit dem Typ = Nothing but trouble with that guy!
- Planes, Trains & Automobiles | Ticket für Zwei = Ticket for Two
- The Pope must die | Ein Papst zum Küssen = A Pope to kiss
- Midnight Cowboy | Asphalt Cowboy = Concrete Cowboy
- Red Eagle | Black Eagle = Black Eagle
My personal Top 3:
- Tomorrow never dies | Der Morgen stirbt nie = The Morning never dies — Hold on, I need to explain that one, because it's really tricky:
1. The word "morgen" in German both means "morning" and "tomorrow"
2. In German language, articles have sexes (male: der, female: die, neutral: das)
3. If we wanted to use "morgen" as a noun, it would be Das Morgen for "the tomorrow", but Der Morgen for "the morning" – so the title should actually be Das Morgen stirbt nie. But:
4. As "Tomorrow" as also used as the brand or title for Carver's newspaper, and titles and brands for printed stuff are traditionally never sexually neutral (e.g. it is Das Bild for "the picture, the image", but Die Bild for "the BILD – newspaper"), they could not say Das Morgen because it would not have conveyed the double meaning of "Tomorrow" in this Bond movie.
So they basically had no chance whatsoever to translate it the right way.
- Brave New World | Geklonte Zukunft = Cloned Future — the weird thing about that: Huxley's classic is a standard in English lessons in German schools and widely known and famous under "Schöne neue Welt (Beautiful New World) over here; renaming this film basically murdered its chances of ever being watched.
and here comes my favorite one:
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly | Zwei glorreiche Halunken = Two glorious scoundrels — don't ask me where the third has gone …