By Any Other Name

David Sedaris is one of my all-time favourite anythings, and reading his newest, Theft By Finding, leaves me needing to text Matt “omg, THIS part!” literally every 40 seconds. Sedaris has 514 pages of excellent observations, but one of them, in which he mentions that the title for Groundhog Day is not so much lost in (German) translation, but found, really caught my fancy, and so I wondered what other gems awaited me in second-language cinema.

Groundhog Day was released in Germany as ‘Eternally Weeps the Groundhog.’

What else can I unearth? I’ve published the correct titles in white; you can uncover the answers simply by high-lighting the blank space. Play along, let me know how many you guessed right, and tell me which of these you would have seen!

China calls Pretty Woman – I Will Marry A Prostitute to Save Money

Never Been Kissed is translated in the Philippines as – Because She’s Ugly

Girl, Interrupted is known in Japan as – 17-Year Old Girl’s Medical Chart

China knows The Professional as – This Hit Man Is Not as Cold as He Thought

chocolate-copyGermany knows Annie Hall as – Urban Neurotic

Which movie is known as American Bluff in France, The Great American Swindle in Spain, and United States Cheat Bureau in China? Answer: American Hustle

Japan knows You Only Live Twice by – 007 Dies Twice

Boogie Nights, China – His Great Device Makes Him Famous

France translates The Hangover as – Very Bad Trip

Ocean’s Eleven – Eleven Men and a Secret (Brazil)

Top Gun is known as – Love is in the Sky (Israel)

What movie is known as Strange Coincidences in Spain, Multinationals Go Home! in Hungary, and The Psycho Detectives in Portugal? Answer: I ♥ Huckabees

The Shawshank Redemption is known as The Prison for Angels in Romania

 

 Denmark calls Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – The Boy Who Drowned in Chocolate Sauce

The Sixth Sense – He’s a Ghost! (China)

Animal House is known as I Think The Horse is Kicking Me in Germany.

Poland calls The Terminator – The Electronic Murderer

Due Date – Odd Couple, Wacky Trip, Go Together in Time for Birth. (Thailand)

What movie is called Western Department of Memories in China, Harmonica: The Avenger in Sweden, and Play Me The Song of Death in Germany? Once Upon A Time In the West

Lost in Translation, or as it’s known in Portugal, Meetings and Failures in Meetings

Risky Business – Just Send Him to University Unqualified (China)

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16 thoughts on “By Any Other Name

  1. Christopher

    Yeah, you had me at David Sedaris, and he had me ever since I went to a live reading where he opened with a short piece about the hippopotamus anus.
    Anyway I got all of two: Pretty Woman and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (I like to think I would have gotten it without the illustration).
    Years ago I read that the title of Dangerous Liaisons was translated into Thai as “Vipers In Heat”. Sounds about right.

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  2. badblokebob

    I got a couple. Boogie Nights being His Great Device Makes Him Famous is my favourite. Some titles probably do benefit from being localised (American Hustle, for instance), but others… why?!

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