Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm Feeding!!! ;P

Being an English student, I've always thought I could do better at translation, & that it's one of my weakest skills, but whenever I see the hilarious (& ridiculous) attempts at translations here & there, I feel that I'm soooo underestimating myself!

Just watch any movie in English & check out the subtitles in Arabic; you'd find wonders!!! 
For example, the other day I was watching this movie when this guy tells this girl that she's hot:

Guy: "I think you're hot!"
Girl (to her bffs:) "He said I'm hot"

Wanna know how they came out in poor translation?

Guy: "أعتقد انك مليئة بالحرارة"
Girl: "قال إنني أتمتع بالحرارة"

Hilariously ridiculous & shameful!!!

Another example:

Eng: "Go straight ahead."
Ar: "امش بخط مستقيم"

Couldn't they use a more appropriate translation? What's wrong with "امض قدماً"?

Seriously, why don't they hire professionals to do the job & not depend on people who are poor at this job, or worse, depend a machine to do the translation without bothering to check up after it?! It's so ridiculous & really shameful! It sure makes me laugh, but come on!!! Translation is one thing & literal translation is a whole different thing!!!

But literal translation is not always the problem. Sometimes, the subtitles are worse than what was already said! (Gives more than the needed meaning). 


Eng: "She's not easy!"
Ar: "إنها ليست عا..." (a word that describes the woman that does kinda job)

I swear I could not believe my eyes! I was like, what the?? O.o!!! Usually, you'd expect it the other way around! 

I could go on forever listing examples as they are more than abundant, & do not only appear in movies. Like this hilarious find I just stumbled upon today:

"I'm Feeding"?? Feeding what? loool

I'm sure you all have your share of "Lost in Translation" examples, so please be generous & share some of the funniest you've stumbled upon with us! :D


  1. LOOOOL!! that is so true.. i noticed also the translations and i bet i could do a better job!!

  2. Yeah, they're such a shame! But sure do make us laugh! hee hee

    thnx for passing by Standy ^^

  3. and Standy,

    in case this is your first time visiting, welcome! ^^ you seem to have a cool blog! ^^

  4. LoooL i like the Lost in Translation posts... aham shay il translation of she's not easy! shino y3ni min sejhom? 3yal lo it was 'she is so easy?' chan shino galaw?!

    bs be careful... hal ayam min itgoleen lost in translation el y3sboon :p

  5. yeah, spotting a bad translation is always fun! lol

    yeah, that one really left my jaw dropping for days! loool btw, i made a mistake on that, forgot one word, i just edited. its supposed to be "inha laysat 3a..."

    anyhow, whether it was "not easy" or "so easy", it didnt change the fact that they translated "easy" with "3a...", which is just soooo omg! loool i still laugh about it! looool

    im not sure i got the last part u mentioned, el y3a9boon?? u mean get angry? why?

  6. I have noticed that too..Its a shame!!

  7. that is sooooo funny! seriously i've seen worse!!

  8. Hey Summer,

    hee hee, oh yeah there are much worse I'm sure! xD
    Care to share some of the worst you've seen with us, please? :D

  9. Heey,
    they're basicaly "badliyaat", not really lost in translation..
    The best ones I've seen are:
    Pullover - Blover
    Versailles palace- fersai
    The sun is setting- The sun she is setting

    I know more but I can't recall some right now!

  10. lool yeah badliyat are funny too, but not shameful, cuz everyone makes mistakes & typos, but the Lost in Translation ones just scream "Unprofessional!!"

    lol thnx for sharing, Summer ;)

  11. LOL :) lala bel 3ax i love it when reading such crazy translations haha

  12. Amu:

    (sorry, just noticed ur comment), yeah! So shameful wallah! hee hee


    Yeah, they're fun, I agree bs ambai yfashloon! (such an embarrassment!) xD


    Guys, im still waiting for ur examples! Come on, scratch ur heads & remember some! :P

  13. Hahah wow I'm quite lucky to stumble upon this blog! :P
    I've always preferred watching movies without subtitles because they could be quite distracting, and sometimes funny. -_-
    The "I think you're hot!" translation is so typical.
    I can't really think of any right now, but there are loads out there. :p

  14. Hey there Ambitious Qatari Girl! Welcome to Just a Bunch of Thoughts!

    Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us! Yes, I agree with you; watching movies with no subtitles is better if you don't wish to be distracted (but to learn, I like to have an English subtitled version so that I get what they're saying perfectly, & then use the dictionary (or Arabic subtitles if they're available) to the learn the translation.

    Thanks again for stopping by, AQG (mind if i shortened your name? :P), Keep visiting!

  15. Thank YOU! :P
    I bet you'd make a wonderful translator. :)
    I admire your passion!

  16. Thank you my dear! I don't know about that, but thank you! ^^

  17. hahaha i can go on with examples..

    translation is not as easy as many people might think. I tried instantaneous translation from Arabic to English at some speech. Figures of speech and this kind of stuff is usually hard to translate.

    but yeah, i'm sure those people are not getting paid what the job would deserve. So the company is getting the quality they're paying for.

    please, go listen to people trying to speak arabic on TV. They suck big time. People don't know the basic grammar in Arabic. It irritates me a lot and it's not something you can ignore.

  18. Hello Ahmad, welcome to Just a Bunch of Thoughts!

    I hear ya! It's so irritating! & yes, figures of speech, idioms & the like, are not easy to get if you don't know their meaning or if you aren't familiar with the context. That's why "people", & not just any people, "professionals" should be doing the translation job, not people with poor English (& Arabic!) skills, or computers!

    And some might think that they just need to be good in English in order to be good translators, but they forget they need to be good at their mother-tongue first. I'm sure you must be aware of that, since you tried instantaneous translation, & that is the hardest kind of translation.

    I'm not sure which Arabic you're referring to, but if you're talking about the accents & dialects actors try to imitate when playing rolls that don't speak their mother-tongues & fail miserably at it, then yes, I'm with you on that! It's so irritating to the ears. But recently, I've noticed a lot of improvements I must say, so that's good.

    I wish if you can come up with some examples, Ahmad! You seem to have stumbled upon many! Try to remember & come back again, we'd love to read about them!

    Thank you for stopping by & sharing your thoughts, keep visiting! :)

  19. I do the same thing sometimes!
    I remember like ten years ago? when Men In Black came up, we were in Cairo for couple of days, and the translation of the film was Al Rijal Fil Eswid! الرجال في الإسود

    Can you imagine that? LOL.

    Don't you just love Egyptian style translation?

  20. Hello قرمت:

    Yeah, translations of movie titles is also as hilarious! hee hee Thanks for sharing this with us, did they really put the "kasra" on the "alif" so clearly? hee hee

    Thank you for stopping by, keep visiting!

  21. correction:

    I mean "under" the "Alif" ;p

  22. Hello fellow :D
    I'm studying translation as a minor and I love it so much but I'm not that good at it. My Arabic is not that good as well but it's better than those people who translated the examples you mentioned :p



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