Lost in Translation?

Candice: Another day, another film set – this one over in Wales, pretending to be Welsh.  Easy to do when you don’t have lines!

Anyway, it got me thinking about what happens when you translate books into different languages and the impact that has on the story.  For example:  I go back to the old faithful Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, translated from Swedish to English.  Now, somethings I think were definitely lost in translation there, as well as a need to give you an insight into Swedish politics and history that wasnt really necessary.  I think I spent the first 100 pages of this book going “What ?” to the high level of detail.  Some words and expressions don’t come across well either, or dont work in a different country.

And that brings me to the lovely Yanks, who will bugger about with everything.  Speaking of the Girl with.. books, I nearly bought one when I was in the US earlier this year, but stopped as I know what they are like with really dumbing down things.  Instead I bought a nice bit of chic lit fluff about a girl running a finishing school in London.  Very rapidly I realised that it been Americanised for the audience; the school had an elevator and the school kids wore pants (and not under their trousers).  The final nail in the coffin was the description of shoes as pumps – oh that one winds me up!

But why do we or they feel the need to change things so much. I can understand a certain amount of editing when its not relevant to the country but to make something based in the UK and then have them talking American seems abit silly.  Is this the same reason Cheryl Cole got booted off American X Factor, or was that just the need for subtitles due to accent?

So, with that to ponder I am going to remember the lovely banoffee pie picture , which filled a hole in filming quite nicely.



Filed under Writing

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