The Tower of Babel

It’s not like it never happens. It happens all the time.

We just never notice.

Well, most of us never notice.

On the other hand, were more of us proficient in other languages, we would be far more indignant about the sheer volume of cases of incorrect subtitling that occur on a film-by-film basis. But, alas, we are not. So they pass us by, and we accept foreign films as having a certain amount of fidelity to their original intentions, linguistically.

To be fair, there are a good number of films that do maintain a pretty faithful translatory nature. However, it is in those few films that stray so desparately from either the exact wording or the feel of the dialogue that are the bad apples that ruin the bunch.

The tragedy comes when it happens to a film as breathtaking and ground-breaking in many ways as Let The Right One In. I was sitting here tonight, and my good friend Gariana from Popcorn Mafia sends me this link that nearly sent me screaming down the street, accusing any young studio exec-type within yelling distance of having *anything* to do with it (even though I knew, full well, that they had no such position in the matter).

So yes. It appears that someone has decided that Americans, on the whole, were ready only for Twilight when it came to Vampire movies. The dumbing down of the subtitles on the DVD is not only ludicrous it’s insulting. Thanks to RobG at Icons Of Fright, I now know that I will not be buying the American release. His treatment of the subtitling and what was “lost in translation” is not only informative, but incisive and well-displayed.

In any case, just a FYI and a heads’ up. If you care about the film (and you really should- its ALL about the “little things” in this film that can ONLY be conveyed through the incredible use of finely attenuated dialogue and storytelling), do yourself a favor and skip the American release- get the Canadian release, get the Korean/Swedish/Swahili…who cares! Just as long as the subtitles are more finely accented to the Real Dialogue.

If they are not, you lose half the film, and it would be like seeing the film without hearing it, or vice versa, a very difficult proposition indeed.

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2 Comments

  1. Or, better yet, read the book. It’s awesome.
    (said the boy with the new kindle2)

  2. Oooh….New Kindle2….You’ll love a future entry…Mebbe I’ll push that one up a bit….
    I have the book for LTROI sitting at home. Anxious to start it……..soon………Stupid school stuff!!


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