toast me... i say you've got to toast me!
January 29, 2003 10:35 AM   Subscribe

"i am arogon, son of alfred." it's nothing shocking to hear that europe is being flooded with asian-made bootlegs of the two towers. but who would have thought the sub-titled translations would prove so hilariously incorrect and occasionally inappropriate?
posted by grabbingsand (37 comments total)
"Fry you fools!"

No one said you had to speak English to be a movie pirate.
posted by superchicken at 11:02 AM on January 29, 2003

"Bring your pussy face to my ass" !!!???

These words I write are as fecal gas...
posted by dash_slot- at 11:02 AM on January 29, 2003

Dearie, dearie me. English is not taking over the world. A pidgin loosely based on English as used by 12-year-old AOL chat users is taking over the world. OMGWTF!!!1
posted by Slithy_Tove at 11:04 AM on January 29, 2003

This is easily the funniest thing I've read in weeks. "That's Solomon Milon Dish," explains Gandolf Foogray.
posted by wanderingmind at 11:06 AM on January 29, 2003

Oh man, they really screwed that line up!

It should have been "u bring your pussy face to my ass".
posted by LoraT at 11:13 AM on January 29, 2003

"Toast me."

I'm laughing so damn hard right now.... Thanks for this link!

"You gonna pick it up or what?"
posted by dnash at 11:24 AM on January 29, 2003, that is some funny funny stuff. *wiping tears of hilarity from cheeks * Eomer saying, "For too long I have wanted my sister"! tee hee hee heee....
posted by serafinapekkala at 11:24 AM on January 29, 2003

Thanks grabbingsand, the Gollum 'ohh must think' makes a great wallpaper.
posted by snez at 11:31 AM on January 29, 2003

Many were copied from DVDs produced for distribution by the filmmakers to members of the Motion Picture Association of America in the hope of winning Oscar votes.

So why do they need English subtitles?
posted by eyeballkid at 11:40 AM on January 29, 2003

I was kinda wondering that myself Eyeballkid.
posted by Tenuki at 11:48 AM on January 29, 2003

Does this mean I'll actually be able to replace my CAM version with a DVD screener divx?... o0o0o0o
posted by timecube at 11:51 AM on January 29, 2003

Because the original is in some Asian language, I assume. I think this is sometimes the case with bootleg DVDs. It was with the one I have see (a bootleg version of Austin Powers).
posted by moonbiter at 11:51 AM on January 29, 2003

I'm leaning towards bogus on this one.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:51 AM on January 29, 2003

I think it's probably real. Someone I know picked up a bootleg DVD of the second Harry Potter movie in Singapore recently. It was packaged just like a real DVD, very professionally done, with subtitles in Mandarin and also in bad English.
posted by ukamikanasi at 12:24 PM on January 29, 2003

I'm leaning towards real too, because the link about the MPAA discs isn't related to the main link, except in the context of this post. Funny stuff, if it is the real, fake, thing.
posted by yhbc at 12:30 PM on January 29, 2003

These subtitles seem well within the realm of reality, given that the bootleggers added the subtitles (it's for distribution in Europe, after all). I have a Chinese roommate who brings back dozens of DVDs after every trip to China, and the subtitles on all Chinese movies I've seen are riddled with errors like the ones linked here. The DVD boxes are also comical, with inconsistent spellings all over and absolutely horrid liner text. Even movie titles can't escape errors, as one DVD has The Flortong Scholar on the side and then The Flirting Shcolar on the front.

When $15 is a low DVD price in the US, it gets awfully tempting to ask him to pick up the $2 pirated version on his next trip. It also makes the movie industry's business model seem a bit outrageous and, in light of the pirates, precarious.
posted by Llama-Lime at 12:43 PM on January 29, 2003

This even happens on sanctioned releases, esp. with video games. How many awful translations of Playstation games have you played? I bought a copy of Devil May Cry for my gf's sister for Christmas, and the blurb on the back of the box had the words "demon hoards" instead of "demon hordes". I guess copy-editing isn't an in-demand job anymore.
posted by starvingartist at 12:50 PM on January 29, 2003

"Gandalf foogray that is my name."

Clearly, that's supposed to be Gandalf Foobar.

You know, I always found it odd that the legit DVD of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" used different translations for the dubbed and subtitled versions. Nowhere near as funny as this, though.
posted by arto at 1:09 PM on January 29, 2003

now i am wondering if this is the linguistic artistry of toda natsuko, the infamous "shameless" translator that has the folks at all fired up...
posted by grabbingsand at 1:22 PM on January 29, 2003

I've seen two-DVD and one-DVD versions of the English rip of TTT on the 'net for quite some time. I've also seen it in a variety of lesser forms such as SVCD and DivX conversions. All have the same "For Your Consideration" text popping up at the bottom of the screen every 10 minutes or so, from what I've heard.

There's also this message at the beginning:

This Presentation You Are About To See
Is For Academy Consideration Only
It Is The Property Of New Line Cinema
And Is Not For Public Sale Or Exhibition.

(They have a real caps problem, don't they?)

I can't imagine any DVD collector wanting a version of the film with such annoying messages and text.
posted by Edge100x at 1:35 PM on January 29, 2003

I'm guessing those bootleggers used speech recognition software to do the subtitles cos the last I used on of those, the outcome had me in stitches.
posted by lunadust at 1:38 PM on January 29, 2003

It was packaged just like a real DVD, very professionally done, with subtitles in Mandarin and also in bad English.
Yeah, Far East bootleggers do a terrible, terrible job with English subtittles. Image quality is sometimes good, but the subtitles always suck.

It also makes the movie industry's business model seem a bit outrageous and, in light of the pirates, precarious.
Precarious? Yes, but image and sound quality standards are still very low. If you're accustomed to regular rental DVD's and even to good-quality divx rips, most Chinese and Thai bootlegs will look pretty bad to your eyes. Cheaper, but bad.
posted by matteo at 1:47 PM on January 29, 2003

I was wondering myself "Why subtitles on a bootleg?"

I know that I watched the English version of Fellowship of the Ring with the subtitles on because much of the dialogue was very low compared to the sound of the action and score. So, if you turned up the sound to hear Gandalf mumbling about paths and the like, you'd suddenly have sections of overly loud sword-clanging and orchestration.
posted by witchstone at 1:49 PM on January 29, 2003

Mark my words: these Engrish bootlegs, if they do exist at all, will be worth thousands of dollars on ebay soon. These LOTR freaks (with all due respect; I'm a Twin Peaks freak myself) have a Gollum-like obsession about every single memorabilia item they can get.
posted by 111 at 2:19 PM on January 29, 2003

I wasn't wondering about subtitles on a bootleg. My bootleg copies of anime all have bad English subtitles, but because they are translated badly from Japanese.

What I was wondering about was two things.

One, my man the commish is right about. My assumption that the article about academy consideration boots and those screen caps being related probably is just that, an assumption.

Two. Did anyone else notice that most of the mistakes are phonetic? They are all garbled, subtitled versions of the original english. They don't seem to be translated from Japanese to English. Example:

"What business did a man and a wolf had ridden a mark?"

The cadence of that line is nearly directly from the film. It isn't a Japanese to English translation. It's someone watching the film in English and providing "Engrish" subtitles.

I ask again, for a film that is already in English and sold in Hong Kong: Why English subtitles (unless there's some strange accessibility rule among HK bootleggers to consider the deaf)?

I say again. Bogus.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:22 PM on January 29, 2003

Totally fake. Bootleggers may subtitle badly, they may throw the English text from other movies onto the back of the DVD to fill up space, but they don't use "u" for "you". Total giveaway.
posted by Big Fat Tycoon at 2:26 PM on January 29, 2003

Fake - real- it's great in any case! My whole office is in stiches. (ROFL?)
posted by small_ruminant at 3:09 PM on January 29, 2003

"u r my heart" also seems phony, unless the pirates learned English from Valentine's Day candy. If it's not a fake, I'd like to see some of their technology (crisp, outlined Photoshop fonts) used on some of the DVDs I own.
posted by Gary at 3:12 PM on January 29, 2003

Lots of people who don't speak English as their native language buy English subtitled DVDs to increase their listening and reading ability, especially in Asia.

Recently I saw an Indonesian bootleg of the Two Towers, and honestly, the English subtitles were so sand-poundingly stupid that I thought I was going to be driven to distraction. Example: "habikts". It was as if the mistakes were made intentionally.

I mean, even a nine year old with a rudimentary grasp of the English language could just pick up a book or do google search on the word "hobbit". Five minutes is funny. The levity drained irreversibly away after an hour.
posted by hama7 at 3:39 PM on January 29, 2003

You are warm hungry

Well, which is it, Eomer? There is not room in the Kingdom of Rohan for both - you must make your decision now.
posted by MUD at 4:09 PM on January 29, 2003

Lots of people who don't speak English as their native language buy English subtitled DVDs to increase their listening and reading ability, especially in Asia.

It seems weird then, as arto pointed out, that they use different scripts for the subtitles and the dub. I've seen this on quite a few Asian movies and it's really hard to watch them like that. My brain can't adjust to reading and hearing almost the same thing at the same time. (to answer the inevitable question: late at night, or when the speech is much quieter than the sound effects, it's easier to watch a movie with subtitles than constantly fiddle with the volume).
posted by Gary at 4:13 PM on January 29, 2003

I saw Fellowship on DVD while it was still in the theaters, it was a copy from Thailand, with audio in Mandarin and English, and subtitles in all three languages.

What we would figure was that the movie was subtitled while being watched in a language OTHER than English, and then the subtitles were translated to English.

So when we watched the movie in the original English, the subtitles did a very poor job of matching up. Needless to say we got real drunk and laughed until someone puked.
posted by CrazyJub at 5:31 PM on January 29, 2003

My vote is for real. It's relatively easy to add your own subtitles once you've ripped the VOB from a DVD. I think someone did this in a big hurry, to get it released before the competition. "u r" so right about the lack of skill behind it, but I think someone faking Engrish subs would have thought of something more clever.

I'd write more on this, but I am so warm hungry right now that I must leave.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:12 PM on January 29, 2003

I saw this last Saturday, and it was the funniest thing I had seen in weeks! My eyes were tearing up so badly that I could barely see the monitor, and my tummy was hurting from laughing so much... I literally wanted to start 'rolling on the floor'!
posted by SenshiNeko at 9:49 PM on January 29, 2003

Lots of people who don't speak English as their native language buy English subtitled DVDs to increase their listening and reading ability, especially in Asia.

I know when I was trying to learn German, I did the same kind of thing -- getting movies with German dialogue, and having the English subtitles on so I could try and connect some of the words to their English correspondents. Not the best way to learn a different language, but it did help by putting vocabulary words I'd been studying into a context.

As for the page itself, its hilarious. I don't care if it's real or fake, I'm just happy for the good laugh -- I've needed that :)
posted by thorswitch at 10:36 PM on January 29, 2003

grabbingsand: I'm guessing that if Toda Natsuko is, like your link suggested, one of the most popular/successful translators in Japan, she/he probably turns out a bit better work than this. Especially when there's a widely available book to double check names and non-standard words like "hobbit" and "Ent" in.

Maybe the DVD is going to offer a h4x0r language option, like Google. "/me iz 64n(|4lf t3h 6r4y! m3 own2 j00! r00fles!1!!!"
posted by arto at 10:59 PM on January 29, 2003

I've seen the equivalent Fellowship DVD with the subtitles on. The same sort of syntactical mistakes occur throughout, as well as misnaming characters (Isildur becomes Elrond, for example -- I guess Elrond couldn't convince himself to dispose of the one ring!)
posted by John Shaft at 1:34 AM on January 30, 2003

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