That loveable, funny bunch of misfits, the Guardians Of The Galaxy, won’t be found in any cinemas across China. While the movie in which they appear opened recently in the country, you’d come up short trying to find a multiplex where it’s showing. That’s all down to one simple, and very detrimental, aspect of overseas film distribution: translations. Nope, if you wanna catch Star-Lord, Gamora, Rocket, Groot and Drax kicking butt in China, you’ll have to ask at the box office for one ticket to Interplanetary Unusual Attacking Team. No, we’re not kidding.
A title might not deter a Chinese cinemagoer, however, what if the content is so completely garbled that it’s simply not funny? Aye – that’s a different matter indeed and one which was addressed by China Daily. The news outlet reports that audiences faced a complete lack of (intentional) humour, and were instead greeted by a bunch of nonsensical, misogynistic gibbering buffoons!
On hand to corroborate the story via China’s social media network, Weibo, a user named Gudabaihua offered his usual take on the mistranslations between English language films and their Chinese subtitles.
“John Stamos” was subtitled as “Johns Tamo Si”.
Each time a character was meant to insult Rocket by calling him “rodent” or “weasel” it was translated into “small raccoon,” a term of endearment.
When Gamora says, “Your ship is filthy,” and Star-Lord responds “She has no idea,” the translation came out to “Your ship stinks” and “No culture is terrible.”
Star-Lord calling Ronan “turd blossom” translated to “big face.”
Gamora’s “I will not succumb to your pelvic sorcery!” became “I will not succumb to your rhetoric sorcery!”
Star-Lord’s “We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy, bitch” became “We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy, slut.”
Of course, the best one is when Star-Lord talks to Gamora about the power of Kevin Bacon in Footloose, and how he “teaches people with sticks up their butts to enjoy dancing.” This was changed to: “He taught people how to twist ass!”
Guardians isn’t the only film to have suffered from dodgy subtitles. Skyfall, The Hunger Games, Men In Black III, and Pacific Rim were all translated by the same company, HuaXia, who clearly need to start forking out for new translators.
So far Guardians Of The Galaxy has made over $700 million worldwide. $30 million of that is from China, which could have been an even bigger haul had Kevin Bacon’s dance moves not been so disastrously insulted.