Translation

Top 10 Worst Dubbed Movies of All Time

Team Pepper
Team Pepper
Posted on 8/03/224 min read
Top 10 Worst Dubbed Movies of All Time
These 10 films were dubbed and given subtitles so bad that it is both hilarious and tragic. Read to find out which are the worst dubbed movies of all time.

Table of Contents

  • What Is a Movie Translation?
  • Why Is Movie Translation Important?
  • Importance of ‘Good’ Movie Translation
  • 10 Worst Dubbed Movies of All Time
  • Conclusion
  • Key Takeaways
  • FAQs

We live in a time when world cinema is at our disposal and translations/dubbing/subtitling are a big reason we get to enjoy it. Sitting in India, you can watch and understand any foreign language film. You not only have the option to see a film dubbed in English or other languages of your preference but also watch it in the original language with subtitles of your preferred languages.

Dubbing/subtitling movies has opened up the world of cinema for everyone. That does not mean there aren’t some worst dubbed movies out there that completely missed the mark. As hilarious as it is, they are also tragic. Let’s list some of these.

What Is a Movie Translation?

Movies are made all around the world and in local languages. These movies are translated (dubbing and subtitles) into other languages when they are taken to different parts of the world for people to understand.

Why Is Movie Translation Important?

Below are some of the top reasons why translating a movie is so important.

  • Helps in globalizing a movie: If a movie is dubbed in several languages, it has more scope to reach a larger audience. 
  • Helps in connecting people: The more people watch films, the less distance they will feel from each other. Movies make people realize that no matter where we live, how different our culture and languages are, we all are in some way bound by common emotions.
  • Helps in spreading cultural awareness: Watching films can acquaint you to a culture and its people in the most relatable manner.

Importance of ‘Good’ Movie Translations

Movie translation is nothing short of an art. It requires skill, creativity, good command of the language, and an understanding of the film and the director’s vision. Good movie dubbing can really help translate the essence of the movie resulting in people across borders appreciating it. Some of the best-dubbed movies have had the same impact in other languages as they did in their original languages.

But, below we’ll solely contrate worst dubbed movies of all time. Here is a list of 10 epic movies where poor dubbing/subtitles made them into hilarious disasters.

10 Worst Dubbed Movies of All Time

Harry Potter Series

Moaning Myrtle is Mayoos Meena in Hindi, a spell in Hindi is pronounced as Drishti Poornavat. Harry Potter series is a gold mine for people looking for bad, hilarious Hindi dubbing. 

Roma

A film that received acclaim all over, received equal, if not more, publicity for its disastrous dubbing in Spanish and Mixtec. Netflix added Castilian Spanish subtitles to the film which many found offensive to Mexican Spanish speakers.

Beetlejuice

The Hungarian dubbing for the movie is a classic example of lip-sync going for a toss. The voices of the voice actors did not match the characters; they either talked too fast or too slow, their tones were off. Even the subtitles were either incorrect or missing for the majority of the film.

Transformers

This popular movie suffered the same fate in Hungary as Beetlejuice – miscasting of voice actors, rushed dubbing, incorrect and missing subtitles.

Star Wars Series

The French dubbing for the Star War series was so lazy, literal translations were used for the names of the characters. Sand people for Tuskan raiders, droids of combat for the battle droids, Dark Vador for Darth Vader, and so on. The nuances of this epic saga were lost for the French audience. 

Shrek

Shrek in Polish is one of the worst dubbed movies ever. When a film is translated, it should also be made relatable to the local audience without losing the essence of the original language. But in Polish, the translators made no effort to add Polish references, resulting in unfamiliar jokes/tales to the Polish.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron

Mistranslations can hinder an audience’s experience of understanding a movie. Avengers: Age of Ultron in Chinese was full of mistakes. The subtitle for ‘I am home’ was ‘I am good’ in Chinese, ‘SOB’ was ‘My old familiar partner’, “You get hurt, hurt ’em back. You get killed… walk it off” was “Run fast if someone tries to kill you.”

Sudden Impact

What happens when a movie’s famous line gets in the hand of a bored translator – catastrophe! The famous line of the movie, “Go ahead, make my day” loses its impact in its Italian version when it is translated as “Go ahead, make me happy”

Spider-Man: Homecoming

One of the most hilarious dialogues in the Hindi version of the film comes from Iron Man – chala murari hero banne. There are several more dialogues that are meme-worthy, the accents and tone of the characters make Spider-Man: Homecoming a funny film to watch. But how accurate compared to the one in English? That is debatable.

Knocked Up

The Chinese title to this film is called – One Night, One Belly. That’s a good starting point to guess the quality of dubbing of the full film.

Conclusion

Needless to say, the power of good movie translation is immense. It is important to take movies to a global level, make them understandable and relatable to a wider audience, and build connections between people of different countries and cultures.

But if a movie is badly translated, it’s disrespectful to everyone who worked so hard on it and is as good as not existing. Each movie is someone’s vision and bad translation distorts that as people do not see what was intended. If you’re a moviemaker and want to ensure that your material is subtitled correctly, ensure that you use a reputable translation service.

Key Takeaways

  • Movie translation helps people across the continents experience movies on a more personal level.
  • Bad movie translations result in the loss of nuances of the film.
  • Dubbing and subtitles are the two ways to translate movies.
  • Whenever watching a foreign language film, always read reviews for its dubbing/subtitles.
  • Bad translation of the movie titles is the most common translation mistake in the movie industry.

FAQs

1. What is the difference between dubbing and subtitles?

Dubbing is when movie dialogues are recorded in different languages. Subtitling is showing the dialogues in the written form in different languages on screen, while the actors speak the original language.

2. Which is better between subtitles and dubbing.

While it comes down to preference, subtitles are objectively better, The issue with dubbing is that you could end up changing the direction of the movie. Translations may not be perfect, but dubbing is a more aggressive and risky change to the original material.

3. What are the effects of bad translation?

With bad translation, a film can lose all its nuances, making it a very bland experience to a wider audience.

4. Why is good translation important?

A good translation is a powerful tool that helps in retaining the essence of a film and it is understood by people across borders.

5. What constitutes good translation?

A good translation is a mix of adapting cultural references, as per the local standard but maintaining the essence of the film.

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