Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wacky pirated DVD subtitles

As is well known, one can find DVDs at extremely low prices in China. It is often unclear if the DVDs of recent movies are pirated or not. Often though, the subtitles in English are quite funny. Not sure why technically, but it seems the pirates must re-enter subtitles and the English is very different from the actual speech or text. Here is an example from American Gangster:

* In the opening scene, Denzel and partners are dousing someone in gasoline. The victim screams "Damn!" or something. The subtitles say: "what damn". Then "damn of mix Zhang".

* The movie's title scrolls across the screen: "AMERICAN GANGSTER". The subtitles say: "name of movie: the United States be".

* "Based on a true story". The subtitles say "reorganize from the true story".

* When the mentor gangster is distributing Thanksgiving turkeys from a truck, the subtitles say: "Thanks-giving Day happiness".

* 1968 - Harlem. The subtitles say: "1968 year black living quarters".

* As the mentor gangster distributes turkeys from the truck, the subtitles say: "give you".

There is more. But that's all for now.


Anonymous said...

"It is often unclear if the DVDs of recent movies are pirated or not."

of course they're pirated! this is china! i bought a carpenters cd and an abba cd in china way back in 1997. accoustics were terrible. almost hurt my ears to listen to them. not sure the savings were worth ruining my hearing.

Boyd R. Jones said...

However, I understand that the record companies in China, to compete with pirates, have lowered prices on CDs and DVDs to Chinese levels. As such can we be absolutely sure they are pirated?

Anonymous said...

no, we cannot be absolutely sure they are pirated. we cannot be absolutely sure of anything, can we?

my original comment was typed without the knowledge of what record companies in china were doing, so i was operating on incomplete information.

Edward said...

The subtitles are wrong because they have been translated from the chinese subtitles using an automatic translator. It has happened to me that the english subtitle came from a complete different movie.

In China alomost all DVD's are fake. Some bookstores have real ones and there are a some stores wich sell them (Carrefour). These prices are still above the 7 kuai dvd's wich you can buy all around Shanghai.