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Translation of Film Title

The 85th Oscar Academy Award has just ended, Ang Lee won the best director for 'Life of Pi,' beating out Steven Spielberg for 'Lincoln,' who had been considered the most formidable competitor in the category. I guess movie fans won’t miss those nominated films, let alone the Oscar-winning movies. Besides the content, the name of a movie would be one factor that attracts people’s attention. As we know, every foreign movie has a local name in the country or area where it is shown. It would be interesting to see the translated title of the film due to the cultural difference. Here I’d like to raise some examples of the translated film titles used in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Even mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan are under the same culture background, there are different concepts and purposes of film title translation.
English Name Mainland China Hong Kong Taiwan
Titanic 泰坦尼克号 鐵達尼號 鐵達尼號
Legally Blonde 律政俏佳人 律政可人兒 金髮尤物
The princess diaries 公主日记 走佬俏公主 麻雀變公主
American Beauty 美国丽人 美麗有罪 美國心玫瑰情
Sound of Music 音乐之声 仙樂飄飄處處聞 真善美
Raging Bull 愤怒的公牛 狂牛 蠻牛
Saving Private Ryan 拯救大兵瑞恩 雷霆救兵 搶救雷恩大兵
The Terminator 终结者 未來戰士 魔鬼終結者
Up 飞屋环游记 沖天救兵 天外奇跡
Star Trek 星际迷航 星空奇遇記 星際爭霸戰
The film title is short in form but rich in meaning. The translation of the film title is a process of re-creation, which should be based on the following rules: (1) Be concise, condensed and compact, which can grip the audience’s attention at their first sight; (2) Film title translation does not mean free translation, it should obey the content and the theme of the film; (3) Obey the local people’s customs and the language style, namely the culture factor.

Above are the main factors in the translation of film title that the translator should bear in mind.

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