Even Firing an Incompetent Translator Cannot Save the Galaxy

最近关于电影《银河护卫队》翻译的话题非常热络,很多人批评、吐槽影片中文字幕翻译者贾秀琰,称她几乎毁了这部科幻喜剧。一位网友更列出了80多处字幕问题。比如罗南对幕后大反派灭霸发怒时说的那句“You call me boy!!!”,字幕翻译成了“你叫我孩子!”语气和用词都显得无力,完全不能呈现出罗南拿到原石,终于可以扬眉吐气的意味,如果翻译成“你竟敢叫我小子?!”那种劲头就出来了。

Recently, there is a hot topic on the translation of Guardians of the Galaxy, including lots of criticism and complaints about the Chinese subtitle translator Jia Xiuyan that her translation almost ruins this science fiction comedy. A netizen listed more than 80 subtitle mistakes. For example, the sentence  said by Ronan when he was angry with the unseen villain Thanos, “You call me boy!!!” was translated to “你叫我孩子!” in Chinese. This translation is weak in tone and wording, so it failed to deeply reflect Ronan’s proud and elated feeling when he finally got the Infinity Stone. If it is translated into “你竟敢叫我小子?!” in Chinese, then the feeling was expressed vividly.

这些吐槽背后,引发了观影者对于引进片译制领域的深度关注。舆论纷繁中,似乎都想把《英雄》的那句宣传语“拯救拉拉队长就是拯救世界”(Save the cheerleader, save the world),改成“干掉坏翻译,拯救银河系”了。

The criticism has led to deep attention from audience to the dubbing area of imported movie. Among the various public opinion, seemingly there is an intention that it’s better to change Heroes’ slogan“Save the cheerleader, save the world” into “Fire the incompetent translator,save the Galaxy”.


In fact, it’s not easy to translate the imported movie’s subtitle from English to Chinese. There are four limitations from translation itself.


First, for confidentiality and other reasons, translators cannot watch a complete movie, and they can only do translation on the basis of the script. Second, the translation period left to translators is short. In addition, in these super hero movies, the translation of characters, nick names, places, important stuffs and other nouns are usually provided by foreign film company, which is not necessarily decided by the translators.Furthermore, Chinese subtitle of English original movies often should match  its Chinese dubbing version without big difference between each other so each sentence is limited by words and syllable.


Moreover, an important reason influencing the translation quality is that imported movie’s translation is not completely marketized.Without introducing the marketization mechanism, the translation of imported movie still stays at the period of task all ocation. So there is a huge potential and space to improve content quality.


Therefore, imported movie’s translation is actually a big issue. Just firing an incompetent translator cannot save the Galaxy. It’s best to change the present situation, find the best translator and marketize the problem. To say the least, what we can do is just to expect that the translators can improve themselves industriously.




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