On Translation of English Movie Titles: Mainland VS Hongkong VS Taiwan

Title is the most informative part of a film, which being short in form but rich in meaning, has its own cultural, linguistic, aesthetic features. A good English title can catch the eyes of audience, bring limitless reverie of the film and also reveal the theme or offer some clue to the film fans.

The translation of movie title should be concise, condensed and compact. Generally the technologies of English movie translation can be categorized as transliteration, literal translation, and free translation. The translation of the film titles is a special process of re-creation, but it always based on four principles:

Loyalty

The translation must relate to the film in one way or another.

Artistry

Film as an expression of art, the translation of movie title should have the same features. As Mao dun said, “The translator should convey the original artistic concept in another language and enable the reader to undergo aesthetic experience.”

Cultural

Film is originated from life; good translation embodies a culture, which makes the audiences have the right response to the translations of the film titles. It is also a kind of sharing and exchange of culture.

Commercial

High profit is the goal of the film markers, the more the audience, the more profit will get. The translation of English movie title is inevitably driven by commercial interests.

As for the translations of a English movie title, generally it has several different translations for one English film title. Due to the historical and social reasons, educational level, knowledge structure and cultural background, the same film has different translated names in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Here list some examples for your reference, and then you can make comparisons and make a review of which one is the best translation of English movie title.

1. (500) Days of Summer

Mainland : 和莎莫的500天

Hongkong: 心跳(500)天

Taiwan: 恋夏(500日)

The translation in mainland is literal translation; the versions of Hongkong and Taiwan are free translation. Personally I like the titles in Taiwan.

2.Love Actually

Mainland :真爱至上

Hongkong: 真的恋爱了

Taiwan: 爱是您,爱是我

Oh, my god, the translation of Taiwan is so funny. Obviously, the mainland version is more romantic and artistry.

3.Love and Other Drugs

Mainland :爱情与灵药

Hongkong: 爱情恋上瘾

Taiwan: 爱情药不药

4.Crazy, Stupid, Love

Mainland :疯狂,愚蠢,爱

Hongkong: 滚搞了爱情

Taiwan: 熟男型不型

In fact, If you do not know who to translation the title properly, literal translation is the best choice.

5.The Hangover Part II

Mainland :宿醉 2

Hongkong: 醉爆伴郎团 2

Taiwan: 醉后大丈夫2:醉加一等

6.Horrible Bosses

Mainland :恶老板

Hongkong: 边个波士唔抵死?

Taiwan: 老板不是人

7.Bridesmaids

Mainland :伴娘

Hongkong: 最爆伴娘团

Taiwan: 伴娘我最大

8.Despicable Me

Mainland :卑鄙的我

Hongkong: 坏蛋奖人门

Taiwan: 神偷奶爸

Here the literal translation seems to be mechanical. Free translation is more attractive and imaginative.

Generally speaking, mainland translators are more loyal to the original titles (literal translation), while the Hong Kong counterparts are more rebellious, more often resort to trans-creation (free translation).

Need a translation service?

Please enter your personal details and we will contact you shortly

Words translated by CCJK

146,096,379

Our Client Satisfaction

Rating for previous quarterr

4.00

Over 95% of our clients recommend our language services to others

Copyright © CCJK Technologies Co., Ltd. 2000-2019. All rights reserved.
TOP