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When translating works of fiction sometimes you keep the original title in the original language. Sometimes you try to make up your own translation or equivalent. Sometimes you just make up a title. Often the results of copyright disputes or because the title cannot be translated and keep making sense (because it's based on a pun or a specific expression in the language it was made in, for example).
Related to, but not to be confused with Market-Based Title. That trope is when titles are changed in the same language. This trope is when titles are changed in translation. If the title is changed to make it seem like the work is related to a totally unrelated work, it's a case of Translation Matchmaking. See also The Foreign Subtitle and In Name Only.
Examples are divided by language. Please list examples under the language being translated into, rather than the language translated from.
- 1 Arabic
- 2 Chinese
- 3 Danish
- 4 Dutch
- 5 English
- 6 Filipino
- 7 Finnish
- 8 French
- 9 German
- 10 Greek
- 11 Hebrew
- 12 Hungarian
- 13 Italian
- 14 Indonesian
- 15 Japanese
- 16 Korean
- 17 Malay
- 18 Norwegian
- 19 Polish
- 20 Portuguese
- 21 Russian
- 22 Serbian
- 23 Spanish
- 24 Swedish
- 25 Thai
- 26 Vietnamese
Anime and Manga
- The Arabic dub of Digimon referred to the show as a title that translated to "Digital Heroes", as (apparently) the translators didn't like the word "monster". Curiously Pokémon (which is short for Pocket Monsters) didn't receive a similar fate. More than likely due to "Pocket Heroes" having more than a few double meanings.
Chinese translated titles often have little to do with their English titles, especially in Taiwan and Hong Kong, which likes to take extreme liberties with the text in the name of it sounding more "poetic". Here are just a few examples:
Anime and Manga
- Bleach became "Death Gods". Which is essentially the job of the protagonists of the series, so at least it's logical (moreso than the original), if overly literal.
- Naruto becomes "Fire Shadow/Hokage Ninja", which doesn't at all translate the title, but fits.
- Similar to Naruto, One Piece became "Pirate King".
- The World God Only Knows's Hong Kong dub title: God of Gaming's Walkthrough in Pick-up.
- Medaka Box is changed to Strongest Student Council President
- One of the Oliver Twist movies became Lost child in foggy city.
- Freaky Friday (the remake with Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan) became "Hot Mom, Hot Daughter".
- Star Wars is Battle of the Planets.
- Taken becomes 96 minutes.
- Inception becomes Realm of the Dream Thieves or Comprehensive Launch. The eponymous act in the dubbed version's dialog is called 'direct insertion'.
- Paul becomes We Hit An Alien!
- Gone with the Wind became something to the effect of "Wartime Romance".
- Les Miserables is renamed "An Unhappy World." (The Japanese title also means the same thing.)
- Cantonese dubs of Kamen Rider give it a title than translates back to English as Masked Superman.
- Of course, 'Kamen' is itself Japanese for 'Mask,' so it wasn't a fully English title to begin with.
- Doctor Who is "Mysterious Professor".
- Thunderbirds became known as Thunderbird Superhuman Fleet.
- Final Fantasy became "Space Warriors".
- Breath of Fire in Chinese is known as Dragon Warrior (龙战士). This has carried over to licensed Chinese versions of the Comic Book Adaptation of Breath of Fire IV as well.
- Pokémon has two: Magical Treasures (Mandarin) and Pet Elf (Cantonese).
- About to become[when?] three, with the name change to Spirit Treasures can Dream. An unusual case since it's not a translation, but a rough transcription ("Treasure can Dream" in Chinese is read as Baokemeng).
- Digimon also has two. Coincidentally, it's Digital Treasures in Mandarin, while it's Digital Tyrannosaurus in Cantonese.
- Not a coincidence. Actually the reason for "treasures" in the translated titles of both Digimon and Pokemon is because in this context, the term for "treasures" also means something like "precious darlings," i.e. conveying Digimon and Pokemon to be cute little pets.
- DuckTales became known as "Donald Duck's Club". However, the title doesn't make sense as the series doesn't revolve around Donald (who is only seen in the pilot and a handful of other episodes), only his extended family.
- When early Bill Murray movies were released in Denmark, the title used to often have the word "Røv", meaning "ass" in it. "Caddyshack" became "Røven Fuld af Penge", which means, translated to nearest english equilant, "An Assload of Cash". "Stripes" was "Røven af Fjerde Division", "The Ass of Fourth Platoon" and Meatballs was "Med Røven i Vandskorpen", "With the Ass in the Edge of the Water", which is a danish idiom meaning something like "In a tricky situation".
- The original Dutch translations of the Star Wars novelisations were completely unrecognizable for a fan looking for "Star Wars".
- Robert Sheckley's Dimension of Miracles became Dierbaar Doolhof (Beloved maze).
- James Blish's Cities in Flight became Steden Doorkruisen het Heelal (Cities roam the Universe)
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? became known as Weekend Miljonairs (Weekend Millionaires).
- Some TV series (in the 1970s and 1980s) were named after their main characters, regardless of the original titles
- The Gentle Touch, about a female police officer named Maggie Forbes became Maggie Forbes.
- Murder, She Wrote became Jessica Fletcher.
- All Creatures Great and Small became James Herriott.
- Oddly enough, Eddie Shoestring (about a private investigator with his own radio show (It Makes Sense in Context) became simply Shoestring.
Anime and Manga
- The third Yu-Gi-Oh! movie's orignal title translates to "Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Super Fusion! Bonds That Transcended Time". The English version is simply Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time.
- Averted example: ADV initially announced that Utawarerumono (roughly, "the one being sung" or perhaps more poetically "the one of whom songs are sung") would be released under the name "Shadow Warrior Chronicles". The huge uproar in anime-fandom that followed persuaded them to leave the title be.
- The Studio Ghibli classic Laputa was renamed Laputa: Castle in the Sky because "la puta" means "the whore" in Spanish, something Jonathan Swift was well aware of when he created the island by that name in Gulliver's Travels. Hayao Miyazaki mentioned in an interview that if he knew earlier, he would have dropped "Laputa" from the original title.
- Ghibli's Kurenai no Buta (literally "Crimson Pig") was renamed Porco Rosso in many (but not all) overseas markets, probably because the Italian title sounds better—and makes more sense in context—then most literal translations of "crimson pig". It helps that the title character is Italian and was always referred to as "Porco Rosso" within the film itself.
- Likewise, the Disney dub of Mimi wo Sumaseba ("If You Listen Closely") was retitled Whisper of the Heart because that title comes closer to expressing the allegorical meaning of the original Japanese title than a literal translation would have done.
- Kiki's Delivery Service was known as Witches's Delivery Service originally in Japan.
- Tokyo Pop originally translated the Kaitou Saint Tail manga and anime (yes, they used to do anime too!) as "Sweet Tales of Saint Tail". Apparently, the magic wand, pink flouncy skirt and sparkly logo were not enough to communicate that it was a shoujo series. They eventually renamed it "Saint Tail", taking slightly fewer liberties.
- Tetsuwan Atom (which means "The Mighty Atom") became Astro Boy in English. This is possibly because there is already a character with that name in the USA.
- Hokuto no Ken is officially translated as Fist of the North Star, when it really should be "Fist of the Big Dipper". The eponymous martial art is called Hokuto Shin Ken ("Northern Ladle God Fist"), while the rival school is known as Nanto Sei Ken ("Southern Ladle Saint Fist"), named after two dipper-shaped Chinese constellations roughly corresponding with the Big Dipper and the Milk Dipper respectively. When Viz translated the manga in 1989, instead of explaining what Hokuto and Nanto are to English readers, they renamed Hokuto Shin Ken into the Sacred Fist of the North Star (which is related to the Big Dipper, but not part of the constellation), while Nanto Sei Ken became the Sacred Fist of the Southern Cross (after the city that Shin built). Later translations stick to the styles' original names, but the English title of the franchise is pretty much stuck as it is for recognition purposes.
- Toei actually intended to use Ken the Great Bear Fist as the official English title of the franchise and they almost released the NES game under that name until Viz picked up the rights to the manga and went with the current name.
- The anime version of Ten no Haō ("The Conqueror of the Heavens"), the Raoh-centric Hokuto no Ken spinoff, was released in English as Legends of the Dark King.
- The official English titles of the Dragon Ball and Dragonball Z movies are very rarely exact translations of the original Japanese titles, which is arguably for the better, since the original excited titles only provided a vague description of the film's plot.
- Shenlong no Densetsu ("The Legend of the Divine Dragon") became Curse of the Blood Rubies.
- The first DBZ film was known simply as Dragonball Z during its Japanese theatrical release. The subtitle Ora no Gohan o Kaese!! ("Return My Gohan!") was appended for the home video release. The English title varies between region, with Dead Zone used for the American release, while the UK version uses The Pursuit of Garlic.
- Kono yo de ichiban tsuyoi yatsu ("The Strongest Guy on This World") was simplified to The World's Strongest.
- Chikyū Marugoto Chōkessen ("The Ultimate Battle for the Whole Earth") became The Tree of Might.
- Sūpā Saiyajin da Son Gokū ("Son Goku the Super Saiyan") is known as Lord Slug in America (the UK release did use Super Saiya Son Goku).
- Tobikkiri no Saikyō tai Saikyō ("The Incredible Showndown Between the Mightiest") became Cooler's Revenge in America and Super Rivals in the UK.
- Gekitotsu!! Hyaku-Oku Pawā no Senshi-tachi ("Clash! Ten Billion Power Warriors") became The Return of Cooler
- Kyokugen Battle!! San Dai Super Saiyajin ("Extreme Batle!! The Three Great Super Saiyans") became Super Android 13
- Moetsukiro!! Nessen Ressen Chō-Gekisen ("Burn Up!! A Close, Intense, Super-Fierce Battle") became Broly — The Legendary Super Saiyan
- Ginga Giri-Giri!! Butchigiri no Sugoi Yatsu ("The Milky Way at the Brink!! The Super Incredible Guy") became Bojack Unbound
- Kiken na Futari! Sūpā Senshi wa Nemurena ("The Dangerous Duo! Super-Warriors Never Rest") became Broly — The Second Coming
- Super Senshi Gekiha!! Katsu No wa Ore da ("Super Warrior Defeat!! I'm the One who'll Win") became Bio-Broly
- Fukkatsu no Fyūjon!! Gokū to Vegeta ("The Rebirth of Fusion!! Gokū and Vegeta") was simplified to just Fusion Reborn
- Ryū-Ken Bakuhatsu!! Gokū ga Yaraneba Dare ga Yaru ("Dragon Fist Explosion!! If Gokū Can't Do It, Who Will") became Wrath of the Dragon
- Media Blasters brought Weiss Kreuz (White Cross) over to the US under the even more nonsensical name Knight Hunters (which is TMS Entertainment's international title for the series). Luckily, they used the series' original name as a subtitle. Elsewhere, the series kept its original name.
- Ojamajo Doremi is known as Magical DoReMi in numerous other dubs as the word "ojamajo" is an untranslatable pun on the words "Ojama" (something/someone who gets in the way and is useless) and "Majo" (a witch). However, 4Kids changed Doremi's name to Dorie, thus changing the meaning of the title from a description of the main character into a combined pun of the first two letters of the new names the gave the main characters; Dorie, Reanne and Mirabelle.
- Another 4Kids example: Tokyo Mew Mew was initially going to be called "Hollywood Mew Mew" but was changed to "Mew Mew Power".
- Mahha Go Go Go ("mahha" being the Japanese transliteration for "mach"; the "Go"s are written in romaji) is Speed Racer in English.
- The Sailor Moon movie for the SuperS season had the extremely long title of Sailor Moon SuperS the Movie: The 9 Sailor Soldiers Get Together! Miracle in the Black Dream Hole. The initial dub simply titled It Sailor Moon Supers the Movie: Black Dream Hole, while unedited releases simply dropped the subtitle altogether. The R and S movies didn't have subtitles in the original so the dub tacked on "The Promise of the Rose" and "Hearts in Ice" respectively.
- Also worth noting is the names of individual episodes. The first episode had "A Moon Star Is Born" and "Crybaby Usagi's Magnificent Transformation" for the English and Japanese versions respectively
- Kaze no Tani no Nausicaa (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind) was originally dubbed poorly under the title Warriors Of The Wind.
- The anime Kidou Senkan Nadesico (translates to something like "High Mobility Battleship Nadesico") was released in America as Martian Successor Nadesico which is pretty confusing since, even though the planet Mars features heavily in the series, the phrase "Martian Successor" has no relationship to the show whatsoever.
- Maybe not the show, but definitely The Movie. However, an admittedly weak argument could be made for the show that humans are the successors of the original martians who left behind the black box that controls Boson Jumping, or simply the successors to control of Mars.
- Uchuu Senkan Yamato ("Space Battleship Yamato") was released in the west as Star Blazers.
- .hack//tasogare no udewa densetsu literally translates as "Legend of the Twilight Bracelet", this being the item that the main character uses to weaken monsters with. The word "Bracelet" was removed from the English title so as not to sound too girly, both in the official release (.hack//Legend of the Twilight) and the fansubs (.hack//DUSK, which they changed so it would match the previous series, .hack//SIGN).
- Asagiri no Miko can literally translate as "Shrine Maiden of the Morning Mist". The American title is "Shrine of the Morning Mist," possibly for similar reasons.
- Rockman.EXE's anime adaptation ignored both the obvious name (MegaMan.EXE) and the existing English name for the original games (Mega Man Battle Network) in favor of a wholly nonsensical and oft-reviled name, Mega Man NT Warrior.
- Detective Conan is called Case Closed in the U.S, due to trademark issues involving a certain other "Conan"... In other countries they leave the original name intact.
- In 1997, Gundam Wing got a manga spinoff called G-Unit ("G" being a shorthand for "Gundam"). When it was brought to America in 2002, the manga had to be renamed The Last Outpost because a rap group named "G-Unit" came into existence earlier that same year.
- Supposedly, the English release of Magical Girl Pretty Sammy TV was renamed to Magical Project S to distance it from the OVA series, which did extremely poorly in both sales and general reception.
- Speaking of Tenchi Muyo!, Tenchi Universe and Tenchi in Tokyo were originally known as Tenchi Muyo! TV and Shin Tenchi Muyo!, respectively, in Japan. Also, the movies Tenchi Muyo! Daughter of Darkness and Tenchi Forever! were originally known as Tenchi Muyo! Manatsu No Eve and Tenchi Muyo! in Love 2: Haruka Naru Omoi, respectively. There was actually a large outcry over Daughter of Darkness since the original title was symbolic to the plot and the new title spoils a plot point that isn't revealed until late in the film. Pioneer compromised by not altering the title in the film itself, but still marketing it under the new name. Finally, Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, the OVA series that started the franchise, was simply titled Tenchi Muyo! during Pioneer's offering of the series. When Funimation gained the rights of the 3rd OVA series, they brought back the original title.
- 666 Satan was retitled O-Parts Hunter in English-speaking countries (though it is otherwise uncensored), presumably to avoid protests about a manga title promoting Satanism.
- The adaptation of the Eroge Requiem was renamed Anal Sanctuary in North America.
- The Japanese titles of the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann Compilation Movies are simply Gurren-hen and Lagann-hen ("hen" basically means "chapter"), but the American release called the first Childhood's End and the second The Lights in the Sky Are Stars (a reference to the final line of the series).
- Hajime no Ippo (The First Step) became Fighting Spirit in the U.S.
- Koukaku Kidoutai (meaning "Mobile Armored Riot Police") is better known to English-speakers as Ghost in the Shell.
- The anime Neon Genesis Evangelion was originally Shin Seiki Evangelion. The original Japanese title means "Gospel of the New Century", while the new English title means "Gospel of the New Genesis". Neon Genesis Evangelion is the official English title chosen by Gainax, creator of the show, and not an adaptation by the English-language distributors. Presumably they wanted a title where all the words were in Greek, a familiar to English speakers, rather than a mixture of Greek and Japanese.
- The Getter Robo OVA series Getter Robo Armageddon is... odd. The original title translated to Shin (CHANGE!!) Getter Robo: Last Days of the Earth. When it was brought to America, the box covers had the more simplistic Getter Robo Armageddon. Though the opening titles went with New!! Getter Robo: Getter Robo Armageddon. What?
- Asobi ni Iku yo! (meaning "Let's go play!" or "We're coming to play!") has two different English titles, Bombshells from the Sky (Crunchyroll's title) and Cat Planet Cuties (FUNimation's title), neither of which is a translation of the original.
- If it had been released in the United States, Kodomo no Jikan ("A Child's Time") would have been titled Nymphet. They needed to change the name for trademark reasons, and it seems the author herself requested that it be Nymphet if they couldn't use the original name. (The translators were leaning towards calling it Hot For Teacher but bowed to her wishes.)
- Working!! was released in North America as Wagnaria!
- The Tintin adventure Coke en stock ("Coke On Board") was translated into English as The Red Sea Sharks, perhaps because the first word in the title might be taken to mean Coca-Cola (the story reveals it to be a code word for slaves). "Coke" can of course mean "Cocaine" and the original intended meaning of a kind of coal.
- Explorers on the Moon was originally titled On a marché sur la Lune which means "We have walked on the moon".
- Prisoners of the Sun was originally Le temple du Soleil, or The Temple of the Sun.
- The Shooting Star was originally L'étoile mysterieuse, or The Mysterious Star.
- The Castafiore Emerald was originally Les bijoux de la Castafiore, or The Jewels of la Castafiore.
- Flight 714 was originally Flight 714 to Sydney (Vol 714 pour Sydney); but the extra bit has inexplicably been added back to recent editions of the comic printed in Britain.
- The Asterix book Le tour de Gaule d'Asterix became Asterix and the Banquet. The translators probably assumed ignorant readers would never have heard of the Tour de France.
- Other titles have it as well. L'Odyssée d'Astérix (The Odyssey of Asterix) = Asterix and the Black Gold, La Rose et le glaive (The Rose and the Blade) = Asterix and the Secret Weapon, La Galère d'Obélix (Obelix's Galley) = Asterix and Obelix All at Sea, Le ciel lui tombe sur la tête (The sky is falling on his head) = Asterix and the Falling Sky. And another Viewers are Morons example, Asterix in Switzerland instead of "in Helvetica" (how the country was called in that time, and also through the book itself).
- French romance Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain ("The fabulous destiny of Amelie Poulain") was released in the English-speaking world as Amélie.
- Italian drama Ladri di biciclette ("Bicycle Thieves") was released in the United States with the title made singular: The Bicycle Thief. The ending to the movie reflects why this is important.
- The film Ebirah: Horror of the Deep is known in the US as Godzilla VS The Sea Monster.
- Likewise, the film All Monsters Attack is known in the US as Godzilla's Revenge.
- Tang Shan Da Xiong (Big Brother From China) was retitled The Big Boss for its UK release and Fists of Fury in the US — that last one is rather unfortunate, because it is easily confused with Fist of Fury, another film starring Bruce Lee.
- John Woo's break-out movie was known in the original Chinese as Lashou Shentan, roughly "hot-handed police god." In English, it's known as Hard Boiled.
- Werner Herzog's award-winning film known as The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser has the original German title of Jeder für Sich und Gott Gegen Alle (Each [man] for themselves and God against all).
- Los Nuevos Extraterrestres (The New Extraterrestrials, which makes pretty clear what movie they were trying to rip off) was initially renamed The Unearthling for its English dub. Then when the distribution rights changed hands, it was renamed again to Pod People.
- Leperchaun 2 was released as 1 Wedding and A Lot of Funerals in Ireland.
- C'est arrivé près de chez vous (It Happened in Your Neighborhood) became Man Bites Dog in America.
- Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa (The legend of Merong Mahawangsa), a Malaysian film is distributed to other countries as The Malay Chronicles: Bloodlines.
- Italian Neorealist comedy I soliti ignoti ("The Usual Unknowns") was given the weird title "Big Deal on Madonna Street".
- The Spanish film Mala uva is known as The Hit Man in English-speaking markets. While still accurate, this kills the joke embedded in the title: the hit man in question owns a vineyard ravaged by worms, and "mala uva" can mean either "bad grape" or "ill-tempered." Sour Grapes might have worked, except that it was already the name of a film directed by Larry David so they couldn't use it.
- Rue Cases-Nègres is a French film based on an autobiographical novel by Joseph Zobel about growing up among poor sharecroppers in Martinique. The title for translations of the novel is the fairly accurate Black Shack Alley, and could be loosely translated as something like n****r Street (the title refers to the nickname of the street where the sharecroppers, who picked sugarcane, lived). The movie's international title is Sugarcane Alley.
- Jean-Pierre Melville's French crime movie Le Samourai was retitled The Godson in America by distributors in order to cash in on the gangster craze started by The Godfather. Anybody who's see the movie knows The Godson is a totally Non Indicative Title.
- The Hong Kong-produced film 龍兄虎弟 was also called by the alternate English title The Armour of God by the original studio. In the US, its sequel was released first, so it was retitled Operation Condor 2: the Armor of the Gods there. And in France, it went by yet another English-language title: Mister Dynamite (apparently because of the scene featured on the film poster).
- Older literary example: Victor Hugo's novel, Notre Dame de Paris is invariably published in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
- Proof that an alternate title as opposed to a literally translated title is not necessarily a bad thing.
- In a classic literary example, Proust's seminal À la recherche du temps perdu was titled Remembrance of Things Past by its English translator C.K. Scott Moncrieff, in reference to a line from Shakespeare. Proust grumbled about how this took away the meaning from the title of his final volume, Le Temps retrouve ("Time Regained"); one version retitled the final volume The Past Recaptured in an attempt to restore the correspondence between the titles. New English versions have been using the literal translation of the title: In Search of Lost Time.
- The Swedish novel and film The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was originally titled Män som hatar kvinnor or Men Who Hate Women.
- The third book in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest, was originally called Luftslottet som sprängdes, or The Air Castle That Exploded. (Strangely, the US edition has the apostrophe moved to Hornet's, implying a nest belonging to only one hornet.)
- The second book, The Girl Who Played With Fire, actually is the correct translation. This title may have inspired the new titles for the other two.
- The classic Japanese novel A Fool's Love was retitled to simply Naomi for English release.
- The original title All Quiet on the Western Front is Im Westen nichts Neues, "Nothing New in the West", it actually does not say that things were quiet and more indicates "no change in the West". The English title quite likely was modeled on a well-known repeated bulletin passage from The American Civil War, "All quiet on the Potomac", while Remarque's original title resembles an often repeated bulletin phrase from the siege of Paris in 1870/71, "Vor Paris nichts Neues" — "nothing new before Paris" — which merely indicated that although the two sides were still blasting away at each other with rifles and artillery, there had been no major attempt by either side to take an enemy position by assault or offers of surrender etc.
- During the Russo-Japanese War, the German satirist Julius Stettenheim, who created the persona of Wippchen to parody the war correspondents of his day, wrote about the siege of Port Arthur: "Nothing new before Port Arthur. The old is bad enough."
- A lot of the Moomins novels have been given English names that make it clear they're about The Moomins. Sometimes it's just the word "moomin" added to a rough translation of the original title, but in particular "Finn Family Moomintroll" has nothing to do with the original "Trollkarlens hatt" ("The Wizard's Hat", or if you go by the name given to the eponymous character in the translation, "The Hobgoblin's Hat").
- Gabriel Garcia Marquez wrote a collection of short stories called Doce Cuentos Peregrinos, or Twelve Pilgrim Stories. For the English translation, it was changed to Strange Pilgrims.
- A few of the Super Sentai series have these. Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger is known as Galaxy Rangers (which is also a Name's the Same example as it can be confused with Power Rangers Lost Galaxy and Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers), Gosei Sentai Dairanger is known as Star Rangers and Ninja Sentai Kakuranger became known as Ninja Rangers when marketed internationally by TOEI. Countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia used these titles and this also explains why the series received those names in the end credits of Power Rangers.
- The first two Cirque Du Soleil shows to tour the U.S. were given new English titles when filmed and aired as TV specials. Le Cirque Reinvente became Cirque du Soleil: We Reinvent the Circus and Nouvelle Experience became Cirque du Soleil II: A New Experience. The shows are actually the third and fourth in the company's lineup, and the second tour La Magie Continue was filmed as a Canada-only special. The video versions of Nouvelle used the original title, and Cirque Reinvente was reinstated for its DVD release in 2001.
- The French police procedural Engrenages (Gears) was named Spiral when shown on the BBC.
- The Flemish comic Suske en Wiske is called Spike and Suzy in the UK, Willy and Wanda in the USA, and Luke and Lucy in the 2009 film and video game.
- Ze života hmyzu (The Insect Play) by Josef and Karel Čapek was first presented in Britain and the U.S. in "adaptations" (i.e. slightly loose translations), respectively And so ad infinitum by Nigel Playfair and The World We Live In by Owen Davis.
- The second Bleach DS fighting game has Colon Cancer subtitling that basically translates to (DS Second: The Black-Clothed Flickering Requiem), which could be understood to mean one of of the main character's super modes. The English title, Dark Souls makes a LOT more sense than the Japanese one.
- Quite a few SNK fighting games got their titles changed for their overseas releases
- Garō Densetsu (Legend of the Hungry Wolf) became Fatal Fury. However, there was a pachinko-slot spin-off game is titled Garō Densetsu: Legend of Wild Wolf.
- Ryūko no Ken (Fist of Dragon and Tiger) became Art of Fighting. The third game was known as Art of Fighting: Ryukō no Ken Gaiden though.
- Fū-un Mokushiroku ("Apocalypse of the Wind and Clouds") became Savage Reign. The sequel Fū-un Super Tag Battle was retitled Kizuna Encounter.
- Bakumatsu Roman Gekka no Kenshi ("Romance of the Bakumatsu: Swordsman of the Moonlight") became The Last Blade.
- Tsūkai GANGAN Koushinkyoku (which loosely translates to "Thrilling Intense March") became Aggressors of Dark Kombat ("Combat" is spelled with an "K", just so that it conveniently share the same initials as its developer, ADK).
- Hikari Shinwa: Parutena no Kagami (Myth of Light: Mirror of Palutena) became Kid Icarus.
- The original Rockman became Mega Man to avoid copyright conflicts with an identically-named brand of guitar amplifiers. Later on, Rockman DASH became Mega Man Legends, Rockman.EXE became Mega Man Battle Network, and Ryusei no Rockman (lit. "Meteor Rockman" or "Rockman of the Shooting Star") became Mega Man Star Force.
- The World Ends With You was known in Japan as Subarashiki kono sekai, translated in English on the packaging as It's a Wonderful World. However, all the variations on that phrase Square Enix could come up with were unusable outside of Japan due to legal issues.
- Dobutsu no Mori, the Japanese title of the Animal Crossing series translates to Animal Forest. On that note, the Wii installment of the series has a different Market-Based Title in English depending on the region, with North America having the subtitle City Folk and PAL regions having Let's Go to the City, with the latter being more or less literally translated from the Japanese version's subtitle and the former being an example of this trope.
- The Akumajō Dracula ("Demon Castle Dracula") series is known as Castlevania internationally.
- Zelda series has usually averted this by using direct translations of the Japanese titles, starting with the first two NES games, or having the Japanese title using English words in the first place, as with The Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword, but there have been exceptions.
- Kamigami no Triforce ("Triforce of the Gods") became The Legend of Zelda a Link To T He Past.
- Yume wo miru shima ("The Dreaming Island") became The Legend of Zelda Links Awakening.
- Fushigi no Ki no Mi Daichi no Shō ("Nut of the Mysterious Tree: Chapter of Earth") and Fushigi no Ki no Mi Jikū no Shō ("Nut of the Mysterious Tree: Chapter of Time and Space") became the two The Legend of Zelda Oracle Games, Seasons and Ages, respectively.
- Kaze no Takuto ("Baton of the Wind") became The Legend of Zelda the Wind Waker.
- Although the baton in question is the Wind Waker.
- Yottsu no Tsurugi Plus ("Four Swords Plus") became The Legend of Zelda Four Swords Adventures.
- Fushigi no Bōshi ("The Mysterious Hat") became The Legend of Zelda the Minish Cap.
- Daichi no Kiteki("The Train Whistle of the Earth") is known in North America and Europe as The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks, although this was a backward case compared to the rest of the franchise, where the NA/EU name was decided on first, and the altered title was on the Japanese side.
- Like the Zelda series, the Fire Emblem games have different subtitles between regions.
- Rekka no Ken (officially translated as The Sword of Flame) drops the subtitle completely, being the first installment to get an international release. It was commonly known as The Blazing Sword by English fans, even though the same item epithet is translated as Blazing Blade in the game's dialog proper.
- Seima no Kōseki ("The Shining Stone of Good and Evil") became The Sacred Stones.
- Sōen no Kiseki ("Trail of the Blue Flame") became Path of Radiance.
- Akatsuki no Megami ("Goddess of Dawn") became Radiant Dawn.
- Shin Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken ("The New Dark Dragon and Sword of Light"), a remake of the Famicom original, became Shadow Dragon.
- Awakening is, oddly enough, the only game in the series to use a direct translation. Possibly a result of Nintendo of America failing to mention translation for so long everyone used it anyways.
- If... and its version names Red Kingdom and Black Kingdom became Fates with Birthright and Conquest to make One Game for the Price of Two less blatant. Most of the game's script is also completely different.
- Echoes: Another Hero King became Echoes: Shadows of Valentia.
- Four Seasons became Three Houses.
- When it came time for Super Smash Bros.. Brawl to mention the earlier games in the series...
- Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Ken ("The Dark Dragon and Sword of Light"), the Famicom original, became Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light.
- Fūin no Tsurugi became The Binding Blade, a direct translation of the original title. Whoever chose this name didn't realize the The Blazing Blade already translated a related item as the "Shrine of Seals", breaking the connection (which the traditional fan name Sword of Seals maintained).
- Fire Emblem Gaiden and Monshō no Nazo ("Mystery of the Emblem") went unchanged.
- Seisen no Keifu ("Genealogy of Holy War") and Thracia 776 were not brought up in the game.
- Awakening would maintain most of these and refer to the Jugdral games by the above translations. Mobile spinoff Heroes would continue these and restore the The Blazing Blade subtitle in English.
- Shiritsu Justice Gakuen (Private Justice Academy) became Rival Schools: United By Fate outside of Japan. The sequel combined this with Oddly-Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo, with Moero! Justice Gakuen (Burn! Justice Academy) becoming Project Justice in North America and Project Justice: Rival Schools 2 everywhere else.
- Taiyou no Shinden Asteka II (Azteca II: Temple of the Sun) was named Tombs & Treasure in its English version. (Presumably the "II" was dropped because the first game was never translated to English.)
- Unusual temporary aversion: when the early 80s sliding-block-railway-track arcade game Loco Motion first appeared in Western arcades, it bore a phonetic transliteration of the original Japanese name: Guttang Gottong.
- Gouketsuji Ichizoku ("The Gouketsuji Family") became Power Instinct.
- Some other Squaresoft role-playing games were retitled as Final Fantasy games, in fear of them not being able to stand on their own. Namely, Seiken Densetsu (meaning Legend of the Holy Sword) became Final Fantasy Adventure, and the first three SaGa games became the Final Fantasy Legend series. Like the main Final Fantasy games, later titles in these series got their real titles (an example being the remake of Final Fantasy Adventure as Sword of Mana.)
- This may not be a full example because the full title of Seiken Densetsu is Seiken Densetsu Final Fantasy Gaiden, using the Final Fantasy name even in Japan.
- Sword of Mana's (the remake) Japanese title also lacks the Final Fantasy name.
- In any case, the Mana games themselves are an example of this trope, as all titles in the series are known as Seiken Densetsu (with a subtitle or number after the name) in Japan; whereas, to build on the success of Secret of Mana, all the English titles are Something Of Mana.
- This may not be a full example because the full title of Seiken Densetsu is Seiken Densetsu Final Fantasy Gaiden, using the Final Fantasy name even in Japan.
- The Gyakuten Saiban series ("Turnabout Trials") is known as Ace Attorney outside Japan. Interestingly, the word "Turnabout" is still used as part of an Idiosyncratic Episode Naming theme for the cases in each game (i.e. "Turnabout Sisters", "Reunion and Turnabout").
- Puppet Princess of Marl Kingdom became Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure for the English market. No word on what they would have done if the other games, which all played on the original title, had been translated.
- Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest was originally released in Japan as Dobutsu Banchou ("Animal Ringleader")
- Rayforce was called Layer Section in Japan, Gunlock in Europe, and Galactic Attack on the Sega Saturn.
- Sunsoft's Battle Formula was retitled Super Spy Hunter for the US, also an example of Translation Matchmaking and Dolled-Up Installment.
- Taito's Fudo Myouoden became Demon Sword.
- Both the arcade and NES versions of Astyanax were originally titled The Lord of King in Japan.
- Deadly Towers was originally titled Mashō ("Evil Bell") in Japan. This change can be blamed on Nintendo's Censorship Bureau, as its English title was supposed to be Hell's Bells, closer in meaning to the original title.
- In an unusual case, MOTHER 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushuu (already a title spelled in English, subtitle aside) became EarthBound when brought over to America. The series' preceding entry, MOTHER, would also have been renamed Earth Bound in America had the translation not been canned.
- The Japanese series Ryu ga Gotoku ("Like a Dragon") is translated as Yakuza in North America.
- Capcom's early hit Senjō no Ōkami (Wolf of the Battlefield) was exported as Commando, and its sequel (Senjō no Ōkami II) became Mercs. Wolf of the Battlefield has been used on some of the more recent re-releases.
- Altered Beast was originally titled Jūōki (Beast King Chronicles) in Japan.
- Wario Ware is called Made in Wario in Japanese.
- The Touhou games do this on purpose. Each title is listed in both Japanese and English. For example Touhou Koumakyou ~The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil (the Japanese would mean Eastern Lands of the Scarlet Devil) in Japan it's known simply by the Japanese in the title Touhou Koumakyou and in English, not surprisingly by it's English title The Embodiment of Scarlet Devil. This is an odd example because both titles exist in the original games and the Japanese and English titles are not translations of each other. Yup, Zun did that on purpose for some inane reason. The notable exceptions are Touhou Hisoutensoku ~Choudokyuu Ginyoru no Nazo wo Oe (Lacking Perception of the Rule of Heaven in the East" ~ Chase the Enigma of the Superdreadnought Guignol) which is known simply as Hisoutensoku even in English and Fairy Wars which also has no English in the original title and the direct translation of Yousei Daisensou ~ Touhou Sangetsusei would mean Great Fairy Wars ~ Eastern Three Fairies and not simply Fairy Wars
- Kickle Cubicle was originally Meikyū-jima (Mystery Island) in Japan.
- Hudson Soft's Stop the Express was originally Bōsō Tokkyū SOS (Runaway Special Express SOS) in Japan. Interestingly, Hudson reused the game's international title when recycling it as the first stage of Challenger, a Famicom game released only in Japan.
- Wizards and Warriors was released in Japan as Densetsu no Kishi Elrond (The Legend of Knight Elrond).
- Amagon was titled Totsuzen! Macho Man in Japan.
- It's something of a tradition for Shoot'Em Ups to have meaningless titles, but Xexyz had a more meaningful title in Japan: Kame no Ongaeshi: Urashima Densetsu (Turtle's Recompense: Legend of Urashima).
Anime and Manga
- A number of anime fit this trope. Ghost Fighter and Knockout are the most popular examples in the Philippines.
- In The Philippines, Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning was released as Hell Wolf: You Will Be Eaten Alive. Presumably this is because the other two Ginger Snaps movies didn't see release there, so the original title wouldn't make sense. It makes it sound a bit more like a straight horror film than it actually is, but it does sound sort of awesome.
- Himitsu Sentai Goranger became known as Star Rangers.
- A number of Asian dramas also fit this trope. The most recent[when?] examples are 49 Days (which became Pure Love) and Scent of a Woman (which became Helena's Promise, alluding to the name that the Filipino dub used for the protagonist, Yeon Jae).
- Most of the time, though, Philippine TV networks either use the literal English translation of the original title or the one that is already prepared by the production company in the event of international distribution. Example for the latter: Heartstrings was the international title for the drama that was shown as Neon Naege Banhaesseo (You've Fallen for Me) in South Korea. The Filipino dub kept the international title.
Anime and Manga
- Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin ("Silver Fang: Shooting Star Gin") became Hopeanuoli ("Silver Arrow") when it was translated into Finnish. It should be noted that this is also what the protagonist, Gin, was called in the dub of the anime.
- In Finland Jaws was called Tappajahai — "Killer Shark". Very imaginative.
- When Airplane! was released in Finland, its Finnish title was Hei, me lennetään, which translates to Hey, We're Flying!. Naturally, Airplane II was then called Hey, We're Flying Again!. This lead to a flurry of comedies, none which had anything to with Airplane!, being given a Finnish title that begins with "Hey, We're...", possibly in the hope that the viewers would've thought they were sequels to Airplane!. Here are some examples:
- The Finnish title for the Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night was the rather idiotic Yeah! Yeah! Tässä tulemme! (translates as Yeah! Yeah! Here We Come!)
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail became Monty Pythonin hullu maailma (ie. Monty Python's Mad World)
- The Fifth Element was called Puuttuva tekijä (The Missing Factor)
- At least it wasn't Boori.
- American Graffiti got saddled with Svengijengi -62 (Swing Gang '62)
- Ice Pirates got titled Jäävuoren ryöstäjät (Raiders of the Iceberg)
- Once Upon a Time in the West became Huuliharppukostaja (The Harmonica Avenger)
- Blazing Saddles was called Villiä hurjempi länsi (The Rougher Than Wild West)
- All Dogs Go to Heaven got the rather plain title Kaikenkarvainen Charlie, which could loosely be translated along the lines of "Charlie-of-All-Trades" (though it's also a slight pun on "karvainen" being the Finnish word for "hairy").
- Tangled became the rather non-sensical Kaksin karkuteillä — hiuksia nostattava seikkailu (On the Run by the Two of Us — A Hair-raising Adventure), to further drive home its road trip -marketing.
- Some Like It Hot was called Piukat paikat (Tight Places)
- One of the most outrageous examples would be The Shawshank Redemption, which was changed to downright spoilerific Rita Hayworth — avain pakoon (Rita Hayworth — The Key to Escape)
- The third book in the The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, became Kaspianin matka maailman ääriin ("Caspian's Trek to the End of the World") in Finland.
- Desperate Housewives became Täydelliset naiset, (The Perfect Women).
Anime and Manga
- Grendizer famously became Goldorak (which means nothing in French either) and under that title became the first Anime to become hugely popular in Europe. Most of the human characters also had their names changed after stars.
- The French dub changed the title of Kiki's Delivery Service to Kiki: The Little Witch.
- The tragic manga Saikano's French title was changed to Larme ultime (Ultimate Tear) as a pun on the literal translation of the Japanese title — L'arme ultime (The Ultimate Weapon). The Anime, on the other hand, kept the l'arme title.
- Tetsuzawan Atom (which means "The Mighty Atom") became Astro, le petit robot ('Astro the little robot') in French.
- In French, Captain Harlock is Albator, le Corsaire de l'Espace. His name was changed to avoid the risk of confusion between Capitan Harlock and Capitan Haddock from Tintin.
- The Naked Gun became L'agent Fait La Farce (The Agent is the Joke) in Quebec, and Y a-t-il un flic pour sauver la reine? (Is there a cop to save the queen?) in France.
- Airplane! was Y a-t-il un pilote dans l'avion? (Is there a pilot in the plane?), too.
- Jaws was translated in French as Les dents de la mer aka The Teeth of the Sea. It sounds totally badass.
- Pete's Dragon became known as Peter and Elliot The Dragon in France.
- The Rescuers became known as Bernard and Bianca in France.
- In France, Die Hard became "Piège de cristal" (think "The Crystal Trap"), but the sequels' titles contained no mention of being part of a series. That is, until "Die Hard 4: Retour en Enfer" ("Die Hard 4: Back in Hell") was released...
- The series is often called "Marche Ou Crève" in French ("Walk or Die (violently)").
- The third movie, "Die Hard with a Vengeance", became "Une journée en enfer" ("A Day in Hell"). It sounds like if it was linked to From Dusk till Dawn, known as "Une nuit en enfer" ("A Night in Hell") in France. That would be awesome.
- In Quebec, the first two installments have the same name as in France. Die Hard: With a Vengeance, however, was translated as Marche ou Crève: Vengeance Définitive ("Walk or Die (violently): Final Vengeance") and Live Free or Die Hard was translated almost literally. ("Live Free or Die (violently)")
- Analyze This was "translated" as Mafia Blues.
- The Princess Bride became The Princess Buttercup.
- A few Egregious examples of this include Cruel Intentions being retitled Sexe Intentions, which grammatically makes no sense, Not Another Teen Movie becoming Sex Academy and School of Rock changed to Rock Academy, probably in order to cash in on the Star Academy factor (a subpar ripoff of Pop Idol).
- That's in France. In Quebec, Cruel Intentions is A Cruel Bet, and the two other were translated literally.
- Never Been Kissed wound up (at least in Quebec) as Finally, a Kiss in French. Not that far off, particularly if a direct translation wouldn't have the same connotations.
- The In Laws was retitled Don't Shoot the Dentist in its French release. The film's writer later said he much preferred the second title and wished he'd come up with it.
- The French equivalent to in-laws, "La Belle Famille", is incidentally the French-Canadian title of "Meet the Parents".
- Mousehunt was simply titled La Souris ("The Mouse") in France.
- In Québec it was "Don't wake up the sleeping mouse", a play on the common expression "Don't wake up the sleeping cat" or don't go looking for past dirt on someone.
- Numerous European dubs of Return to Oz title the film as something like "Oz: A Magical Land".
- Batman Beyond became Batman 2000 and Batman: la Relève (The Relay) in France.
- Rebel Without a Cause became La Fureur de vivre ('The anger of life').
- The subtitle of Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch Has A Glitch was changed to Hawaii, We Have a Problem.
- A Bug's Life became 1001 Pattes ("1001 Feet") in France, and Finding Nemo became Le Monde de Nemo ("Nemo's World"). In Québec, however, both those movies got straight translations of their English names (Une Vie De Bestiole and Trouver Nemo respectively).
- Up became La-Haut ("Up There").
- However, "En Haut" ("Up") is generally used to talk about something that is upstairs, "Là-Haut" clearly refers to the sky in France, thus the translation is actually very close to the English title. "Monsters, Inc." became "Monstres et Cie" (Monsters & Co.) for the same cultural reason. (In Quebec, Monsters Inc. got a straight translation, with the difference that the inc. is pronounced in full and in French (Incorporés).)
- Continuing the theme of Quebec and its straight translations as opposed to France, Cars became Les Bagnoles ("The Cars") in Quebec, whereas France opted for The Foreign Subtitle instead.
- Luc Besson's Arthur et les Minimoys (Arthur and the Minimoys) became Arthur and the Invisibles in most English-speaking countries.
- Total Recall had the name Voyage au centre de la mémoire ("Journey to the Center of the memory") in Québec.
- A Nightmare on Elm Street became Les griffes de la nuit ("Claws of the Night") in France and Québec.
- Batman Returns became Batman, le défi ("Batman, the challenge") In France. Literally in Quebec.
- Sister Act kept its original title in France, but was retitled Rock'n Nonne in Quebec, which could also work in English (Rock'n'Nun)
- The Wild Thornberrys became known as La Famille Delajungle (The Jungle Family).
- Bizarrely, French cinemas showed The Hangover under the title Very Bad Trip, in English. In Quebec, the title was translated as something that would be totally intelligble in English (The Morning After the Night Before) but basically means "The Hangover".
- Hoodwinked became known as The True Story Of Little Red Riding Hood.
- Many classic western movies fit this trope, generally to make them sound more Badass.
- Stagecoach = "The Fantastic Ride"
- My Darling Clementine = "The Infernal Chase"
- Three godfathers = "The Son of the Desert"
- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon = "The Heroic Charge"
- Wagon Master = "The Wagon of the Braves"
- The Last Frontier = "The Blue Tunics' Charge"
- The Big Sky = "The Captive with Bright Eyes"
- The original Halloween was retitled "The night of the masks," as this event was introduced in France only in the late 90's. It stayed Halloween in Québec, though, as Québec was familiar with Halloween, living surrounded by English-speaking cultures.
- Seltzer and Friedberg's Meet the Spartans became "Spartatouille" in France. That might be the only reason why anyone would have watched it. In Quebec, it's Here comes the Spartans.
- This crept to other Leslie Nielsen movies: The Naked Gun movies are all titled "Is there a cop to save X?" where X depends on the movie.
- Wrongfully Accused had several French-language titles, one of which fit a similar schema.
- The In-Laws was changed to Don't Shoot the Dentist in its French release, as the language has no equivalent of "in-law." The film's writer actually prefers that title.
- In Bruges was released as Bons baisers de Bruges ("From Bruges With Love") in France.
- The Worst Witch is known in France as Amandine Malabul (which is Mildred Hubble's name in French). All of the books were prefixed with her name, and a subtitle. For instance, the fourth book The Worst Witch All At Sea became Amandine Malabul: La Sorciere a Peur de l'eau ("Mildred Hubble: The Witch with a Fear of Water").
- Eloise Takes a Bawth became Eloise Drowns The Plaza in its French translation.
- The French title of Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone translates to Harry Potter at the School of Wizards.
- Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince becomes Harry Potter and the Mixed Blood Prince (close enough)
- Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows became Harry Potter and The Relics of Death — which is actually almost completely literal, as Hallows are, in this case, holy objects, which is the general meaning of Relique (which also means objects owned by Saints, as in relic in English). Harry Potter and the Relics of Death was used as the standard non-English title for the seventh book in any language (translated into each respective language, of course).
- Distress was retitled L'Énigme de l'universe (Mystery of the Universe).
- The French translation of Warrior Cats uses the name La Guerre des Clans (War of the Clans).
- When the first three Discworld novels were translated into French, they acquired Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Colour of Magic became La Huitième Couleur (The Eighth Colour), The Light Fantastic became Le Huitième Sortilège (The Eighth Spell) and Equal Rites became La Huitième Fille (The Eighth Daughter). Then they gave up and called Mort Mortimer. Most of the later books had direct translations, exceptions including Moving Pictures (Les Zinzins d'Olive-Oued — "the Crazies of Olive-Oued", with "Olive-Oued" being an attempt to keep the Holy Wood pun), Interesting Times (Les Tribulations d'un mage en Aurient — "The Tribulations of a Wizard in the Aurient", a play on the Jules Verne title Les Tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine or "The Tribulations of a Chinaman in China"), and Unseen Academicals (Allez les Mages ! — "Come on the Wizards!").
- Graham Greene's Brighton Rock once ended up with the title Les Rochers de Brighton (The Cliffs of Brighton) which was a bad mistake — Brighton doesn't have those iconic white English cliffs. The "rock" being referred to is, instead, a sort of cylindrical hard candy with the approximate dimensions of a drumstick.
- The French title of His Dark Materials is À la Croisée des Mondes ("At the crossworlds").
- Stargate Atlantis became "La Porte d'Atlantis" (The Gate of/to Atlantis) in Quebec. Since the Stargate movie and Stargate SG-1 were direct translations of the english title and the word "Stargate" (La Porte Des Étoiles), it makes Atlantis the only series not to have the franchise name attached to it.
- Not anymore with Stargate Universe, which has been translated as "La Porte de l'Univers" (The Gate of the Universe)
- Get Smart was translated to Max La Menace (Max The Menace).
- Many TV series have different titles in French, some are close to the original title (e.g., The Pretender became The Chameleon), some are completely different (e.g., The Avengers was changed to Chapeau Melon et Bottes de Cuir (Bowler Hat and Leather Boots)).
- Most famously, the original Star Trek: The Original Series series became known as "La Patrouille Du Cosmos" (The Patrol of the Cosmos) in Quebec. Later series kept the full English Star Trek name, except for Star Trek: The Next Generation where the Next Generation bit was translated.
- The original Law and Order show has various names: on cable it was "New York District" and now it's "New York: Judiciary Police". Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is known as "New York: Special Unit" and Law & Order: Criminal Intent has been translated as "New York: Criminal Section".
- CSI became The Experts. CSI: Miami became the Experts:Miami and CSI: NY became "The Experts: Manhattan."
- The show couldn't be called "NY" because this is already the name of Law & Order shows.
- The A-Team became L'Agence Tout-Risque (The All-Risk Agency).
- Relic Hunter became Sydney Fox The Adventurer.
- Knight Rider became known as K 2000 in France.
- Baywatch became known as Alert in Malibu in France.
- The Canadian French dub of the Doctor Who 1996 television movie became known as Le seigneur du temps (The Lord of Time), which is pretty close to the Doctor's race, the Time Lords.
- The Six Million Dollar Man was known as "The Three Milliard Man", as six million dollars at the time were roughly three milliard French cents (or three milliard "old francs").
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer is known as Buffy contre les vampires, ('Buffy vs. the vampires') in France. The initial movie had a different title: Bichette la terreur. Bichette being a cute baby female goat and terreur meaning, in this context, a small, turbulent child.
- In France, Power Rangers Lost Galaxy became known as Power Rangers: L'Autre Galaxy ("Power Rangers: The Other Galaxy"). Power Rangers Ninja Storm became known as Power Rangers: Force Cyclone ("Power Rangers: Hurricane Force", which is closer to its source Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger).
- The French version of Sesame Street became known as 1, Rue Sesame (1 Sesame Street). Instead of just having a street name it gained an address related to the channel of the broadcaster.
- The 2000s revival was known as 5, Rue Sesame, reflecting a Channel Hop.
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? became known as Qui Veut Gagner Des Millions (Who Wants To Win Millions) in France. This could be down to the fact the top prize was 4 million Francs (hence millions, rather than million).
- The X-Files was rather poetically retitled "AuX Frontieres du Reel" ("At the boundaries of reality") with the X unusually capitalized to echo the English title.
- Similarly, decades before, The Outer Limits were retitled Au-Delà du Réel (Beyond Reality).
- Being Human (UK) is translated as Vampires et Cie (Vampires and Company) for the French-Canadian dub, presumably to cash in on the Twilight-fueled vampire craze.
- The Bionic Woman was retitled Super Jamie for some reason.
- Queen of Swords became Tessa, à la pointe de l'épée (Tessa at the Point of the Sword) in France, then Sous Le Signe de L'Épée (Under the Sign of the Sword) for the DVD release.
- Hardcastle and McCormick became Le Juge et le Pilote (The Judge and the Racer).
- With Primeval, this trope caused some trouble since the series was titled Nick Cutter et les Portes du temps (Nick Cutter and the Doors of Time) up until season 4 — as the translators clearly didn't expect for lead character Nick Cutter to be killed off. Afterward, it was shortened to Les Portes du temps of called Primeval: Les Portes du temps.
- Older Than Radio example: Most European nations translate the title of Richard Wagner's opera Der fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) directly. The French always thought this sounded silly, and so gave it the title Le Bateau Fantôme (The Ghost Ship) or Le Vaisseau Fantôme (The Ghost Vessel).
- At one point Thunderbirds was known as Les Sentinelles De L'air ("The guardians of the sky") in France.
- "Deception" is also a French word for "disappointment" (it's a false friend) and looks a bit too much like the Spanish "decepción", which means the same as the French word. Know that, and you'll know why the subtitle of Mortal Kombat: Deception (which otherwise referred to the main character's Unwitting Pawn role) was translated in the French version, while the other subtitles were not...
- The game Medal of Honor: European Assault was originally titled Medal of Honor: Dogs of War until it was learned the title would roughly translate to Medal of Honor: Mercenaries in France which is counter to the point of the series.
- Crusader of Centy became known as Soleil in Europe.
- SpongeBob SquarePants is known as Bob l'éponge (Bob the sponge) in the Francosphere.
- Atom Ant became known as Atomas: La Fourmi Atomique ("Atomas: The Atomic Ant") in France.
- DuckTales became known as La Bande A Picsou ("Picsou's Gang") translated in French (Picsou being Scrooge's French surname)
- Tale Spin become known as Super Baloo in French.
- In Quebec, it became known as Looping instead.
- The French dub of Beast Wars was changed to Animutants and had little reference to being related to Transformers.
- In Quebec it was known as Robo-Bêtes (Robo-Beasts).
- The Emperor's New School became Kuzco: An Emperor At School.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series referred to him as L'Araignée (The Spider). Other series retained his original name.
- Thundercats became known as Cosmocats.
- King of the Hill is called Les rois du Texas (The Kings of Texas) in France and Henri pis sa gang (Henri and his gang — "Henri" is the dub name of Hank) in Québec.
- Family Guy is named Les Griffins (The Griffins).
- Quebec networks now use their own dub instead of reusing the French one. It uses the untranslated name.
- Not limited to media, either. In Québec, Staples office supply stores are called "Bureau En Gros" (Wholesale Offices).
- Kellog's Coco Pops Coco Rocks became known as Coco Pops 2 Choc in France.
- Street Smart was simply named La Rue (The Street).
- MOD: Is this the film, the TV series, or the video game? The link goes to the trope.
Anime and Manga
- The first dub (i.e. not the Disney one) of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind became known as Star Warriors in Germany, even though the characters never went near any stars.
- Future War 198X got two different titles, one for each side of the Berlin wall. "Null Zeit — Zero Hour" (not related to this one) and East Germany got "Das Ende Aller Tage — The End of All Days".
- Cat's Eye became "A Super Trio".
- Hikari no Densetsu was renamed "Die kleinen Superstars" (The little superstars).
- Captain Tsubasa went under the inane name "Die tollen Fußballstars" (The amazing soccer-stars).
- Pete's Dragon became known as Elliot das Schmunzelmonster (literally "Elliot the Smiling Monster") in Germany.
- Sixteen Candles became Das darf man nur als Erwachsener ("You're only allowed to do that as an adult").
- Parents became, believe it or not, Pfui Teufel, Daddy ist ein Kannibale ("Yuck, daddy [sic] is a cannibal").
- The Bonfire of the Vanities became Fegefeuer der Eitelkeiten ("Purgatory of Vanities").
- The Caine Mutiny became Die "Caine" war ihr Schicksal ("The Caine Was Their Fate").
- To Kill a Mockingbird is Wer die Nachtigall stört ("Who Disturbs the Nightingale").
- 12 Angry Men is merely Die zwölf Geschworenen — "The Twelve Jurors".
- Annie Hall is Der Stadtneurotiker ("The City Neurotic") in German, referring to Woody Allen's character, not Diane Keaton's. Indeed, lots of German journalists like to use "der Stadtneurotiker" as a kind of nickname for Allen.
- Bend It Like Beckham was released as Kick It Like Beckham in Germany, because "kick" is a more familiar word — a number of German football clubs are called Kickers, and the toy known as foosball in America is a Kicker.
- Die Hard is Stirb langsam, "Die Slowly".
- First Blood was released in West Germany as Rambo, consequently Rambo: First Blood Part II became Rambo II — Der Auftrag ("Rambo II — The Assignment").
- The Sandra Bullock romantic comedy Forces of Nature became Auf die stürmische Art ("In the Tempestuous Manner").
- Gaslight is Das Haus der Lady Alquist.
- The Graduate is Die Reifeprüfung ("The Maturity Test"); Reifeprüfung is also an officialese German word for "school graduation examination" (the student has to show s/he is "mature" enough to enter university or a profession).
- The German title of Imagine Me & You is Eine Hochzeit zu dritt ("A Threesome Wedding" or "A Wedding for Three").
- Jaws became Der weiße Hai ("The White Shark"). Which is in German the common name for Carcharodon carcharias, the great white shark in English.
- The Jean-Pierre Jeunet film A Long Engagement is called Mathilde — Eine große Liebe ("Mathilde — A Great Love").
- The Invaders (1967-1968) was Invasion von der Wega ("Invasion from Vega").
- Miss Congeniality is Miss Undercover.
- North by Northwest became Der unbekannte Dritte or "The Unknown Third (Person)".
- Pirates of the Caribbean is called Der Fluch der Karibik ("The Curse of the Caribbean in German.
- Runaway Bride became Die Braut, die sich nicht traut, a rhyming and punning title that means "The Bride That Does Not Dare" and "The Bride That Does Not Get Wed".
- Stepmom was retitled Seite an Seite ("Side by Side", with undertones of "Shoulder to Shoulder").
- Trois hommes et un couffin was very successful on the German-speaking market under the title Drei Männer und ein Baby, so when the American
swiperemake Three Men and a Baby was released, it was titled Noch drei Männer, noch ein Baby — "Another Three Men, Another Baby".
- The Susan Sarandon film White Palace is Frühstück bei ihr ("Breakfast at Her Place").
- Witness became Der einzige Zeuge ("The Only Witness").
- Quite often (West) German distributors will want to give a film a more "badass" or at least more dramatic title.
- The Boat That Rocked was retitled: Radio Rock Revolution. The pun in the original title can't be translated in to German anyway.
- Cheyenne became Cheyenne kennt keine Gnade ("Cheyenne Knows No Mercy").
- Cookie's Fortune got the additional subtitle Aufruhr in Holly Springs (Uproar/Insurrection in Holly Springs).
- Fanfan la Tulipe starring Gérard Philippe was released as Fanfan der Husar ("Fanfan the Hussar"), even though Fanfan served as an infantryman.
- Fort Apache became Bis zum letzten Mann ("To the Last Man").
- The Horse Soldiers became Der letzte Befehl ("The Last Order").
- The Woody Allen movie Love and Death became Die letzte Nacht des Boris Gruschenko ("The Last Night of Boris Grushenko").
- Les mariés de l'an II ("The Newlyweds of the Year II"), an action comedy set during the French Revolution starring Jean-Paul Belmondo, was released as Musketier auf Hieb und Stich ("Musketeer for Cut and Thrust"), even though Musketeers are usually associated with the 17th century.
- Once Upon a Time in the West became Spiel mir das Lied vom Tod ("Play the Song of Death for Me"). In a case of Translation Matchmaking, Soldier Blue was then retitled as Spiel mir das Wiegenlied vom Totschlag ("Play the Lullaby of Manslaughter for Me") and Los Amigos (1972) as Das Lied von Mord und Totschlag ("The Song of Murder and Manslaughter").
- The Quiet Man became Der Sieger ("The Victor").
- The Searchers became Der Schwarze Falke ("The Black Falcon"), which also was the name of chief Scar in the dubbed version.
- She Wore a Yellow Ribbon became Der Teufelshauptmann ("The Devil of a Captain").
- Stagecoach (1939) was first released as Höllenfahrt nach Santa Fé ("Hell-Ride to Santa Fe"), even though the stagecoach went to Lordsburg. The title was later changed to Ringo.
- Les tribulations d'un Chinois en Chine ("The Tribulations of a Chinaman in China"), a Belmondo picture based on a Jules Verne novel, was relased in West Germany as Die tollen Abenteuer des Monsieur L. ("The Great/Crazy Adventures of Monsieur L.").
- Jules Verne's Rocket to the Moon has the German title Tolldreiste Kerle in rasselnden Raketen (roughly: "Daring Guys in Rattling Rockets")
- The 2007 remake of 3:10 to Yuma was re-named as the rather more lurid Todeszug nach Yuma ("Death Train to Yuma"), although strangely the original was Zähl bis drei und bete ("Count to Three and Pray").
- The Errol Flynn Swashbuckler Captain Blood became Unter Piratenflagge ("Under the Pirate Flag"). Similarly his The Sea Hawk is known in Germany as Herr der Sieben Meere ("Master of the Seven Seas") (though oddly enough, the Austrians retain the title Der Seefalke).
- The German for dilemma is "Dilemma". The Dilemma is shown in Germany as Dickste Freunde, which means Fat Friends. Or less literally Best Friends.
- Logan's Run has inexplicably the title Flucht ins 23. Jahrhundert ("Escape into the 23rd Century") in German. Yes, the protagonists escape from something, but not into a different time period.
- The Hunger Games became Die Tribute von Panem ("The Tribute of Panem"), both the first book and the trilogy.
- If the English language titles of movies featuring Godzilla, Gamera, and other Kaiju seem odd at times, the titles used by the original German language distributor of these films can be downright bizarre. By and large, the German distributor seemed to sell all these movies as "Frankenstein" films. Some sources even indicate that new German Framing Device scenes were included to explain how Dr. Frankenstein "created" the monsters appearing in each particular film, but this may simply be Urban Legend. A few examples of German titles (compared to their American titles for simplicity's sake):
- Destroy All Monsters became Frankenstein und die Monster aus dem Weltall.
- Son of Godzilla became Frankensteins Monster jagen Godzillas Sohn.
- Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster became Frankensteins Kampf gegen die Teufelsmonster.
- Godzilla vs. the Bionic Monster became King Kong gegen Godzilla.
- Gamera vs. Gaos became Gamera gegen Gaos — Frankensteins Kampf der Ungeheuer.
- Gamera vs. Barugon became Godzilla, der Drache aus dem Dschungel. (Yes, that's correct. Daiei's flying turtle kaiju headliner was identified as his Toho arch-rival!)
- With adaptations of successful books, it can go the other way and become less clear: Bridget Jones's Diary was titled "Schokolade zum Frühstück" (Chocolate for Breakfast) in Germany because the book was published under that title there. However, the scene the title refers to didn't make it into the adaptation.
- Similarly, the book version of The Bourne Identity was known as "Der Borowski-Betrug" in Germany, and the title character was renamed. Because the name Bourne appears on-screen in the movie, the character's name was changed back, as was the title: "Die Bourne Identität".
- Face of the Dark Palmira, a side novel by Vladimir Vasiliyev set in the Night Watch universe, was published as Bewahrer des Chaos (preserver of chaos) in German.
- Weirdsister College became known as Eine Lausige Hexe in Cambridge ("The Worst Witch In Cambrige").
- Through The Looking Glass became known as Alice im Spiegelland. ("Alice in the Mirror-land")
- Haruki Murakami's book "South of the Border, West of the Sun" became "Gefährliche Geliebte" ("Dangerous Lover") in German. The original title was refering to two great themes in the book, while the translated one doesn't really fit. It also changed the fact that most of Murakami's books are named after song titles.
- Harry Potter is not immune in German either: The second book, Chamber of Secrets became Kammer des Schreckens which means... "Chamber of horror". It may fit, but is more straightforward.
- Toni Morrison's Beloved was published as Menschenkind ("Child of Man", in analogy to the Biblical Menschensohn, "Son of Man").
- Dee Brown's book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee became the more vague Begrabt mein Herz an der Biegung des Flusses ("Bury My Heart at the Bend of the River").
- Dorothy Sayers' Busman's Honeymoon is Hochzeit kommt vor dem Fall, "Wedding Goeth Before the Fall", playing on Hochmut "pride".
- Childwold by Joyce Carol Oates became Im Dickicht der Kindheit ("In the Thicket of Childhood").
- Exiled author Stefan Heym wrote the novel The Crusaders (1948) based on his experiences in a psychological warfare unit of the US Army from D-Day onwards. When a German version was produced in 1950, it was titled Der bittere Lorbeer ("The Bitter Laurels").
- Most German editions of Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment (Prestuplenie i nakazanie) are entitled Schuld und Sühne (Guilt and Atonement).
- Cry, the Beloved Country was retitled Denn sie sollen getrösted werden ("For They Shall Be Consoled"), a quote from the Sermon on the Mount.
- Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler became Sonnenfinsternis, "Solar Eclipse".
- Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is In einem anderen Land ("In Another Country").
- The German version of From Here to Eternity elaborates on the partial quote from a Rudyard Kipling poem, being titled Verdammt in alle Ewigkeit ("Damned To All Eternity").
- Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow is Die Enden der Parabel ("The Ends of the Parabola").
- The Last Gentleman by Walker Percy has the disconcerting German title Der Idiot des Südens ("The Idiot of the South") in reference to Dostoyevsky's The Idiot.
- Notre Dame de Paris in all versions is known as Der Glöckner von Notre Dame ("The Bell-Ringer of Notre Dame").
- Marshall McLuhan's Understanding Media was published as Die magischen Kanäle ("The Magic Channels").
- Little Women became "Eine froehliche Familie" (A joyous family).
- Astrid Lindgren`s "Emil i Lönneberga" was named "Michel aus Lönneberga in Germany due to preventing it for being mistaken for the also popular german children`s novel "Emil und die Detektive" by Erich Kästner.
- Star Trek: The Original Series became known as Raumschiff Enterprise in Germany (although I have heard that DVD releases later restored the original title). Star Trek: The Animated Series became Die Enterprise. Star Trek: The Next Generation became known as Raumschiff Enterprise: Das Nächste Jahrhundert (i. e. "Spaceship Enterprise: The Next Century"). Star Trek: Voyager became known as Star Trek: Raumschiff Voyager.
- This became a problem when the last show was called "Enterprise", as Germans had been calling both the first and the second show by that name for decades.
- In West Germany, The Bionic Woman became (re-translated) "The Seven Million Dollar Woman".
- Home Improvement is called Hör mal wer da hämmert (roughly "Listen, who's hammering").
- The TV series The Avengers is known in German as Mit Schirm, Charme und Melone ("With Umbrella, Charm and Bowler Hat").
- Bewitched is known as Verliebt in eine Hexe ("In Love with a Witch").
- The TV series The Brady Bunch was shown as Drei Mädchen und drei Jungen ("Three Girls and Three Boys").
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The 1992 movie was released as Buffy — Der Vampirkiller, the TV series as Buffy — Im Bann der Dämonen ("Buffy — Under the Spell of the Demons).
- Charlie's Angels is Drei Engel für Charlie ("Three Angels for Charlie").
- Dynasty was Der Denver-Clan.
- The TV series Get Smart was shown as Mini-Max.
- The German-dubbed version of Hogan's Heroes is entitled Ein Käfig voller Helden ("A Cage Full of Heroes"), an obvious Shout-Out to the German title of La Cage aux Folles.
- The title I Dream of Jeannie quotes a song that is not terribly well-known in German-speaking countries, so on German TV they opted for the pun Bezaubernde Jeannie — "Enchanting Jeannie".
- Ironside was Der Chef, which means "The Boss".
- The TV series I Spy was Tennischläger und Kanonen, "Tennis Raquets and Guns".
- Kojak was Einsatz in Manhattan ("Mission in Manhattan").
- Married... With Children is Eine schrecklich nette Familie, "A terribly (pun intended) nice family".
- The original TV series Mission: Impossible was Kobra, übernehmen Sie ("Cobra, You Take Over (the assignment)"), its 1988 revival In geheimer Mission ("On Secret Mission").
- The old TV series Mr. Terrific was entitled Immer wenn er Pillen nahm, "Every Time He Took Pills".
- Moonlighting was Das Modell und der Schnüffler ("The Model and the Snoop").
- Murder, She Wrote was released under the somewhat ambiguous title Mord ist ihr Hobby ("Murder Is Her Hobby").
- Also known as Immer wenn sie Krimis schrieb ("Whenever she wrote crime stories") during the first run in Germany.
- The TV series The Odd Couple was Männerwirtschaft ("A Men's Household").
- The Tony Curtis/Roger Moore series The Persuaders became popular in a notoriously loosely dubbed version, Die Zwei ("The Two").
- Quantum Leap became Zurück in die Vergangenheit ("Back to the Past"). Could be a case of Translation Matchmaking, as Back to The Future was translated literally.
- Rawhide, the TV series starring Clint Eastwood, was relased as Cowboys and Tausend Meilen Staub ("A Thousand Miles of Dust").
- Space: 1999 was Mondbasis Alpha 1 ("Moonbase Alpha 1").
- To Catch a Thief is Über den Dächern von Nizza ("Above the Roofs of Nice"), as the saying the title alludes to does not have a German equivalent. Probably for the same reason, the TV series It Takes a Thief was released as Ihr Auftritt, Al Mundy ("Your Entrance/Cue, Al Mundy").
- The TV series The Untouchables was shown as Chicago 1930.
- Thornton Wilder's play The Skin of Our Teeth became Wir sind noch einmal davon gekommen. ("We got away once more").
- Fiddler on the Roof is performed in German as simply Anatevka (Which, for those who may not remember, is the name of the village where it takes place).
- The Crucible became Hexenjagd ("Witchhunt").
- A Streetcar Named Desire is Endstation Sehnsucht ("Final Destination Desire").
- Tale Spin became known as "Captain Baloo".
- Goof Troop became known as Goofy und Max.
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is called Chip und Chap: Die Ritter des Rechts (roughly "Chip and Chap: The Knights of Justice"), thus preserving the "RR" initialism in the Rescue Rangers logo.
- The German version of Avatar: The Last Airbender changed it to Avatar: Der Herr der Elemente (Avatar: Master/Lord of the Elements).
- An American Tail became Feivel Der Mauswanderer (or Feivel the Mouse Wanderer) in German, to preserve the pun in the title. Auswanderer means emigrant. Also of note is that Feivel is spelled the correct way, whereas in America it is always spelled 'Fievel' to avoid pronunciation confusion.
- An American Tail had to be changed in non-English speaking countries because obviously the 'tail' pun wouldn't have worked. For example, it ended up being called Feivel der Mauswanderer (Feivel the Mouse Wanderer) in Germany, and in most other places some local translation of Fievel in the New World or just An American Tale was used.
- Recess is known as Big Recess in German-speaking markets
Greek translations, especially of older movies or TV shows very often are completely irrelevant, due to either the original title being untranslatable or just unmarketable, or just from plain ignorance of the translator.
Anime and Manga
- One Piece became "Ντρέηκ Και Το Κυνήγι Του Θησαυρού" (Drake and the Hunting of the Treasure).
- Blazing Saddles became "Μπότες, Σπιρούνια και Καυτές Σέλες" (Boots, Spurs and Burning Hot Saddles)
- The Ring became "Σήμα κινδύνου" (Danger Signal).
- My Stepmother Is an Alien became "Η Σεξογήινη", a pun combining sex and alien, roughly translated as "(she-) Sexalien"
- The Blues Brothers became "Οι ατσίδες με τα μπλε" (the smart guyes in blue — note that blue is *only* a color, it doesn't resemble the "blues")
- Final Destination became "Βλέπω το θάνατό σου" (I See Your Death)
- Police Academy became "Η μεγάλη των μπάτσων σχολή" (roughly "The big school of cops"). There is a pun here that relates this to "Η μεγάλη του Γένους σχολή" (The Great School of the Nation), the oldest Greek school in Istanbul — see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phanar_Greek_Orthodox_College.
- Short Circuit became "Και τα ρομπότ τρελάθηκαν" (Robots have also gone crazy), which is a reference to Gods Must Be Grazy (which was properly translated as "Και οι Θεοί τρελάθηκαν" — Gods have also gone crazy).
- Top Secret became "Άκρως κουφό κι απόρρητο" (literally "Extremely deaf and secret", "deaf" was a slang word in the '80s to mean something like "far out"). This really related to the phrase "Άκρως απόρρητο" which is the direct translation of "Top Secret" (literally "Extremely Don't-Say-it"), so it's not that far off.
- Airplane! became "Μια τρελλή κι απίθανη πτήση" (One crazy and wonderful flight).
- The Hudsucker Proxy became "Ο κύριος Χούλα Χουπ" (Mister Hoola-Hoop).
- Bruce Almighty became "Θεός για μια εβδομάδα" (God for a Week).
- Evan Almighty became "Νώε για μια εβδομάδα" (Noah for a Week).
- Ocean's 11 (and 12, 13 etc) became "Η συμμορία των 11" (The Gang of 11 — people that is, not 11 o'clock).
- Hot Shots! became "Στραβοί πιλότοι σε F-16" (blind/crooked pilots in F-16 — even though there wasn't any F-16 in the movie, it's a well known fighter plane in Greece, and the bulk of Greece's Air Force)
- Moonlighting became "Αυτός, Αυτή και τα Μυστήρια" (He, she and the mysteries).
- Knight Rider became "Ο Ιππότης της Ασφάλτου" (Asphalt's Knight). Not so far off, really.
- The Shawshank Redemption became "Τελευταία έξοδος: Ρίτα Χέιγουόρθ" (Last Exit: Rita Heyworth).
- An industry running gag is translating thriller (erotic or otherwise) titles as a "Deadly X" or "Fatal X" with the X being vaguely related to the movie subject / original title (For example, Terminator got translated to something along the lines of "Deadly Mission" or "Deadly Quest")
- Parodies and spoof comedies are often translated as "The X died laughing". The practice started when the "Naked Gun" series were translated as "The Gun died laughing", spread to other Leslie Nielsen movies and turned into an epidemic aftewards.
- Israel is one of the numerous countries where Alien is titled "The Eighth Passenger". Aliens is titled "Return of the Eighth Passenger".
- When Moonlight was about to air, despite its very simple and straightforward title, a contest was held to select a local title. "Dark Hours" won.
- The Canadian series The Collector was first titled The Soul Collector. It was later changed into The Collector, a technically correct translation incorrect in context, since Hebrew uses a different word for the collection of debts.
- Transformers are known in Israel as Robotricks.
- Many comedies have completely different titles in Hungarian that contain an often horrible pun, even if the original title didn't have one.
Anime and Manga
- Sailor Moon: Varázslatos álmok ("Magical Dreams", although it was translated from the French dub rather than the original Japanese)
- Alien's title was changed to Nyolcadik utas a Halál ("The eighth passenger is Death").
- Brokeback Mountain became Túl a barátságon (Beyond Friendship).
- The Shawshank Redemption became A remény rabjai (The Prisoners of Hope).
- The Hurt Locker became A bombák földjén (In the Land of the Bombs).
- An Education became Egy lányról (About a Girl).
- The Blind Side became A szív bajnokai (Champions of the Heart).
- True Grit became A félszemű (The One-Eyed).
- Inception became Eredet (Origin).
- Event Horizon was given the straightforward title of Halálhajó (Death Ship). Somewhat justified since the direct translation of "event horizon" would've sounded completely bland and uninteresting to the target audience.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail was known in Hungary as Gyalog galopp (ie. Galloping on foot). To the translator's defense, it is a lot shorter and they do gallop on foot in the movie.
- Watership Down to Gesztenye, a honalapító, or "Hazel, the Founding Father".
- Being Human (UK) has the succinct title of A vámpír, a vérfarkas és a szellem (A Vampire, a Werewolf and a Ghost).
- MythBusters was presented as Állítólag... ("Allegedly...")
- Walking with Dinosaurs and its sequels got the folowing treatment:
- WWD itself: Dinoszauruszok, a Föld urai ("Dinosaurs, Rulers of Earth", regular TV dub and book); Dinoszauruszok között ("Among Dinosaurs", Discovery Channel version); Séta a dinoszauruszokkal ("A Walk with Dinosaurs", The Arena Spectacular and various other places); A dinoszauruszok visszatérnek ("The Dinosaurs Return", The Ballad of Big Al)
- Walking with Beasts: Szörnyek a Földön ("Monsters on Earth", VHS dub and book); Azok a csodálatos őslények/ősállatok ("Those Wonderful Prehistoric Creatures/Animals", regular TV dub/TV promos); Ősállatok között ("Among Prehistoric Animals", Discovery cut)
- Walking with Monsters: Szörnyek bolygója ("Planet of Monsters", regular TV dub)
- Married... with Children: Egy rém rendes család, same as the German translation, "A terribly nice family".
- The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: Kaliforniába jöttem ("I Came to California")
- Doctor Who's title was changed to Ki vagy, Doki? (literally, "Who are you, Doc?")
- Every country's version of Wipeout 2008 to Lehetetlen küldetés ("Impossible Mission").
- The Emperor's New Groove became Eszeveszett birodalom ("Mindless Empire"), probably as a pun on Elveszett birodalom (The Lost Empire). Meanwhile, The Emperor's New School is simply known as Királysuli ("King School", or alternatively, "Cool School").
Anime and Manga
- The Italian version of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch removes "Pichi Pichi Pitch" from the title and replaces it with "Principesse Sirene". This despite the fact that "Mermaid Melody" is a subtitle and "Pichi Pichi Pitch" the series' name. There are a few apparent reasons for this, one that Gratuitous Japanese isn't common in Italy so no one will know what pichi pichi is, and another that advertising the fact that they're all princesses is good for marketing any girls' series.
- The most important reason is probably that "pichi pichi pitch" sounds like silly kitten-speak in Italian. Had they left it in everyone would have ignored that part of the title anyway.
- Transformers: Super-God Masterforce got his Italian release as Transformers Pretenders, to blend better with the series before's title.
- Kimagure Orange Road is known as È quasi magia Johnny(Johnny, that's almost magic, where Johnny is Kyosuke's Italian dub name).
- Spirited Away became La città incantata ("The Enchanted City") for some reason.
- The first three Pokémon seasons have different names in Italy: The first is just Pokémon, the second is Oltre i Cieli dell'Avventura ("Beyond Adventure's Skies") and The Johto Journeys turns into Always Pokémon. Also Johto League Champions and Advanced Battle get a little bit twisted for better sounding and became respectively Johto Champions League and Battle Advance.
- Fushigi no Umi no Nadia (Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water) became "Il mistero della pietra azzurra" ("Mystery of the Azure Stone").
- Kodomo no Omocha was renamed "Rossana", after the name of the main character. Why, you ask? "Sana" was treated as a shortening of the (not so) typical Italian woman's name Rossana... You get the point.
- The Nineties in Italy were especially bad for anime, because many of them were given overly long and completely nonsensical titles. Some examples:
- The Slayers turns into Un incantesimo dischiuso tra i petali del tempo per Rina ("A spell closed between time's petals for Rina").
- It's even worse... at first they COULDN'T manage to get the WHOLE title on the screen so it was shortened to Un incantesimo dischiuso tra i petali del tempo then they discovered the magic of font size and got it whole on screen during the opening.
- Magic Knight Rayearth became Una porta socchiusa ai confini del sole ("A half-closed door at the borders of the Sun").
- Kaitou Saint Tail became Lisa e Seya, un solo cuore per lo stesso segreto ("Lisa and Seya, only one heart for the same secret"). ...What were they thinking???
- The Slayers turns into Un incantesimo dischiuso tra i petali del tempo per Rina ("A spell closed between time's petals for Rina").
- Haikara-san ga tooru was an old manga adapted into an anime that was translated and broadcasted in Italy as "Mademoiselle Anne". Yes, a Japanese series (with a very Japanese setting no less) was given a French title by Italian people. It doesn't get better than that.
- The anime Attacker You! is known as Mila and Shiro.
- Tokimeki Tonight became Ransie la strega ("Ransie the Witch").
- Ai Shite Knight became Kiss Me Licia ("Licia" being the Italian name of the female main character).
- Urusei Yatsura was named Lamù after Lum, even if she's not supposed to be the main character (also, "Lamù" sounds a bit like l'amour).
- George Romero's Dawn of the Dead was released in Italy as Zombi. Italian director Lucio Fulci then released his own zombie movie, which had nothing to do with Dawn, and titled it Zombi 2 to cash in on the success of the former. Zombi 2 was subsequently released in the US as Zombie; future films in the series, however, shared the numbering on both sides of the pond, confusing many American viewers as to why they can't find Zombie 2 anywhere.
- Evil Dead was retitled "La casa" ("The House"). This became a problem when the horror film House (not that one) was released on the Italian market. The latter was then retitled "La casa di Helen" ("Helen's House").
- Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs became "La casa nera" ("Black House"). It seems that Italy simply has to mention houses in horror films.
- The first Pirates of the Caribbean film has been re-titled La maledizione della prima luna ("Curse of the First Moon"). Okay, there is a curse involved, but still... Subsequent films in the series have been titled "Pirati dei Caraibi" ("Pirates of the Caribbean"), followed with a more appropriate subtitle.
- Total Recall has been renamed Atto di forza ("Act of (brute) force").
- The Chase became Sesso e fuga con l'ostaggio, which translates to "sex and escape with the hostage". Which is technically what happens in the movie, but still.
- Trial and Error, a 1998 film with Jeff Daniels, was renamed Ancora più scemo ("Even Dumber"), just to capitalize on the success of Daniels' earlier film, Dumb and Dumber, which in Italy was named "Scemo e + scemo" (more or less an exact translation of the title). The two films are of course totally unrelated.
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind became Se mi lasci ti cancello (If you leave me I will erase you). Which again is technically what happens in the movie, but still...
- It's of particular note that immediate titles like these are used in Italy for very cheesy comedies; deeper films tend to have more elaborate titles. Naming the film like that made most Italians think they were going to see a film far more mindless than Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind actually is. Not all were pleased.
- More important, the title format is a follow-up of Runaway Bride, translated "Se mi sposi ti lascio" ("If you marry me I'll leave you"); Intolerable Cruelty, translated "prima ti sposo poi ti rovino" ("I'll marry you then I'll bankrupt you"); and others. When you get a cheesy format, it's hard to leave it.
- Horrible Bosses ended up being retitled Come Ammazzare Il Capo... E Vivere Felici (How To Do Your Boss In... And Live Happily Ever After).
- Get Smart, the movie, was renamed "Agente Smart — Casino Totale". "Casino Totale" is both a pun on Casino Royale (with a different pronounciation) and a slang expression that means more or less "A complete clusterfuck".
- Meet the Spartans became "3ciento", which is an intentional misspelling of the title of the parodied movie, made to look like a cross between sms-speak and southern dialectal pronounciation of the word "cento" (hundred).
- Speaking of Seltzer & Friedberg, Vampires Suck was given the much better title Mordimi ("Bite Me").
- Again speaking of "parody" movies, Stan Helsing was retitled "Horror Movie", to capitalize on the little success Seltzer & Friedberg's films still have. Never mind that Scary Movie itself did it before.
- Mel Brooks' Silent Movie became "L'ultima follia di Mel Brooks" ("Mel Brooks' Latest Craziness").
- Wag the Dog was probably too difficult to translate properly, so they gave the film the completely nondescript title "Sesso e potere" ("Sex and Power").
- A strange trend for some teen movies of the Eighties: the Teen Wolf movies were renamed "Voglia di vincere" ("Will to Win"), and the first Karate Kid film became "Per vincere domani" ("To Win Tomorrow").
- Home Alone was renamed "Mamma ho perso l'aereo", or "Mum, I lost the plane", which makes sense. Problem is, they retained this formula for the sequels, which have dumb titles such as "Mamma ho preso il morbillo" ("Mum, I got measles") for Home Alone 3.
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail is titled just "Monty Python" in the Italian release. Life of Brian was called "Brian di Nazareth" ("Brian of Nazareth"). The other Python films were released with a correct translation of the title, though.
- There is a blog (in Italian) with lots of [dead link] examples. As you can see, Ahnuld's films often have their titles completely changed.
- Jacob's Ladder was renamed "Allucinazione perversa" ("Perversed allucination")
- Shaun of the Dead was renamed "L'alba dei Morti Dementi" ("Dawn of the Dead Idiots")
- The Killing Fields had the less historically accurate, but much cooler, title "Urla del silenzio" ("Screams of Silence").
- Another cool new title: Stagecoach is known as "Ombre Rosse" ("Red Shadows").
- As Good as It Gets became the more descriptive "Qualcosa è cambiato" ("Something Changed").
- Maximum Overdrive was renamed "Brivido" ("Shiver"). As if Stephen King's name wasn't an already big clue of this being a horror film...
- Made In Dagenham, a relatively light-hearted film about women's sewing machinists strike of 1968, was inexplicably translated as "We want sex!". Yeah — the English title was translated into a completely different English title, suggesting a silly oversexualized comedy, or even perhaps a soft-porn film. It is neither. The mind boggles.
- It actually refers to a joke in the movie, when a banner saying "We want sex equality" is held by the characters in a way that covers the "equality" part.
- Coming to America became "Il principe cerca moglie", or "The Prince is looking for a wife", which sums up perfectly the main plot.
- In Italy I Love You Phillip Morris was released as "Colpo di fulmine — il genio della truffa" (something like "Love At First Sight — The Genius Con Man"), and promoted as the usual wacky Jim Carrey comedy vehicle, rarely if ever mentioning Ewan McGregor's character and all the gay tones of the story.
- Tangled became "Rapunzel-l'intreccio della torre", or "Rapunzel-the tower's tangle".
- It's worthy of mention that "Rapunzel" is the english name for the character — in Italian it's "Raperonzolo". So they changed an original title into something that still doesn't make much sense to anyone without at least some English knowledge.
- Godzilla movies are really bad about this:
- The first two Die Hard movies are called Crystal Trap and 58 Minutes to Die; unsurprisingly, many viewers didn't understand the relation between the movies.
- In Italy, Airplane! is called The World's Craziest Airplane. The sequel added an ...Even Crazier to the title.
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen became The Legend of the Extraordinary Men. Apparently, they wanted to avoid any involuntary reference to the Northern League, one of Italy's major government parties.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl became The Curse of the New Moon. Rumors say the didn't want to use the name Perla Nera (Black Pearl) in the title because it was... the stage name of a porn star. The second is called The Curse of the Phantom Chest, which ultimately feels redundant with the previous one. The last two are At the Borders of the World and Beyond the Borders of the Sea"... Department of Redundancy Department, again!
- The Long Kiss Goodnight is... Spy.
- Stephen King's The Stand was renamed "L'Ombra dello Scorpione" ("The Shadow of the Scorpion"), which is a total nonsense as there are no scorpions involved in the plot. None at all.
- Knight Rider is known in Italy as Supercar.
- Murder, She Wrote became "La signora in giallo" ("Lady in Yellow"). Not that the translators were color-blind, it's a play on words on the Giallo genre of crime fiction, even if it is more an example of Little Old Lady Investigates.
- Family Matters was renamed Otto sotto un tetto ("Eight people under one roof").
- Gilmore Girls became Una mamma per amica ("Your mom as friend")
- Both The Cosby Show and the Huxtables were renamed I Robinson (The Robinsons).
- How I Met Your Mother was renamed "E alla fine arriva mamma" ("And at the end, Mom comes by"). No one liked it, and at the last rerun it had the original name back.
- The Legend of Zelda became Un regno incantato per Zelda (An enchanted realm for Zelda).
- Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story was released as "Viaggio al Centro di Bowser", or "Journey to the Center of Bowser". This is an obvious pun on the famous novel "Journey to the center of the Earth".
- The Star Wars: The Force Unleashed series, or at least the video games therein, were released as "Il Potere della Forza" ("The Power of the Force").
- The Backyardigans are known in Italy as Gli Zonzoli. No, really.
- In Italy, Beast Wars became known as Biocombat(for the toyline) and Rombi di tuono e cieli di fuoco per i Biocombat (Thunderbolts and fire skies for the Biocombat) (the cartoon).
- The Double Dragon cartoon goes named Due draghi per una cintura nera(Two dragons for a black belt).
- My Gym Partner's a Monkey became Quella Scimmia del mio Amico ("That monkey which is my best friend")
- Alvin and The Chipmunks is known in Italy as Alvin Rock'n'Roll(the animated series) or Alvin Superstar(the movies, both animated and live action).
- Family Guy became I Griffin (The Griffins).
- Animated series Dr. Zitbag's Transylvania Pet Shop became "Pazze risate per mostri e vampiri" ("Crazy laughter for Monsters and Vampires").
- Captain N: The Game Master was renamed "Un videogioco per Kevin", or "A Videogame for Kevin" — okay, can't complain too much about that.
- The Emperor's New Groove is known as Le follie dell'Imperatore ("The Emperor's crazy takes"). The series based on it, The Emperors New School, is named instead A scuola con l'Imperatore ("Let's go to school with the Emperor").
- Spiral Zone became "Capitan Dick". No, not Dirk, Dick.
- The translation of the Pixar Shorts usually keeps the title unchanged, except for "Lifted", which became "Stu — Anche un alieno può sbagliare" (Stu — Even an alien can be wrong) for some reason.
- Gravedale High becomes "Mostri o non mostri, tutti a scuola", or "Everybody go to school, being monsters or not".
- Chicken Little was going to be named "Gino Pulcino e la Banda Salvamondo", or "Louie Chick and the Savetheworld Gang", but they changed their minds later.
- Kamen Rider Black's Indonesian dub is known as Ksatria Baja Hitam (Black Iron Knight). It's still considered a dear word for Kamen Rider fans in Indonesia, considering how phenomenally popular Black is in Indonesia
- Later on, Kamen Rider Super-1 gets retitled as Ksatria Baja Hitam Super-1, even though Super-1's color scheme isn't 100% black...
- Cubix: Robots For Everyone was called Saiko Robotto Konbokku, and was given a Dub Name Change (for example, the eponymous character was renamed Konbokku (or "Conbock"), and Connor was renamed Ken Ichirō).
- The Japanese title for The Living Daylights translated as something like Death Has the Scent of Roses.
- Meet the Spartans became the much more imaginative Almost 300.
- Batman and Robin became known as Batman and Robin: The Return of Mr. Freeze.
- This trope was once the standard for films that were named after characters, since some translators felt that a long foreign name in katakana wouldn't memorable enough. Forrest Gump became Ichigo, Ichie ("a once-in-a-lifetime meeting"), for example, and Bonnie and Clyde became Oretachi ni Asu wa nai ("for us there is no tomorrow"). Since they were designed to be poetic and descriptive, some people on both sides of the Pacific actually like these titles better.
- Evil Dead becomes...CAPTAIN! SUPERMARKET! (just imagine that in a japanese accent, Yea, it's pretty funny.)
- When released in Japan, the Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night, as well as the album and song with that name, were renamed Beatles ga Yattekuru Yaa! Yaa! Yaa! ("The Beatles are Coming, Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!") When the 2009 remastered versions of the band's albums came out, the album and song were changed back to "A Hard Day's Night."
- Up is known as Old Man Carl's Flying House.
- Translator's notes from a chapter of Mahou Sensei Negima indicate that Japan retitled 1957 movie The Spirit of St. Louis as Oh Wings! That is the Light of Paris.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World became Scott Pilgrim tai Jaaku na Moto Kare Gundan ("Scott Pilgrim vs. The Army of Evil Ex-Boyfriends").
- A Knight's Tale became Rock You!
- Season of the Witch became Devil Quest.
- King of California (with Michael Douglas) became California Treasure.
- Tangled became Rapunzel of the Top of the Tower (a rough translation of Tou no Ue no Rapunzel).
- The Running Man became Battle Runner.
- The Wraith became Jyokei Rider (Executer Rider), a word play from Kamen Rider
- Sucker Punch became Angel Wars.[context?]
- The Book of Eli became The Walker
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame became Notre Dame no Kane (The Bells of Notre Dame) because the Japanese considered the word "hunchback" as an insult.
- In Japan, Brave is known as Merida and the Scary Forest.
- Dawn of the Dead became Zombie: Chikyū SOS – Shisha ga Yomigaetta Hi (Earth SOS – The Day when the Dead Revived).
- Up -> Grandpa Carl's Flying House
- As Good as It Gets -> The Romance Novel writer
- The Shawshank Redemption -> Shawshank's Sky
- Apocalypse Now -> Apocalypse in Hell
- Benny & Joon -> My little Sister's Lover
- Stranger Than Fiction -> I was the Main Character
- The Pianist -> Pianist on the Battlefield
- Dance of the Vampires -> Vampire
- Sense and Sensibility -> Always on bright days
- Out of Africa -> The End of Love and Sorrow }}
- The Japanese titles of the Disney Fairies chapter books are usually pretty close to the original English, but sometimes they're completely different. For example, "The Trouble with Tink" is "Tinker Bell's Secret," "Iridessa, Lost at Sea" is "Iridessa and Tink's Big Adventure," "Tink, North of Neverland," is "Tinker Bell and Terence," and "Dulcie's Taste of Magic" is "Dulcie's Happiness Cake."
- Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince became Harry Potter and the Mysterious Prince. Fushigi (mysterious) is a common word for a Japanese title.
- To Kill a Mockingbird became Alabama Monogatari (Alabama Story).
- While the novel A Song of Ice and Fire has its title translated literally to Japanese (Koori to Honoo no Uta), the sequels had different names there:
- A Game of Thrones became Nana-oukoku no Gyokuza (The Throne of the Seven Kingdoms)
- A Clash of Kings became Ourou-tachi no Senki (The Battle Flag of the Wolf Kings)
- A Storm of Swords became Kenran no Daichi (The Land of the Stormy Swords)
- A Feast for Crows became Ran'u no Kyouen (The Feast of the Rebel Crows)
- The Hedge Knight became Hourou no Kishi (The Wandering Knight)
- His Dark Materials is titled Lyra's Adventure over in Japan.
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? was called Quiz $ Millionaire, though the original title is also used in its logo.
- Averted trope: George Takei once joked that the Japanese title of Star Trek: The Original Series was "Sulu, Master of Navigation", which isn't true but is rather funny.
- My So-Called Life became Angela 15-sai no Hibi (15-Year-Old Angela's Days).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Japan was (roughly) "Buffy 〜 Loving Cross" to emphasize the romantic elements.
In the 1960s and 1970s it was common practice in Japan to rename songs, presumably because the (mostly English) original titles were considered to hard to pronounce for the average Japanese. Some examples:
- Mary Hopkins "Those were the Days" -> "Kanashiki Tenshi" (Angel of Sadness)
- The Rolling Stones "Fool to cry" -> "Orokamono no Namida" (The tears of the foolish one)
- The Beatles "I should have known better" -> "Koisuru Futari" (Couple in Love)
- Simon & Garfunkel "Bridge over troubled
- The Dungeons & Dragons module Sunless Citadel (as in no sun reaches the sunken fortress) was released in Japanese as the more straightforward 地底の城砦 (Citadel in/of the Depths of the Earth) because "lacking sunlight" can't be translated as an adjective.
- It was planned for Perfect Dark to have its name changed to Red and Black, but they didn't go with it and kept its original name.
- The Megadrive Action-RPG game Crusader of Centy is known under the name Shin Sōseiki Ragnacënty in Japan.
- While it still carried its original license, the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game for the NES became Geki Kame Ninja Den (Fierce Turtle Ninja Legend). This was before the Japanese dubs of the cartoons and films were made, since sequels kept the original American moniker in Japan.
- The Transformers was released in Japan under two titles. The first two seasons were known as Fight! Super Robot Life-form Transformer, while the third became Transformers 2010.
- Super Sentai examples:
- Dai Sentai Goggle Five (Great Task Force Goggle Five) to 5 Commandos Goggle Five.
- Choujuu Sentai Liveman (Super Beast Task Force Liveman) to Champion Of Peace Liveman.
- Choudenshi Bioman (Super Electronic Bioman) to Space Commando Bioman.
- Choushinsei Flashman (Supernova Flashman) to Defence Corps Flashman.
- Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger to Power Rangers Jungle Force
- Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger to Power Rangers Dino Thunder (not the actual Power Rangers show)
- Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger to Power Rangers SPD (also not the actual Power Rangers show)
- Mahou Sentai Magiranger to Power Rangers Magic Force
- Go Go Sentai Boukenger to Power Rangers Treasure Force
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger to Power Rangers Wild Spirits
- Engine Sentai Go-onger to Power Rangers Engine Force
- Tensou Sentai Goseiger to Power Rangers Miracle Force
- Note: Although Korea skipped Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, it still has a Korean title, thanks to the Kamen Rider Decade dub: Power Rangers Samurai Force.
- If you're wondering why the Koreans use the Power Rangers name for Super Sentai dub, know this: they once used to dub Power Rangers itself... until they reached Power Rangers Ninja Storm. Considering their anti-Japanese sentiment and the fact that Ninja Storm involves Exactly What It Says on the Tin, they decided to just jump over to Abaranger instead. And Gaoranger was retroactively dubbed to fill in the hole made by skipping Shinkenger.
- Super Mario Galaxy is known as Super Mario Wii in Korea.
Anime and Manga
- The Malay adaptation for the One Piece manga is called Budak Getah, which literally means "Rubber Kid".
- The Rurouni Kenshin manga has it's title changed to Satria Pedang, which means "Sword Warrior".
- The Malaysian version of The Kindaichi Case Files is Penyiasat Remaja, which translates to "Teen Investigator".
- The Dragon Ball manga was released in Malaysia as Mutiara Naga, which in Malay means "Dragon Pearl".
- When released in Malaysia, the Dragon Quest manga (Dai no Daibouken to be specific) was called Misteri Naga, which could translate to "Mystery Of The Dragon" in Malay.
- For some reason, in the theatre subtitles, Finding Nemo was translated as Nemo, Si Comel", which translates to Nemo, the Cute.
- In Malaysia, Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger was referred to as Leo Rangers by the network. Despite this, the characters refer to theselves as the Gaoranger within the show.
Anime and Manga
- Spirited Away was called Chihiro og heksene(Chihiro and the witches).
- The Emperor's New Groove was, oddly enough, initially titled Et kongerike for en lama (A Kingdom for a Llama). Later releases of the movie had it retitled Keiserens nye stil, a direct translation of the original title, with the original Richard III-derived title demoted to a small-font subtitle on the cover.
- While Family Guy isn't dubbed, its title on the program list usually gets changed into Familien Griffin(The Griffin family).
- King of the Hill was, amusingly enough, changed to The King of Grills ("Grillkongen"). "I sell propane and propane accessories."
- Die Hard's title was changed to Szklana Pułapka (literally: The Glass Trap), for its Polish release. Strangely enough, sequels retain this increasingly inappropriate title.
- Good thing the fourth one is called Die Hard 4.0 in Europe. Or else it would be Live Free of Glass Trap in Polish.
- The official translation of Dirty Dancing's title translates back into Whirling Sex.
- Airplane! is called Czy leci z nami pilot? (which roughly means Is there a pilot with us?) in Polish while its sequel is called Spokojnie, to tylko awaria (Don't worry, it's just a malfunction).
- Poland in general used to be really silly in this kind of thing. If you thought that Elektroniczny Morderca (Electronic Murderer) was silly enough, you haven't seen the proposed title of the polish RoboCop release: Policyjny Gliniarz (roughly Police Cop). It ended up being released as Superglina (Super cop) though.
- The 'Terminator' case is justified by the fact that in the 80's the Polish word 'terminator' was still used as a synonym to 'the apprentice', especially by older people.
- Alien and Aliens had their titles extended because singular and plural forms of the word 'alien' in Polish are identical. So the movies become known as, respectively, Obcy: Ósmy pasażer Nostromo (Alien: Eighth Passenger of Nostromo) and Obcy: Decydujące starcie (Aliens: The Decisive Conflict).
- The Hurt Locker became W pułapce wojny, i.e. In the Trap of War.
- Analyze This and Analyze That were released as Depresja gangstera (A gangster's depression) i Nawrót depresji gangstera (Relapse of the gangster's depression).
- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery became Austin Powers: Agent specjalnej troski (Austin Powers: Agent of the special care). The sequel was called Austin Powers: Szpieg, który nie umiera nigdy (Austin Powers: A spy who never dies).
- Blade Runner was released as Łowca androidów (The Android Hunter) but the s-f fans usually use its original title.
- Girl, Interrupted was translated to Przerwana lekcja muzyki (An Interrupted Music Lesson).
- Hey Dude was translated simply as Rancho while it was shown in Poland.
- Ship to Shore turned into Wyspa Przygód (lit. Island Of Adventures).
- Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? is called simply Millionaires.
Brazilian versions of movies and series are especially prone to this. Some of the more Egregious examples:
- Kellogg's Frosted Flakes are called Sucrilhos in Brazil.
Anime and Manga
- Dragon Quest: Dai no Daiboken (Dragon Quest: Dai's Great Adventure) became Fly, o Pequeno Guerreiro (Fly, the Little Warrior). Some theorize it was to avoid conflict with Dragon Ball.
- As in many contries, Saint Seiya became Os Cavaleiros do Zodíaco (The Knights of the Zodiac).
- Fuuma no Kojiro (Kojiro of the Fuma), from the same creator of Saint Seiya, became Os Guardiões do Universo (The Guardians of the Universe). The term was also used in the very first Brazilian opening song of Saint Seiya; take that as you will.
- Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Sen and Chihiro's Spiriting Away) became A Viagem de Chihiro (Chihiro's Travel, or Chihiro's Voyage). It has a nice double meaning for those who already watched the movie.
- Neko no Ongaeshi (The Cat's Retribution) became O Reino dos Gatos (The Kingdom of the Cats).
- Yoroiden Samurai Troopers (Legendary Armor Samurai Troppers) mixed the original title with the American title (Ronin Warriors), becoming Samurai Warriors. Not to be confused with that game series.
- Urusei Yatsura (Those Obnoxious Aliens) became the painfully generic A Turma do Barulho (The Noise Gang; a generic term used to an upbeat group (of, usually, children)).
- Gankutsuou (The King of the Cave) became just Montecristo. The more complete "O Conde de Montecristo" (The Count of Montecristo) is used in-show.
- As in the rest of Latin America, Captain Tsubasa became Super Campeões (Super Champions).
- The still-unaired[when?] Inazuma Eleven anime will have its name changed to "Super 11". There's just something between the word "Super" and soccer.
- My Girl was translated to Meu Primeiro Amor ("My First Love"), causing a huge feeling of oddness when the sequel came up...
- No movie from the Scary Movie-derived Shallow Parodies was unscathed. It all started with a pun with Scream, and there it goes...
- And, while we're at that: Scream = Pânico ("Panic"). Go figure.
- Not only Scream became Pânico (Panic), but The Grudge became O Grito (The Scream).
- Weird Scary Movie-inspired title: the Brazilian title is Todo Mundo Em Pânico("Everybody in Panic"). Shaun of the Dead is Todo Mundo Quase Morto("Everybody Almost Dead").
- Seltzer and Friedberg's Disaster Movie was translated to Super Heróis: Liga da Injustiça ("Super Heroes: Injustice League"), so it could pass off as a sequel to Superhero Movie. Considering more superhero spoofs appear than ones for disaster films, it's actually more accurate than the original.
- Not only that, but Epic Movie became Deu a Louca em Hollywood ("Hollywood's Gone Crazy", much like the Hoodwinked example below) and Date Movie became Uma Comédia Nada Romântica (Something along the lines of "A Not-Romantic-At-All Comedy").
- A reviewer said the title for Meet the Spartans, Os Espartalhões (mixing "espertalhões", smart-asses with Sparta) is much more clever than any of the jokes in the movie.
- Jaws is Tubarão. "Shark". Okay, can't complain about that.
- The success of Fright Night, which became A Hora do Espanto ("Fright Time") led to many similar titles: A Nightmare on Elm Street became A Hora do Pesadelo ("Nightmare Time"), The Dead Zone became A Hora da Zona Morta ("Dead Zone Time"), Re-Animator became A Hora dos Mortos Vivos ("Undead Time").
- The subtitles for first two Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery became 000: Um Agente nada Discreto ("An not-very Discreet Agent") and The Spy Who Shagged Me became O Agente Bond Cama ("the agent good at bed", an Incredibly Lame Pun on James Bond).
- That the James Bond titles all add "007" (most of the times with "vs." or "and"), OK. Adaptation of words hard to translate (Thunderball became 007 vs. the Atomic Blackmail, Moonraker became 007 vs. the Deadly Rocket), also passes. But Octopussy became 007 vs. Octopussy... when she isn't a villain.
- And let's just say one-worded titles don't go well with Brazilian names. Saw, for instance, is Jogos Mortais ("Deadly Games").
- And to confuse things further, Stay Alive's Brazilian name is Jogo Mortal ("Deadly Game")
- One of the genres that has this mostly are Westerns: Shane is "The Brutes Also Love", The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is "Three Men in a Conflict"... but one is mostly an improvement: The Wild Bunch had the badass translation Meu Ódio Será Tua Herança ("You Will Inherit My Hatred").
- For a non-Brazilian example: in Portugal, Planet of the Apes became the kinda spoileriffic O Homem Que Veio Do Futuro ("The man who came from the future"). Bizarrely, the Tim Burton remake was called Planeta dos Macacos ("Planet Of The Monkeys/Apes" and Rise of the Planet of the Apes was called Planeta dos Macacos: A Origem ("Planet Of The Apes: The Origin") but the rereleased original kept the aforementioned spoileriffic title.
- In Brazil, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was named Tá Chovendo Hambúrger ("It's Raining Hamburgers").
- Despicable Me became Meu Malvado Favorito ("My Favorite Bad Guy").
- Hoodwinked became Deu a Louca na Chapeuzinho ("Little Red Riding Hood's Gone Crazy").
- The Hangover became Se Beber, Não Case ("If you drink, don't marry"). Gets worse when Hot Tub Time Machine became A Ressaca which means... "the hangover"!
- North by Northwest is Intriga Internacional ("International Intrigue").
- The Hurt Locker became Guerra ao Terror — "War On Terror". A reviewer said this makes it sound like a Chuck Norris film.
- Portugal turned Fern Gully into As Aventuras de Zack e Crysta na Floresta Tropical ("Zack and Crysta's Adventures in the Rainforest"), but Brazil only uses that as a subtitle instead of the "The Last Rainforest".
- The Portugal title for the obscure satirical film Buffalo Soldiers was Os Policias do Mundo ("World Police", the derogatory nickname for the US later used in Team America). One reviewer called it "the only known instance where a translated title is on par with the original"
- Basic became Violação de Conduta, "Breach of Conduct"
- In Portugal, the first Die Hard movie is called Assalto ao Arranha-céus which can be translated as "Skyscraper Siege" OR "Skyscraper Heist" hinting at the stated and hidden motives respectively of the antagonists. Die Hard 2 became "Airport Siege/Heist", Die Hard With A Vengeance became Die Hard: The Revenge and Live Free Or Die Hard became Die Hard 4.0: Live or Die.
- No Country for Old Men is known in Brazil as (Onde Os Fracos Não Tem Vez, "Where The Weak Have No Chance").
- Brazil titled Police Academy Crazy Police Academy (Loucademia de Polícia).
- The title given to Hot Shots in Brazil became a pun on the main target of the film (Top Gang). The sequel does the same, trading the "Part Deux" for the subtitle the second Rambo received there (Top Gang 2: The Mission)
- MacGyver is called Profissão: Perigo (something like Profession: Danger) in Brazil.
- Kamen Rider Black was referred to as Black Man for some reason in his theme song.
- In Brazil Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue is known as Power Rangers: O Resgate ("Power Rangers: The Rescue). No mention of Lightspeed there.
- Brazil's title for SpongeBob SquarePants, like Spain (below), is Bob Esponja, but retains the surname in both the character name and the theme song ("Bob Esponja, Calça Quadrada!").
- The Brazilian dub of Fish Hooks changed it to Adolepeixes, a combination of the words "Adolescent" and "fishes"
The trope is ubiquitous in Russia, with show names being altered to accomodate an Incredibly Lame Pun or make the title more "understandable" by the general populace. Some of the more baffling (or surprisingly spot-on) examples are listed below:
Anime and Manga
- The second and the third season of the Sailor Moon anime were renamed Sailormoon is With Us Again and Sailormoon the Super-Warrior, which are technically more or less correct explanation of the letters R ("Return") and S ("Super") in the original titles.
- The original season also had The Foreign Subtitle "Moon in a sailor suit" tacked on in an attempt to explain what "Sailor Moon" refers to (since the name itself is left untranslated, i.e. in English). Its surreality led to a number of jokes in the local press.
- Hellsing TV Series was called "Hellsing: The War Against Undead"
- Death Note was renamed to "The Notebook of Death".
- Painkiller Jane is called "Hard nut Jane" in a similar manner to how Die Hard is translated as "Hard nut". There is a Russian word for "painkiller", of course, but it doesn't have the word "kill" in it, so it doesn't work as well.
- The Hangover was renamed Mal'chishnik v Vegase (A Stag Party in Vegas); the sequel is known as Malchishnik: Iz Vegasa v Bangkok (Stag Party: From Vegas to Bangkok). Similarly, Get Him to The Greek was retitled as Pobeg iz Vegasa (Escape from Vegas), quite possibly as a marketing ploy to capitalize on the first movie's success.
- The Expendables are known as Neuderzhimye (The Unstoppables), a complete reversal of the original title but somehow fitting because the English title is a clear case of Non-Indicative Name.
- For some reason, The Hurt Locker was retitled Povelitel' buri (Lord Of The Storm), producing a very strange Word Salad Title which even the film's distributors in Russia couldn't explain.
- The Full Monty is known as Muzhskoy striptiz (Men's Striptease), which pushes the title into Exactly What It Says on the Tin territory.
- Due Date is known as Vprityk (something like Barely On Time). It could also be translated as Close Enough, a reference to how close spatially the two male characters have to be for most of the movie.
- The Town is Gorod vorov (City Of Thieves).
- Taken was retitled as Zalozhnitsa (Female Hostage), although the girl is kidnapped, not taken hostage...
- Averted with Total Recall. The Russian title, Vspomnit' vsyo, is almost literal. It means, To Recall Everything.
- Snatch became Bol'shoy kush (Big Score), although Dmitry Puchkov (better known as Goblin) made his own translation, preferring to call the movie Spizdili, which is a vulgar way of saying [They] Stole, while retaining the Double Entendre of "snatch".
- Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels was translated as Karty, den'gi, dva stvola (Cards, Money, Two [Gun]barrels).
- A surprising amount of movies get their names re-tooled into a 'gangsta' theme even if there isn't one present in the original title. Or movie, for that matter.
- Bolt became Volt (Вольт) to explain the lightning-bolt insignia, preserve the shortness of the name and, incidentally, most of the letters, as the Russian V is the Latin B.
- Tropic Thunder became Soldaty Neudachi (Soldiers of Misfortune), probably as an effort to better explain the military theme of the movie to people going in blind.
- Blind Idiot Translation moment: Death Proof became Dokazatel'stvo Smerti (Proof of Death, not quite what the original means; triply odd since the Title Drop in the movie itself is translated properly).
- Sometimes, compactness of the title becomes an issue. Repo Men if translated properly, would take up a LOT of space, so the translators went with a similarly-sounding-in-English Potroshiteli (Ripper Men, if you want to feel poetic, or The Disembowellers if you don't). This is a common problem with short-named movies.
- Another common practice is leaving sequels unnumbered, adding stupid sub-title instead. So, Spider-Man3 became "Spider-Man: The Enemy in the Reflection" and Toy Story 3 became "Toy Story: The Great Escape"
- Batman Beyond, aka Batman of the Future in Russia is known as "The New Batman"
- In a particularly idiotic case of Blind Idiot Translation, Pitch Black is known as "The Black Hole" in Russia, although there are no black holes in the movie.
- Or a case of Fridge Brilliance, as the word "hole" can also mean "dump" (as in "what a dump") or a place in the middle of nowhere, which is exactly where they end up.
- The upcoming[when?] The Dark Knight Rises will be called "The Dark Knight: Revival of the Legend"
- 2001: A Space Travesty is known as "The Sixth Element" (as in a parody of The Fifth Element, although there are no jokes about The Fifth Element in the movie)
- The Pacifier is known as "The Bald Babysitter: A Special Task"
- This is because the double-meaning in the original name is lost in Russian, where someone who pacifies would be called "uspokoitel'" (although that sounds more like a medicine than a person), while the kind of pacifies that is given to little kids is "soska" (sucker). Neither of these makes for a good movie name.
- The Shawshank Redemption is known as "The Escape from Shawshank"
- Interesting case with The Fast and the Furious series. The first film was known as "The Afterburning". 2Fast 2Furious was called "The Double Afterurning". The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was called "The Triple Afterburning: Tokyo Drift". Fast and Furious was called simply "The Afterburning 4". And Fast Five also became simply "The Afterburning 5"
- In the idiotic case of Blind Idiot Translation and They Just Didn't Care, Constantine has become "Constantine: The Ruler of Darkness"
- In a brilliant case of this, Die Hard was translated as "Крепкий орешек" ("Hard Nut To Crack"). There were also bootleg versions, titled "Die Hardly, But With Dignity"
- Shaun of the Dead was renamed. That's okay, they couldn't translate this pun. Why in the hell they called it "A Zombie Named Shaun" is beyond me, particularly because Shaun doesn't become a zombie!
- Hot Fuzz! was translated as "Da Cool Cops"
- Trying to cash in on Hot Fuzz's glory, Observe and Report was called "Da Cool Guard"
- Zombieland was renamed to "Welcome to Zombieland". Why?
- Adventureland was also renamed to "Park of culture and relaxation", although sometimes called "Land of adventures".
- Public Enemies was renamed to "Johnny D.", probably trying to cash in on having Johnny Depp in the movie.
- Fortress was renamed to "The Final Countdown"
- Sexy Boys was renamed to "The French Pie". Guess on what they were trying to cash in.
- I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry was renamed to "Chuck and Larry: The Firefighter Wedding"
- There's a pun in the Russian adjective for "firefighter", which roughly means "emergency". This actually fits the movie theme.
- Disaster Movie was renamed to "Da Unreal Blockbuster", which is more fitting, although nothing can save this movie.
- Scary Movie was called "A Very Scary Movie". The same case with all of the sequels. And with the Epic Movie. Strangely enough, Superhero Movie was an exception.
- Lost in Translation became "Translation Difficulties"
- Ocean's Eleven became "Eleven friends of Ocean's". Ditto for the sequels, even though not everyone in the list can be accurately called a friend of Ocean's.
- X Change became "Body swap", which makes a little more sense, especially since it also refers to Mindswap, the original novel by Robert Sheckley, on which the movie is loosely based.
- The Underworld films are known as "Another world".
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil became "Killing Vacation".
- A History of Violence became "Justified Cruelty".
- Another Blind Idiot Translation: Inception became Nachalo ("Beginning"), maybe as a nod to Nolan's earlier Batman Begins, but who knows. Again, the Title Drop in the movie itself is translated correctly.
- The Village suddenly became "Таинственный Лес" which means "A Mysterious Forest"
- A Beautiful Mind became "Игры разума" in Russian, which translates as "Games of the Mind"
- Serving Sara in Russian theaters became "Мошенники", meaning "Con-men"
- This is because of the double-meaning of the word "serving" (i.e. serving Sara the divorce papers and serving in terms of helping her). It doesn't translate into the same thing.
- Up in the Air became "А мне бы в небо" in Russian, which translates roughly as "I Wish I Were in the Sky"
- Sunshine was released as "Пекло" ("Peklo"), which means "a very hot place" or simply "Hell"
- The Grey is known as "Skhvatka" ("Схватка"), meaning "skirmish" or "grapple". Makes slightly more sense than the original title.
- The overly-long title Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, Or How I Flew from London to Paris in 25 Hours 11 Minutes was changed in Russia to Air Adventures.
- American Gangster was titled simply Gangster in Russian theaters.
- Cloverfield was released as "Monstro" in russian-speaking countries
- Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant became "The Story of One Vampire"
- Harry Turtledove's Worldwar books were translated with completely different titles with nothing to indicate they're even related to each other:
- In the Balance became "Invasion Fleet" (Флот вторжения).
- Tilting the Balance became "Retaliation" (Ответный удар).
- Upsetting the Balance became "Eye for an Eye" (Око за око).
- Striking the Balance became "The Great Turning Point" (Великий перелом).
- Some published translations do include the series name, but it's called Invasion Fleet not Worldwar.
- Lost is known as Ostat'sia v zhivykh (To Survive or, if you will, Staying Alive). A rather well-calculated move, because the phrase comes from the theme song for the Russian version of Survivor, a show which shares its castaway themes with the series. Incidentally, Survivor itself was known as Poslyedniy Geroy (The Last Hero). However, many fans of Lost refer to it by its original name, even though it means nothing in Russian.
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers were named just The Mighty Rangers
- Interesting case with Scrubs: it was renamed to Klinika (The Clinic), since the original title would just sound silly, and since the word klinika (клиника) is often referred to something crazy, it fits.
- The Russian term for "scrubs" is "surgical suit" and doesn't have the same connotation as it does in English.
- The show Time Trax is sometimes translated as "Through time", although another version of the translation is "Tracks in time", which is a more or less direct translation (except for the annoying "x").
- Not a case of a completely different title, but the show Hercules: The Legendary Journeys became Amazing journeys of Heracles, since Heracles is more familiar to the Russian audience than Hercules. In fact, Heracles makes more sense, given that the show is about a Greek character, not his Roman counterpart.
- 90210 is known as "90210: The New Generation".
- Grey's Anatomy is "Anatomy of passion".
- Queer as Folk became "Close friends".
- Home Improvement is "Big repair".
- The Middle is "It can be worse".
- Tru Calling is "Bring back from the dead".
- Breaking Bad became "In all hardships".
- Leverage is "Influence".
- FlashForward became "Remember what will be", since there's no good way to translate the play on words.
- Roswell became "City of aliens".
- Burn Notice is known as "The black spot". No, it's not a pirate show, and the term is familiar to Russians from Treasure Island as it is to everyone else. Although, it kinda fits the concept. You get the "black spot" (or a burn notice), you're screwed, and nobody wants to deal with you.
- Better Off Ted is "Do it again, Ted".
- Cold Case is "Detective Rush".
- Moonlighting became "The 'Moon light' detective agency".
- Just Shoot Me is known as "Fashion magazine".
- Early Edition became "Tomorrow will be today" (also known as "Morning edition").
- Tin Man is "Enchanted kingdom", although nothing is really changed there. Not that the original name makes much sense, given how Caine is not the main character.
- Since the word "battlestar" is completely made up, the translators were forced to call Battlestar Galactica a less cool name "Star cruiser 'Galactica'" (also, "galactica" is Russian for "galaxy").
- The Fall Guy became "Stunt doubles" (or "Daredevils").
- Martial Law was called "Chinese policeman" ("Kitaiskiy gorodovoy"), which is a reference to a Russian habit of avoiding swearing in a Gosh Darn It to Heck manner with the phrase "Yaponskiy gorodovoy" ("Japanese policeman").
- Less Than Perfect became "Go Klava!" which is a double meaning. Clava is short for Klavdiya (the Russian form of Claudia, the main character of the show) and also slang for "keyboard".
- Six Feet Under is called "The client is always dead", similar to the saying "the customer is always right".
- Space: Above and Beyond has a different subtitle of "The farthest corners".
- Entourage became "Handsome fellas".
- One of the translations of Walker, Texas Ranger is "Cool Walker: Justice Texas-style". The other translation is direct.
- One of the translations for Sliders called it "Traveling to parallel worlds".
- In order to retain the acronym, KKnD (which stands for "Krush, Kill 'n' Destroy") was translated as Krushi, Kalech, ne Dumai ("Devastate, Maim, don't Think") in Russia.
- In Russia, Family Guy is known as Griffiny (The Griffins), most likely to compare it to The Simpsons.
- Tale Spin was translated in Russia as Wonders on Loops (Chudesa na virazhakh, where virazh refers to horizontal loops in the air), likely because the pun would be utterly lost in direct translation.
- Darkwing Duck was translated as Chorniy Plashch (Black Cape), which was a bit of Fridge Brilliance on the part of the translators, as Launchpad (named Zigzag in the translation) calls him "Ch P" (pronounced "cheh-peh") for short, which also sounds like an acronym meaning "emergency", which adds well to the atmosphere. Most of the characters were likewise renamed.
- Unfortunately, the name of the Ukrainian-themed villain Taurus Bulba (a mix of the Greek word for "bull" with the Ukrainian folk hero Taras Bulba) was changed to simply Taras Bulba, even though this is the audience uniquely qualified to recognize the pun. How many Americans know who Taras Bulba was?
- Exo Squad became "Space Rescuers of Lieutenant Marsh"
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have become "The Ninja Turtles"
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 were named "The Ninja Turtles: New Adventures" in Russia, although it was unrelated to the 1989 cartoon. Similarly, Spectacular Spider Man has become "Spider-Man: The New Adventures"
- Idiotic case with Earthworm Jim: it was renamed to "Jimmy The Super Worm"
- Spider-Man Unlimited oddly have become "The Invincible Spider-Man". Very odd case, since usually "Spider-Man" itself was always translated to "Chelovek-Pauk" (The Human Spider), but this time they left it untranslated.
- Glory Days is translated as "City of demons".
- Gay Straight Or Taken is called "Intuition against temptation".
- Lie to Me's unofficial translation was named "Теория лжи" ("Teoriya lzhi", "The Lie Theory"). Official one went with closer to the original "Обмани меня" ("Obmani menya", "Deceive me").
- Airplane! was translated as Ima li pilota u avionu? ("Is there a pilot in the plane?").
- Alien became Osmi putnik, which means "The Eight Passenger" (there were seven members of the crew on the ship, Alien was the eight).
- It became trickier with the sequels but the translations remained consistent, as in Osmi putnik protiv Predatora (literally, "Eight Passenger Vs Predator").
- Jaws became Ajkula which means... wait for it... The Shark.
- Pulp Fiction was translated as Petparačke priče which means "Five-Cent Stories".
- This is because there is no word for "pulp" in Serbian, and the trash novels sold on the newsstands were called "five-cents" because of their cheapness.
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo kept the translated original title of the novel in Swedish, Muškarci koji mrze žene ("Men Who Hate Women").
- The series Burn Notice was aired on two channels under different names, as Odstrel (literally "Hunter's Kill", figuratively meaning "liquidation") and Nepouzdani agenti ("Unreliable Agents").
- Similarly, the British series Only Fools and Horses became Mućke ("Skullduggeries")
- Kellogg's Frosted Flakes are called Zucaritas in Spanish-speaking countries.
Anime and Manga
- The Latin American dub of Doraemon referred to the show as El Gato Cosmico ("The Space Cat", or "The Cosmic Cat"). Other Spanish dubs retained the title whilst using the latter title as a subtitle.
- Unfortunate, since Doraemon is from the future, but not from space.
- Kiki's Delivery Service was called Nikki The Apprentice Witch in Spain.
- Knights of the Zodiac was recently renamed to "Guerreros del Zodiaco" (Warriors of the Zodiac) for the Lost Canvas saga. A lawsuit involving the U.S. series named Zodiac Knights may or may not be involved here.
- Given that the previous dub name, "Caballeros del Zodiaco" was nothing like the original Saint Seiya, one can only wonders...
- During the 1970s, DC Comics' supernatural series The Demon was retitled "Etrigan" (the name of the starring Noble Demon) in the Spanish version, probably out of fear of offending people in the strongly-Catholic Latin America. Etrigan is also called a "genie" rather than a demon within the comic.
- Disney movies in Spanish, e.g. Cinderella ended up something like "The Shoe Which Sits on the Pillow".
- In Latin America and Spain it's just "La Cenicienta" which is the Spanish translation of Cinderella.
- In Latin America, No Country for Old Men launched as "Sin Lugar Para Los Débiles" ("No Place For The Weak").
- In Spain and Latin America, Star Wars is known as "La Guerra de las Galaxias" ("The War of the Galaxies").
- The first Die Hard movie was translated for its European Spanish release as "La Jungla de Cristal" ("The Glass Jungle"), because of all the skyscraper action. Of course, that meant that the sequels followed the translated title in a similarly increasingly silly way, and LFODH was distributed as "La Jungla 4.0". Latin America was luckier and got the title translated as "Duro de Matar" ("Hard to Kill").
- A Spanish-Language DVD release of the low-budget film Jesus Christ: Vampire Hunter was released as Jesus Christ Superstar: Return of the Messiah. Descriptive text on the DVD menus actually claims the film is a sequel to the musical.
- The Sound of Music is known in Spanish as Smiles And Tears.
- In Latin America, it became La Novicia Rebelde (The Rebellious Novice).
- The Ring has a lot of names in Latin America. In Chile is known as "El Aro" ("The Ring" as how it should be) But in Argentina and other places is known as "La Llamada" (The Call). And there's another name for the same movie in other Latin American countries.
- FernGully: The Last Rainforest had its subtitle changed to Las Aventuras de Zak y Crysta in Latin America.
- The film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is called "Lluvia de hamburguesas" (Hamburger Rain) in most Spanish-speaking countries for some reason, but is more accurately called "Lluvia de albóndigas" (Meatball Rain) in Spain.
- Similar to the Finnish examples above, Airplane! was released as ¿Y dónde está el piloto? ("And where's the pilot?") This led to the Police Squad! movie being released as ¿Dónde está el policía? ("Where's the policeman?") possibly due to Role Association with Leslie Nielsen.
- Sadly, this has led to a lot of uncreative team translating most comedies as "Where is the...", starting with the Naked Guns, and then "Where are the Blondes" (White Chicks), "Where is the exorcist?" (Repossessed), "Where is the Spy" (Spy Hard), "Where is the Accused?" (Wrongfully Accused, although this one also got named "Acusado Sin Razon"). Basically, if it's a comedy, and Leslie Nielsen has a major role, it will be treated like this.
- On a related note, the Police Academy series was called Loca academia de policía, Crazy Police Academy. Then came Hot Shots, and they called it Loca academia de pilotos, Crazy Pilot Academy. Not a very creative bunch, translators.
- The pun-laden title Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest was translated as Piratas del Caribe: El Cofre De La Muerte ("[Treasure] Chest of Death.")
- The drama film Up in the Air was given the rather misaimed title Amor Sin Escalas, or "Love Without Layovers." despite not being a romantic film.
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children received the generic-sounding Final Fantasy VII: The Rescue for Latin American release.
- Nightmare On Elm Street became "Pesadilla en la calle del infierno" ("Nightmare on Hell Street").
- Bad Boys became "Dos policías rebeldes" ("Two rebel cops"). Then Bad Boys 2 became "Bad Boys 2: Vuelven mas rebeldes" ("They're back more rebel").
- American Pie became "Tu primera vez" ("Your first time") in Latin America. Then American Pie 2 became "American Pie: Tu segunda vez es mejor" ("Your second time is better"). Then American Wedding became "American Pie: La boda" ("The wedding").
- Open Season became "Amigos salvajes" ("Wild Friends"). Sequels received same treatment as the two mentioned before.
- Saw became "El juego del miedo" ("The fear game" or something).
- Scott Pilgrim vs. the World became "Scott Pilgrim vs los ex de la chica de sus sueños" ("Scott Pilgrim vs the girl of his dreams' exes").
- Nowhere Boy became "Mi nombre es John Lennon" ("My name is John Lennon").
- Total Recall. The Latin American title translates to The Avenger from the Future, probably because The Terminator foreign titles there translates to The Terminator from the Future).
- Total Recall is known in Spain as "Desafio Total" ("Total Challenge").
- The Land Before Time was renamed En Busca Del Valle Encantado in Spain, meaning In Search Of The Enchanted Valley. Fine until you find out the sequels still kept that name. Cue loads and loads of bad jokes on how "they haven't found the valley yet".
- "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is translated to "Hombres que no aman las mujeres" (Men who don't love women). However, this is a bit closer to the original Swedish title.
- The Boondock Saints is known in Spanish as Los Santos del Infierno (The Saints of Hell).
- I Love You Phillip Morris was released in Argentina as Una Pareja Despareja (A Mismatched Couple would be a rough approximation). The poster also had Rodrigo Santoro photoshopped in and given star billing, presumably because the audience was expected to identify with a Latin character.
- Apparently, Spanish publishers thought Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind felt too intellectual for a Jim Carrey movie and changed its title to "Olvídate de mí" (Forget Me) which sure mislead a bunch of people into thinking it was yet another romantic comedy. This troper wonders if any of them felt pity about scraping such a beautiful title
- A Bug's Life is known as Bichos in Latin America.
- Shaun of the Dead was renamed to Zombies Party when released in Spain. Zombie Party is actually in the Bargain Bin in the movie Hot Fuzz. The pun of the actual title makes little sense in non-English languages, not to mention the fact that Dawn of the Dead has a different name in Spain (Zombi).
- The DVD trivia track of Hot Fuzz, which points out the aforementioned DVD, refers to it as "awesomely renamed."
- In Spain, North is called Un Muchacho Llamado Norte (A Boy Named North) so as to let them know that it's not about the direction.
- When premiered in Mexico, Evil Dead was titled El despertar del diablo (The Devil's Awakening).
- As the Viewers are Morons assumption is one of the main reasons this happens in Latin America, when Snakes on a Plane was announced, people reasoned this would be one of the movie titles which would be left unchanged, as the title perfectly explains the movie like none other. Alas, this was not to be, as the movie was retitled "Terror On Board", because apparently "Snakes on a Plane" wouldn't let people figure out some terror would be at hand...
- Some Like It Hot is known as Una Eva y dos Adanes ("One Eve, Two Adams") in Mexico and Argentina, and as Con faldas y a lo loco ("With skirts and wildly") in Spain, according to the other wiki.
- In Mexico, "Weird Al" Yankovic — UHF is called Los Telelocos (roughly, "The TV Crazies"). In Argentina and Uruguay, it's called Canal U-62.
- Harry Potter has had little luck with its translations into Spanish (specially in the last two books), rendering the second book's title as "Harry Potter y la cámara secreta" (Harry Potter and the Secret Chamber), and the sixth as "Harry Potter y el misterio del príncipe." (Harry Potter and the Mystery of the Prince). A previous (and illegal) fan translation of that book used the word mestizo for "half-blood". Incorrectly, as that word is used only to describe people of mixed Spanish and Native American heritage. Latin Americans normally use De origen X or De ascendencia X (translated as "of X origin" or "X ancestry") to describe other cases.
- Pet Sematary became "Cementerio maldito" ("Cursed Sematary"). I suppose they thought the original titles weren't scary enough.
- The Subtle Knife became just The Knife in the Spanish translation. Way to break the pattern naming the books had in this edition.
- In Spain, Power Rangers Lost Galaxy became known as Power Rangers: En La Galaxia. No mention of being lost there (although said Lost Galaxy didn't appear until about halfway through the series).
- In Latin America Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue became known as Power Rangers a la velocidad de la luz ("Power Rangers at the speed of light"). No mention of rescuing there.
- In Latin America, Power Rangers Overdrive became "Power Rangers: Operacion Sobrecarga" (Power Rangers: Operation Overload)
- In Latin America, Doctor Who was titled El Doctor Misterio ("Doctor Mystery") though, like the English title, the character himself was never called that, just Doctor.
- In Spain Choujuu Sentai Liveman became known as Bioman due to the fact they dubbed over the French dub.
- In Latin America (or at least in Chile) The Six Million Dollar Man is known as "El Hombre Nuclear" ("The Nuclear Man").
- Life As We Know It became "Bajo el mismo techo" ("Under the same ceiling").
- Get Smart is known in Latin America as "El Super-Agente 86". Both the original TV series and the movie.
- Selena's cover of Pretenders' "Back on the Chain Gang" was retitled "Fotos y Recuerdas" ("Pictures and Memories"). Justified, in that her version focuses on the "memories" part of the song, and deletes the angrier parts of the original.
- The Latin and European Spanish dub title of SpongeBob SquarePants is Bob Esponja (same meaning as that in French), albeit it was to fit the name batter in the dubbed song.
- Family Guy is known as "Padre de Familia" (Father of Family) in Spanish-speaking countries. Notably this is actually referenced by the show itself, as this is the title of an episode where Peter discovers he is technically an illegal immigrant.
- Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers became Galaxy Guardians.
- Sister series Thundercats and Silverhawks saw release as Cosmic Felines and Galactic Hawks, respectively.
- To be fair, at least the "Cosmic Felines" was a subtitle. (At least in Mexico). The full title was "Thundercats: The Cosmic Felines" and they used both terms in-show.
- The Producers was translated into Swedish as "Det våras för Hitler" (lit. It's springtime for Hitler). Unfortunately, somehow the name stuck and ALL subsequent Mel Brooks movies are named after this scheme, including Spaceballs (Springtime for space), Blazing Saddles (Springtime for the sheriff) and The Twelve Chairs (Springtime for the mother-in-law)!
- A similar thing happened to movies with Goldie Hawn. After the hit Foul Play, which here became known as "The Girl Who Knew Too Much" and all other films with her as the star would be named with something along the lines of "The girl who".
- Like the French example above The Rescuers became Bernard & Bianca in Swedish.
- The Star Wars prequels had some of their subtitles changed: The Phantom Menace became "The dark threat" and "Revenge of the Sith" just became "Revenge of Darkness".
- The Princess Bride got the rather bizarre title of "Bleka dödens minut", which literally translates to "Pale Deaths's Minute" (an idiom meaning "just in time").
- Them, a 1950s monster movie about giant ants threatening the world, got the legendary misstranslated title "Spindlarna" ("The Spiders").
- Superman III and Superman IV referred to the eponymous hero under the name Stålmannen (stål being Swedish for "steel"). The first two films and Superman Returns retained his original name.
- Jaws was translated into Hajen, which means "The shark". Quite imaginative.
- Though the original name, Jaws, in Swedish translates to Käkar which is also a slang for eating and the word doesn't have a good ring at all. So while not very imaginative, the Swedish title keeps the syllable of the original name (Ä sound nothing like A in Swedish) and then has the desired effect of the title Jaws.
- Next of Kin, being Patrick Swayze's first movie after Dirty Dancing, was released in Sweden with the English title Dirty Fighting.
- While the Twilight movies were kept untranslated, the book titles were changed:
- Twilight: "If I Could Dream"
- New Moon: "When I Hear Your Voice"
- Eclipse: "The Sound of Your Heart"
- Breaking Dawn: "As Long as Both of Us are Breathing"
- The Lord of the Rings was retranslated into Swedish after the release of the movies (the original translation is infamous for its many errors) and with the new translation they also changed the Swedish names of the books. The titles of the new books are direct translations of the English, unlike the original Swedish translations:
- The Lord of the Rings: The Master Ring (Härskarringen)
- The Fellowship of the Ring: The Saga of the Ring (Sagan om ringen)
- The Two Towers: The Saga of the Two Towers (Sagan om de två tornen)
- The Return of the King: The Saga of the King's Return (Sagan om konungens återkomst)
- Family Matters was retitled "Räkna Med Bråk", Literally Bet on fighting — as in, "You bet your butt there will be fighting"
- Dead Like Me became something along the lines of "My life as dead".
- Yes Minister had the Swedish title Javisst, herr minister — literally Of Course, Mr Minister. Fine. The problem is that 25 years later, The Thick of It began running on Swedish TV... under the title Trist, herr minister (Too Bad, Mr Minister). Which was bad enough before the minister in question was replaced by a female minister...
Religion and Mythology
- The first few books of The Bible in Swedish versions, rather than using the Greek names (Genesis, Exodus, etc.) just names them "Books of Moses 1-5").
- DuckTales became known as "Ankliv" (lit. Duck Life) or Knatte, Fnatte och Tjatte på Äventyr(Lit. Huey, Dewey and Louie On Adventure)
- Tale Spin became "Heroes of the Air".
- The Vietnamese dub of Beast Wars became the rather spectacular Chiến tranh quái vật vũ trụ (Galaxy Monster Wars).
- This inexplicable transmogrification was riffed on by Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo. Simon thought Dickste Freunde might have stared in some straight-to-video erotic thrillers. Mark: "Wally Pfister shoots Dickste Freunde, in The Fat Friends!"