The Aardvark Speaks : essence, effervescence, obscurity. Established 2002. A weblog by Horst Prillinger. ISSN 1726-5320

March 23, 2005

A walk in the garden

Insane? Are you taking a stroll in the garden?

If you ever thought that Indian English was a particularly strange language variety, then perhaps you should sometimes try to watch a Hindi DVD with German subtitles. Yes, they do exist, although considering the quality of the translation I am wondering why they bother. I am not sure which computer translation they used, but they were not entirely successful.

Sure, takes a good watches the girls. Behold, how they are standing.

Large wide! Make the enquiry that you want to make.

I have come to take back the home to you.

I am reflecting on it a good property, sister.

Sorry, translating the subtitles back into English does not work well, so I fear today's post will be lost on my non-German-speaking readers. English syntax is much simpler than German syntax, so a word-by-word translation back into English actually makes sense again. Well, in some cases anyway.

By the way, it's not just the German subtitles that are bad. The entire movie is pretty useless.

(By the way, the English subtitles make sense, but unfortunately they don't make the movie any better.)

Posted by Horst on March 23, 2005 12:05 AM to reviews | Tell-a-friend

We received this ping from akadeMix: Seitenblicke on March 24, 2005 10:49 AM:

Filmübersetzung per Babelfish: Die Digitalisierung des Kinos schreitet voran: In Irland gibt es neuerdings Digitalbilder auf der Leinwand, die klassischen 35mm-Streifen werden abgeschafft. Und selbst die automatische Übersetzung von Untertiteln wird bereits praktiziert, wie an... [more]

We received this ping from TRANSLATOR'S BLOG on March 24, 2005 10:36 PM:

Subtitles by machine translation: Aardvark Speaks has a couple of screenshots of an Indian film with German subtitles. It seems that they used one of the free machine translation programs available online, or their translator was really bad. (Found on [more]

We received this ping from The Aardvark Speaks on March 25, 2005 05:29 PM:

More weird subtitles: Briefly after I posted my strange German subtitles from the Hindi movie Market, I came across the website of molodezhnaja, who posted even better ones from the movie Chokher Bali. "Second, will you excrete me this here in the middle of this river." The... [more]

shree said on March 23, 2005 11:14 AM:

which movie is that? just so I know NOT to watch it! watched "swades" over the weekend, much has been said and written about it, but it was a huge disappointment. same director as "lagaan". I saw a lot of parallels between the two but this was nowhere near as good as that one.

Horst said on March 23, 2005 12:01 PM:

It's called "Market". Click on the words "pretty useless" to get to the respective IMDb page, or look at for a fairly scathing review. What's so particularly bad about this is how it takes elements from "Umrao Jaan", "Chandni Bar" and "Company" (all of them good movies) and works them up into a confused mess that doesn't know where it's heading. Even a good actress like Manisha Koirala was unable to save this.

The Cartoonist said on March 24, 2005 12:21 PM:

Fantastic! Oh, this is great.

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