Thursday, October 24, 2002

In my native land of Australia, titles of French films are normally translated into English. That is, A bout de souffle was released as Breathless , A ma Soeur! was released as Fat Girl and La Ceremonie was released as A Judgement in Stone . This seems to often be the case in the US, as well. However, in Britain, they are usually released under the French name. This might or might not suggest that the British are more, pretentious, or simply that they speak better French. Or simply that they do this out of habit, and it means nothing.

However, in Germany it seems that English language films are generally released with English titles. This is fine. However, they don't always seem to keep the same English title that the film had when released in English language countries. If the title contains subtlety, or a play on words, or something that Germans are unlikely to be able to easily translate, they may go for a different English language title. As an example, a charming little British film called Bend it Like Beckham was successful in the UK earlier this year. It is about and Anglo-Indian girl who grows up and resists her mothers desire that she become a proper Indian young lady, because instead she just wants to play for a local girls soccer team. She wants to be able to learn to bend the ball like England and Manchester United captain David Beckham (one of the biggest celebrities in the UK, and famous throughout the footballing world). However, it was presumed that many Germans would not have good enough English to get this subtle usage of the word "Bend" so the film was released in Germany, under the English title Kick it Like Beckham . "Bend" may be a problem but "Beckham" translates into German just fine.

What I am wondering, however, is what title will the film be released under in the US. The whole title seems untranslatable into American.

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