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Titles of books and movies etc. does not always translate literally

Watch out for titles! They may not always be literally translated.

I found a real translation of of author Stieg Larsson's book "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" -- it was erroneously translated literally from Spanish to English, e.g. The Girl Playing With Fire instead of the correct The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

May 12, 2012



The girl who played with fire is the second book in Stieg Larsson's trilogy.


Yes, my example is not a very clear since there was errors to many levels. Perhaps this link to a thread about translated movie titles is more illustrative: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-129923.html -- the point being that movie titles (and book titles etc.) not always have a purely translated title - it can at times be called something very, very different in the other language AND even between nations sharing the same language.


I have both the Spanish and English versions of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" and apparently the Spanish title stayed true to Larsson's original title: Men Who Hate Women - Los hombres que no amaban a las mujeres.


Agreed. Furthermore, I think we should encourage people not to translate any titles at all, unless they have found a real translated book, published in the target language. http://www.duolingo.com/comment/1567044 DTTBT!


Gumbee; thank you for clarfying the point of this insight; if we are to translate a title from Spanish to English (or any other combination), we should not promote literal translations of e.g. titles - it has to be checked for local/national adaptation. A simple lookup on the imdb reveals a wealth of examples for various movie titles. I am not familiar with a similar site for books, arts etc. but I guess Wikipedia, Amazon and other sites could be useful.

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