A few funny mistranslations have already been discussed in a previous article, but luckily, there are many more worth mentioning. Here are four more funny mistranslations that were spotted in the Hungarian dubbing of the popular American sitcom; Friends.
Disclaimer (again): Translation is not easy. I do not intend to scorn the work of people who worked hard on the Hungarian dubbing, so that everyone could enjoy the show. But let’s face it, these are obvious mistranslations, and regardless of why they turned out the way they did, they are hilarious.
In season 9, episode 6, Ross and Rachel are trying to find a new nanny to look after their baby, and they are interviewing a lady who is applying for the job. When they say their goodbyes:
Which is not something you would want to hear from the person whose job would be to take care of your infant child while you are not at home.
The joke is completely lost in the Hungarian translation.
The viewer cannot understand how drug experiments are relevant in this scene, and why would Ross and Rachel take part in one. Drug can, of course, mean both pharmaceutical drugs and narcotics. However, there are two separate words for these in Hungarian: gyógyszer (pharmaceutical drug) and drog (narcotics). Seems that translators decided to go with the wrong one and missed big time.
In season 5, episode 19, the whole gang is watching a film Joey is supposed to appear in. Joey’s grandmother (who does not speak English) is also there to see her grandson on TV. However, Joey’s scene was cut out, so he tries to lie about it.
The translators had a hard time with figuring out what “Capricorn One” was. If you understand the scene, it is obvious that the grandmother lists films Sam Waterston starred in, proving that she knows that actor very well, thus, he cannot be Joey. The Hungarian translation goes like this:
Capricorn One is an American thriller movie which is Földi Űrutazás in Hungarian. However, here Capricorn One became the unicorn, probably because the two words (capricorn-unicorn)…sound similar? This word cannot be more out of context. Not to mention that Crimes and Misdemeanors is Bűnök és Vétkek in Hungarian and not Deathly Crimes, but at least this translation meant something close to the original, and fits into context. Unicorn on the other hand…?
In season 2, episode 14, Chandler and Joey are in their apartment, and Chandler throws a basketball at Joey who does not catch it, and the ball breaks a lamp.
Which is a saying meaning that oh, it is my fault (that the lamp broke). Translators probably heard something else:
I understand that “bad” and “bed” sound similar, but come on. You break a lamp and then you say: it is my bed? What? You can watch the scene from 3:30.
In the same episode, Ross is jealous of a guy who is flirting with Rachel, so he goes up to them and scares the guy away. When the man is gone, Ross looks at Rachel and says proudly:
As in English, “welcome” can mean 2 things in Hungarian:
Well, in this particular scene welcome has the second meaning. Ross says “you’re welcome” because Rachel should be thankful for Ross for scaring the other guy away. However, the Hungarian translation used the first meaning:
This is really out of context for the scene, as Ross, Rachel and the guy have been talking for a while, why would Ross greet Rachel after that? Does not make any sense.
Featured image: Facebook.com/friends.tv/