2.28.2008

Overwhelming Subtitles

Something truly ridiculous had me doubling over in fits of laughter today. I was watching a show on TV when the host said, “He broke the world record of...”

That wasn't the funny part. The funny part was the Malay subtitles at the bottom of the screen. I don't usually read subtitles when I watch English shows but for some reason, my eyes decided to avert to the bottom of the TV screen and there it was in Malay, white, bold and clear: Dia telah berjaya pecah CD dunia... Which literally translates in English to: He has successfully broken the world's CD... OK, it may not seem as hilarious in English (literally) but believe me, I was laughing pretty hard when I had read the direct translation in Malay.

This reminds me of another errant subtitle my brother once told me he saw. He, like me, had also watched a show with insensible subtitles that had no relevance to the actual lines whatsoever.

In my brother's case, the actor in the show had been shouting my brother's name which was a character in the show and the subtitles below had been overwhelming rice every time my brother's name was called or mentioned (in the show).

Overwhelming rice? What in the Universe is that? And what sort of language calls overwhelming rice -if there is such a thing- my brother's name? There is nothing overwhelming or rice-like about it at all.

Makes me wonder what my name might horribly translate to in a language no one has ever heard of.

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