It appears the US dvd version of Let The Right One In has been dumbed down quite a bit.
I never got to see this film in theaters, but after reading that it seems that I probably won’t be seeing it unless they do the film justice and leave the better/right dialogue. Besides this film, do you guys know of any other films that have suffered from this plight?
All subtitled films suffer from this plight. Because the subtitler has to create subtitles whose reading time syncs with the viewing time of each clip or shot, much is lost in translation, so to speak. Reading time is generally shorter than what is actually being said in a given scene, so the primary job of a subtitler is to paraphrase what is being said before the scene or shot ends. It is a regrettable effect of translating films. And subtitling companies typically place more emphasis on timeliness of getting the job done than on taking the time to provide as true a translation as possible. Translation is meant to be an art, translation in film often falls by the wayside.
That’s true and I already pretty much knew that, but in this case they changed the translation that was in theaters and on screeners and dumbed it down for DVD. Something like you said is an unfortunate thing, but what I posted is pretty much sabotage by the US DVD distributor. They purposely let even more get lost in translation and in some of the cases they show in the link, it seems for no apparent reason.
I think the subtitle issue in Let the Right One In might be that the subtitles in question are merely captions of the English-language dub track, which is on the dvd/blu-ray for some horrible reason (and is also the default setting, for some even more horrible reason).
According to the linked article, the dubbing more closely matches the original subs, rather then the new, “improved” ones.
This really pisses me off. I’m going to check on my BR copy when I get home, and if the subtitles are as bad as the DVD, I’ll email the distributor and demand a refund. Which I won’t get, I’m sure, but at least my objection will be noted.
Well, in that case, the decision to create new subtitles truly is odd. Not only do they spend money on dubbing the film into english, but they spend even more money on translating and creating brand new, and half-assed subtitles, when the theatrical subs exist.
They actually wasted money by going out of their way to create an inferior presentation of the film.
And that’s what’s so ridiculous about this whole thing. They changed the subtitles that already existed on the theatrical cut in order to appeal to idiots apparently. I want to see the movie that everyone is raving about, not this version with idiot proof subtitles.
Two threads and counting! (http://www.theauteurs.com/topics/1853/comments)
As Jenny said, translation really is an art, and you’re never going to please everyone. Here’s an example:
In Miyazaki’s, “MONONOKE HIME,” a character, wishing to insult the “chef” claims that her soup tastes like water, literally translated from Japanese. That’s not much of an insult to Western ears, but is considerably more rude in the East. Akin, perhaps, to saying, “this soup tastes like donkey piss!”
Well, now you have to decide if you’re going to just play it safe, ignoring cultural differences, and just lay out the literal translation, or deviate from the original text in an effort to more accurately recreate the intended impression.
Personally, I’ve seen both versions of Let the Right One In, and while it is inarguably a bit dumbed down with the new subtitles, there were no detectable changes in my reaction to the film.
The power of this masterwork cannot be diminished by a few mistranslated words.
Thank you, Jordan! Now I know how to look for the right subtitles when I pick this up on dvd.
First off, you have to assume they will do another pressing. It may take years. Second, they aren’t exchanging old copies for new. That’s crap.
If I’m not mistaken, internet capable BR players can download updates for movies. They should make the real subtitles a downloadable update.
Years? You’re really killing my buzz, chao. I guess I’ll just have to wait and check for that English (theatrical) subtitles line before I decide to pick this up. From the comparisons in the article at the top of this thread it seems like a lot of nuance is lost in the current version. I’m glad I didn’t buy this earlier.
At least they’ve addressed the problem, and admitted that they pushed an inferior product out into the market. That’s more than you’ll get from most people, even if this second pressing doesn’t happen for a while.
For an example of good subtitleling, see Ozu’s An Autumn Afternoon. During the re-union dinner “The Gourd” asks what he is eating and (according to the English subtitles) mis-hears “sea eel” as “seal”. In a later scene, there’s a little prank played on a waitress walking in on a conversation, based on the similarity between “adorable” and “deplorable”. As I don’t imagine these examples can be transliterations of Japanese wordplay, this strikes me as deft work by the translator.
you know, if you have the .SUB or .SRT files you can just open them in notepad and directly edit the subtitles. I do it all the time, especially if there are mis-spellings or the subs run off the edge of the screen or have extraneous characters. I spent literally half a day “improving” the subtitles to RED SORGHUM cuz they were horrendous. And I don’t even speak Chinese.
Good news all. Netflix now has the movie on instant watch with the theatrical subtitles.
DamnIt! I bought it the day it was released. Can I assume I have the dumbed down subtitles? I’m so pissed right now.
Any news on a new DVD?
Let the right one in has a dubbed soundtrack as well as two English language subtitles one of which is called the narrative subtitle. What exactly is a narrative subtitle?
Wild guess I’d say audio-descriptive version.
It doesn’t work on mine or any of the others I’ve encountered. The narrative subtitle is rubbish. It should be the one we’re missing but it doesn’t work but Magnolia still won’t give us our ruddy money back.
What exactly is an ‘audio descriptive’ version? Is it closed captioning that tells us, for example, about the music being played (for the hearing impaired or is deaf the PC term these days)??
Hey, I’m just gonna ask if anyone’s heard anything about a new DVD release. I’m kinda desperate to see this film properly again.
they had the theatrical subtitles at the barnes and noble i went to the other day, the blu ray was still the old one though.
A couple of people have posted on Amazon that they received the new theatrical version upon ordering. I’m going to try to pick this up in store somewhere to be sure but the internet feedback there and elsewhere suggests the new version is out. I’ve seen it listed at Amazon, Best Buy and Target for $9.99. Just make sure and look for ‘Subtitles: English (Theatrical)’
I’m sorry, but with a film like Let the Right One In, where (sorry, O.G. screenwriters) the dialog isn’t impressively well-written to begin with and doesn’t necessarily get in the way of understanding the narrative and theme, I’d appreciate “dumbing down”/paraphrasing subtitles, so I can get more time to process the images on the screen.
That’s ridiculous. You can always watch the film without subtitles (or sound) for that effect, but to purposefully ‘appreciate’ dumbing down the translation…?
The wording in LtROI, simple or not, carries quite a bit of implied meaning.
Looking at the comparison of the theatrical titles it was not just a matter of making them ‘easier to read’, it was a matter of using words in the new subs that in some cases weren’t even spoken and which altered the scenes.
It is refreshing to see that there has been some concern about this re: the DVD issue.
I would have been fine if they released it with the theatrical subtitles, appreciate is probably the wrong word. But watching some foreign movies where it takes too much time to read subtitles that are necessary but go on and on (which is why I’d feel sorry for anybody watching subtitled versions of Knocked Up or the like, if that’s the case) really bothers me. For other movies, paraphrasing would be ridiculous, and if Criterion released some botched up subtitled mess of Wings of Desire, I’d be upset, too. But for LtROI, I couldn’t find the paraphrasing a cause for much alarm. As somebody said, they were as affected by the film as both subtitles. I think the subtitles are important and necessary (duh) but not extremely vital to getting across whatever the film desired to get across, therefore a little paraphrasing couldn’t have done too much damage.
WHile the subtitles in Let The Right One In aren’t 100% correct, it’s not enough to warrant not seeing the movie. I mean, seriously, the movie is so incredible.