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Monday, May 19, 2014

Mistranslation Monday: Married with Children

When American movies and TV shows are translated into German, the titles are usually changed to something completely different. This can make having a conversation with a German about movies or TV shows quite difficult.

I first realized this when the German boyfriend was visiting me in Chicago, and we went to see Buckingham Fountain.

Visiting Buckingham Fountain in Chicago

"Cool! Just like in the beginning of Eine schrecklich nette Familie (An awfully nice family)!" he said.

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"You know, the one with Al Bundy!"

Then I remembered this scene from the opening credits of the TV show Married with Children -- which is a far cry from Eine schrecklich nette Familie.

Opening credits of Married with Children

Do you know any other TV shows or movies that had their titles completely changed when they were translated into a different language?


  1. I watch a lot of the Disney Channel here as it is at the almost exact stage my German is and I have found that they rename a lot of the shows. Good Luck Charlie is called Meine Schwester Charlie in Germany and the short-lived series Bunheads has been renamed New in Paradise. Going old school, X-Files is known as Akte X. When talking about movies The Hunger Games was released here as Die Tribute von Panem and strangely Captain America: Winter Solider was released here as Captain America: Return of the First Avenger for reasons only known to the German Film Board.
    I've given up trying to work out why things are renamed. It does mean that usually I need to keep 2 names in my head for films and TV shows.

    1. I understand that an exact English translation doesn't always sound good in another language, but those English to English translations (like your Captain America example) kill me!

      Then me and my German boyfriend get in fights over dinner about what a movie's real title was, only to find out later that we were both right... haha.

  2. I keep seeing "eine schrecklich nette Familie" while flicking through channels and I'd been wondering what on Earth it was meant to be. Now I know!

    Frozen is called "Die Eiskönigin – Völlig unverfroren" in German.

    1. Oh yeah, and your example reminds me of Tangled, which in German is called Rapunzel (very similar to Frozen>Eiskönigin).

  3. Wild Hogs (with John Travolta) was "translated" to German as "Born to be Wild"
    "The Boondock Saints" as "Der Blutige Pfad Gottes"
    "Escape from New York" as "Die Klapperschlange"
    "Phone Booth" ad "Nicht auflegen"

    1. Good example the Wild Hogs to Born to be Wild!


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