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February 22 2006

Serenity DVD Out Today in Italy with a nice red cover. The contents should be just like the uk version (with Italian audio). Firefly also debuted on Italian television last week, but translators made a very bad decision: they dropped the Chinese.

but translators made a very bad decision: they dropped the Chinese.


Ai ya!

I guess the French translation is beaten and can no longer be considered as the worst in the 'verse... we don't even get it! :(
Will the Chinese translate Serenity into Chinese and have the cursing in English?

And, much as I like the cover, it does tell people that there's going to be a "River fighting with big swords" scene, which does kinda spoil it.
They dropped the Chinese? Oh, juh jen sh guh kwai luh duh jean-ja.
Well, now I know what the Italian for 'Buffy' and 'Angel' is ;).

(think I prefer the blue sky of the UK/Aussie version tho')
The red looks like a nuclear holocaust! Mind you, it's still better than the US one.
I like the Aussie/UK better too, actually. But since I already own two Aussie copies (and also a US one), I'm glad our Italian edition is slightly different 8-)
Oh, the bottom writing means "The Future Travels with Them" (sounds like an ad for train companies) and the top writing goes "Their rule is not to follow rules"...
I'd love a poster of all the variant movie poster/DVD covers.
IMMORTAL, that would be an eyesore...(especially if the R1 cover is included) :P
...the top writing goes "Their rule is not to follow rules"....

Is that what happens when you put "They Aim to Misbehave" into Babelfish, translate into Italian, and then translate that result back into English?
I am STILL appalled by all of these covers.

...And dropping the Chinese from Firefly pretty much does away with the majority of the cultural amalgamation, which is a pretty big deal.
Side topic: is there an Italian Firefly/Serenity fan forum? Or French? Or German?

I know of the ones for England and Australia, but not for other countries...
"Is that what happens when you put "They Aim to Misbehave" into Babelfish, translate into Italian, and then translate that result back into English?"

Nope. This is what happens.

"They aim to misbehave." > "Mirano a misbehave." > "They aim at misbehave."

When I did my DVD commentary for Bushwhacked, I considered mentioning towards the end that one of the few times one actually sees asians in the short-lived series was as Alliance extras in that episode. I thought better of it, but in hindsight maybe I shoulda. I was afraid I'd be seen as either racist or accusing Whedon of being racist if I brought it up. So I didn't. There really isn't an easy way to mention it without it appearing that one is either racist or accusatory, but it is a concern of mine for the series.

Including chinese into the dialogue is one of the few ways Whedon was able to convey how strong asian culture had affected everyone on the crew, considering that for some reason Whedon's casting directors did NOT find talented asians to fill the roles. I mean it's not like there's a drought of talented asians in film, and it's not like avoiding asians somehow improved the ratings. As much as I enjoy Summer Glau and Sean Maher in their performances, I can't help but think two siblings with the last name of "Tam" might have been even more believable had they been performed by asian actors. ...or is that being racist? I can't tell anymore.

So the italians dismissing the chinese language now? I fear anyone who can only understand the series in italian is seriously missing out on an important factor, and thus not getting the proper experience when exposed to that DVD. But then again, anyone who's not either american or chinese (or perhaps british) watching Serenity might be offended that their country's culture is noticeably absent.

...You cannot arrest marks them.

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2006-02-22 19:38 ]
So what will they be swearing in? Is Italian TV more lenient in standards then others then?
None of the chinese in Serenity (the movie) is swearing, for information. It's cussin' in parts, but not 'naughty words'.
How do you say 'Holy mother of god and all her wacky nephews' in Italian?
So what did they do with the Chinese bits? Translate them straight to Italian? I can sort of accept it since I'm not sure that Italy would necessarily be a huge market for the series, and to tell the truth a lot of the Chinese isn't really recognizable as Chinese in the TV show.

And not to bash the show or anyone involved with it, but another way of showing the Chinese background beyond the set dressing could have been having more/any Asian actors as the tertiary characters with speaking roles. I remember the audio commentaries pointing out how elaborate the props were including the companion timer marked "short interval," but I don't think that context was ever quite explained in the show itself so it just seems like they raided a home decor store where they sell Asian accented totochkes.

The film did a pretty good job of having set up the Chinese even if it's use in the dialogue was a bit more sparse (the only phrases I remember are "settle down/behave" and "god make me a stone") with the Maidenhead and creepy ad voice over though.
I still have to figure out how they "translated" Chinese curses, I still have to see the only episode that's aired so far (Serenity - part I), it's on satellite and I don't have a dish... all I know is that there is no Chinese at all (everybody's talking about it in the Italian fandom... on the one Italian Firefly forum, for example... I noticed someone asked). One may hope that this lack occurs only in the pilot... but why? It would make no sense anyway, there almost certainly is not going to be any Chinese in the whole series. And I'm curious to see whether they'll translate "Holy mother of god and all her wacky nephews" with "Santa madre di dio e tutti i suoi strambi nipoti" (its actual meaning) 8-) Actually I'm afraid they have no clue about what the Chinese means, and they improvise.

BTW the Chinese is in the movie, because the movie was translated and dubbed by a different company last year...

I do agree with ZachsMind, Italians who have never seen it in English are missing out a lot. And it's not only the Chinese, I'm told that there are other things too, like Mal using the Italian word for "prostitute" instead of "whore"... that sucks too.
"Madre santa del dio e di tutti i suoi nipoti wacky!"
If we're taking the english and translating it to italian, why not take the chinese and translate it into say... gaelic?
Oddly enough I was wondering earlier what Firefly would be like in Gaelic. The Inspector Gadget theme sung in Irish has to be heard to be believed.
To Julesong. From what I gather there are quite a few FF fan forums in different languages. The ones I know for sure about, being a member, are the german and the dutch.

Lookee here:
German forum (doubles for Swiss and Austria, too)
Dutch forum (and Flemish)

Both forums have an international section, where english is spoken and visitors are welcome. :)

Come and visit us sometime!

ETA: Can't spell if my life depended on it. Trying hard though.

[ edited by Harpy on 2006-02-22 22:41 ]
That'd be interesting Simon especially the insults. Unfortunately, slainte mhath, sassanach and maybe another few words is about the extent of my gaelic so I wouldn't know where to start (central belt i'm afraid, so usety speak broad Scots, if ye ken whit a mean, byraway but not really any longer ;).
Do you happen to have a link to that Irish Inspector Gadget theme song, Simon...?

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