Or to be more precise, the official translation into Polish of English language film titles. A subject that has always been unfathomable and probably always will be. The question being, why, oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why, does the Urząd responsible for agreeing what the translation should be get it so very wrong 75% of the time?
This one struck me today and does perhaps provide a fine example of the matter. There is a film called in English “Bad Teacher” starring Cameron Diaz, Justin Slumberlake and others. It scores 5.9 on the IMDb richter scale so is almost certainly crap. Anyway, it is called BAD TEACHER, here’s the poster in English:
Alright. Now let’s look at how best to translate this for the Polish audience. We have two simple words, BAD and TEACHER and there is not really any funky stuff to consider so a straight translation to Zła Nauczycielka would seem to be the best and only way to handle this.
Apparently not. In Poland the film is called BAD WOMAN, Zła Kobieta. Why? I have no bloody idea. Perhaps it is far more acceptable to call a woman bad than a teacher. Or perhaps it is far more common to find bad women in Poland than bad teachers. Or the other way, perhaps bad teachers are everywhere and so it would be a boring title whereas bad women are very rare. Lastly, it might just be that the Urząd of Film Titles employees are a bunch of idiots!
Here’s the Polish poster in case you find all this hard to believe: