When an American-made movie is released overseas where English isn’t the primary language spoken, obviously translation is required for the audience. Sometimes dubbing over the English dialogue is the preferred method, but often times subtitles are provided so that audiences can both hear the original dialogue and read what they’re saying below. Unfortunately for Avengers: Age of Ultron, something got lost in translation for the Chinese release of the film, and the result was some hilarious subtitles for moviegoers to turn their heads quizzically during the superhero blockbuster.
THR has accumulated some of the weird Chinese subtitles that have been posted on social media. Some of them are relatively tame, such as Captain America saying "I’m home" being translated to "I’m good," or a line about waiting too long becoming "I am very old," but others are so bizarre that you can’t help but utter, "Wait…what?" Here are the three oddest mistranslations the film had to offer.
"You Get Hurt, Hurt 'Em Back. You Get Killed... Walk It Off"
This is the battle advice Captain America gave to the team before an encounter with Ultron. However, the Chinese translation for this became "Run fast if someone tries to kill you." To be fair, running away probably is the best course of action if someone is actively trying to murder you, especially if you don’t happen to have superpowers or badass fighting skills. The problem is that the line contradicts Cap’s inspiring words. He doesn’t want them running away, he wants them to walk off death to take down the enemy. Obviously he’s not being literal, but still, unless it was a strategic retreat, I doubt Cap would be pleased to see his teammates running away from the supervillains.
"Son Of A Bitch"
This is a standard expletive one might utter in the middle of a fight or if a toe is stubbed, but what one probably wouldn’t say if they were pissed off or hurt is "My old familiar partner." Just think about if Tony Stark has said that during his fight with Hulk, or if Black Widow had said that while beating up those HYDRA goons. Unless this "son of a bitch" truly is your ex-partner (in which case, why aren’t you addressing them by name?), then saying this might cause anyone nearby to look at you with a confused expression.
"We May Not Make It Out Of This"
When you’re about to battle a robot bent on genocide and his drone army, it’s understandable to think that you may not live through it. However, just imagine if Tony Stark instead said, "Let's back off now." In other words, the Avengers don’t go off to stop Ultron’s plan, and all life on Earth is eradicated. Needless to say that would have made for a significantly less interesting story. Let’s be glad Earth’s Mightiest Heroes decided to put their lives on the line rather than sit back to watch the end of the world.
This isn’t the first time a Marvel movie has had a Chinese translation fail. Last year, Guardians of the Galaxy had their fair share of incorrect subtitles, such as Peter Quill’s pelvic sorcery being referred to as "rhetoric sorcery." The translator for Avengers: Age of Ultron was Liu Dayong, who has worked on films like Titanic and Avatar, and ironically enough, he was the tutor to Jia Xiuyan, the guy that translated Guardians of the Galaxy. The subtitles have reportedly been fixed, but it’s nonetheless surprising they made it through the vetting process, if there even is one for the Chinese theaters.
Avengers: Age of Ultron is currently being screened in theaters worldwide, but if you’re seeing the movie in China, keep an eye on those subtitles to make sure they don’t lead you astray.
Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.
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