The Worst Guardians Of The Galaxy Chinese Translation Fails

Last week we learned that Chinese audiences aren't too happy with the poorly translated subtitles for Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy - to the point where it has been said to actually detract from the film. Due to a less than adequate job preparing the movie for its release in China, many have complained that a lot of the jokes and puns don't land because movie-goers don't properly understand the dialogue and situations. Now that some examples have been revealed, it's pretty easy to see where the complaints are coming from.

The Mary Sue has uncovered a Chinese blog that reveals some of the really terrible subtitle translations that are featured in Guardians of the Galaxy. There are multiple examples given, but I'm going to focus on the four that are the biggest head-scratchers:

  1. Those of you who have seen Guardians of the Galaxy know that people like to put down Rocket by calling him a "weasel" or a "rodent." Unfortunately, the fact that these are insults was completely lost on those responsible for the translation, and therefore each time were replaced by "small raccoon" - a phase that's much more factual than mean.
  2. After doing his best to distract Ronan with a dance off while Rocket puts together the pieces of his broken Hadron Enforcer, Star-Lord insults the war criminal by calling him a "turd blossom." In the Chinese version, this is replaced by "Big Face." While that's certainly not a very nice thing to say to somebody, and I understand that the phrase may not translate directly, it doesn't seem to be on the same level of meaning.
  3. In the scene where Gamora halts Star-Lord's sexual advances on Knowhere, the warrior woman tells the hero that she will not succumb to his "pelvic sorcery." The funniness of this phrase is rather lost in the Chinese subtitles, where it's replaced by "rhetoric sorcery," which doesn't quite get the message across.
  4. At the very end of the film, Star-Lord and all of his friends have harnessed the power of the Infinity Stone and have truly come together as a team. But when Ronan asks who they are in China, Star-Lord doesn't say, "We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy, bitch," but instead, "We’re the Guardians of the Galaxy, slut." Again, I somewhat get the line of thinking here, but it's also incorrect thinking.

There are more examples of this - including Kevin Bacon teaching everyone in the tiny town from Footloose to "twist ass" - and while I definitely understand why Chinese audiences are upset, it's also hard not to laugh. It would be nice if some kind of change could be made to the Chinese subtitles, but I'm also hoping that a reverse translated version of the film might someday find its way to the States.

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.