French translations of Hollywood films vary from the sublime to the ridiculous.  Here’s our favorite!

There is a strong tendency in the French film industry to translate original Hollywood movie titles into other English titles. The original English titles are changed into another English titles, much easier to understand, to make them more accessible to French people. Actually, the French are considered to have poor English vocabulary and not speaking English very well. So, films distributors avoid titles considered as so difficult to pronounce for French people. For example, the article “the” is often deleted. French people can’t reach to pronounce it correctly, it’s so difficult for them!!! So, The Monuments Men became Monuments Men, The Shinning (Shinning)…  Moreover, for French audience, and for the French usually, the use of English is synonymous with modernity and cool.

We’ve selected some of them, so, enjoy funny English movie titles for French audiences!

American Hustle

American Hustle

American Bluff

Is Bluff an easier word than hustle?

monuments men

THE Monuments Men

monuments men french poster

No-prefix Monuments Men

Silver Linings

Silver Linings Playbook

Happiness therapy

No silver linings here

The Hangover

The Hangover

Very bad trip

a Very Bad Trip (surely they didn’t mean the drug connotation?)

Knight and Day

Knight & Day

Night and Day

No chivalry here (French wouldn’t necessary get the play on words)

up in the air movie poster

Up in the air…

up in the air french movie poster

All settled now

Get him to the Greek

Get Him to the Greek

American Trip

Huh? I’m thinking this one was lost in translation

I give it a year

I Give It A Year

Mariage à l'anglaise

English-style Marriage…do they only last a year?!

Miss Congeniality

Miss Congeniality

miss detective poster

No such congeniality here

Cool Runnings

Rasta Rocket (What a translation!!)

The Other Guys

very bad cops poster

Very Bad Cops

 

Let’s talk about sex baby!

French distributors have rather peculiar tastes, they love to use the words “american” and “sex” (almost everywhere) when they turn original Hollywood movie titles into English titles for French audiences.

This way, Cruel Intentions was changed into Sexe Intentions, Not Another Teen Movie (Sex Academy), No Strings Attached (Sex Friends), and so on… It’s such a strange obsession! Such titles probably make the movie more attractive for French people!

That’s the reason why Hollywood movie titles in France are changed into easier English terms instead of simply being translated into French.

Killers

Killers

Kiss & Kill french poster

This time there’s kissing!

no strings attached poster

No Strings Attached

Sex friends

Same idea, slightly less elegantly put

The love punch

The Love Punch

Duo d'escrocs

‘Pair of Crocks’…where’s the love?

Cruel intentions

Cruel Intentions

Sexe intentions

Very clear intentions!

Not another teen movie

Not Just Another Teen Movie

Sex academy

Just another teen movie!

made in dagenham poster

Made in Dagenham

we want sex equality poster

Gets the point across

 

Wildthings

Wild Things

Sexcrimes

How to put the story line into one word that sells

step up poster

Step Up

sexy dance movie poster

Sexy Dance

In reverse, there are few examples of the same thing happening, from original French movie titles to French titles for English speaker audience. American films distributors wanted to keep the French but without the complexity of that beautiful language.

Actually, “La Môme” is the original French title for “La Vie en Rose”. This original title means “The Kid” and is how Edith Piaf is nicknamed in France. Most of the rest of the world didn’t know about this, so, the English speaker audience title was turned into the most Edith Piaf’s popular song, that everyone knows across the whole world!

la môme movie poster

La Môme

la vie en rose poster

The little sparrow’s favorite song

The original title for “Amélie” that English spoken people love pronouncing, is actually much more complicated to understand and pronounce: “Le Fabuleux Destin D’Amélie Poulain”, which means “The Fabulous/Amazing Fate of Amélie Poulain”. It’s so difficult to pronounce it!!!

Amelie

Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain

amelie movie poster

There’s only one Amélie…no last name needed

home alone

Home Alone

Maman, j'ai raté l'avion

Mother, I missed the airplane!

Jaws

Jaws

The Teeth of the Sea (Just as scary)!

Les dents de la mer
The horse whisperer

The Horse Whisperer

L'Homme qui murmurait à l'oreille des chevaux

The Man Who Whispered into the Ears of Horses (Yikes, what a mouthful!)

This means war

This Means War

Target

Target

A million ways to die in the West

A Million Ways to Die in the West

Albert à l'Ouest

Albert out West

Dirty Harry (Inspector Harry),  The Boat That Rocked (Good Morning England), ,The Heat (Les Flingueuses = The shooter girls), Bridesmaids (Mes Meilleures Amies = My Best Friends), The Help (La Couleur des Sentiments = The Colour of Feelings), Broke Back Mountain (Le Secret de Brokeback Mountain = The Secret of Brokeback Mountain), The Other Woman (The Triple Alliance = Triple Alliance – Alliance also means wedding rings in French, a play on words), Walk of Shame  (Blackout Total), Saving Mr. Banks (In the Shadows of Mary, Walt Disney’s promise = Dans l’ombre de Mary; La Promesse de Walt Disney),  The Five-Year Engagement (Five Years of Reflection = 5 Ans de Réflection),

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