- - - Czech Translations: My Fight - - -

I am subtitling movies from English for local theatrical releases primarily because I like them. There are other less taxing jobs that would get me more money. As weird as it may sound, I do it primarily so that I can later go to see the movie in the cinema with my s.o. and/or friends and I don't have to explain to them "this sentence should actually be funny", "he should actually be saying the opposite", etc...

My philosophy is that each sentence in the movie should be translated in such a way that average Czech moviegoer experiences approximately the same emotions as an average moviegoer in the movie's country of origin when he/she watches the same scene. Of course, there are no "exact rules" for this and the process is wildly subjective because my knowledge of "average moviegoers" is not necessarily the "correct" one. And sometimes it's really impossible. Let's have an example: When Brad Pitt wants to fight William Shatner in FIGHT CLUB, I changed the name to "David Hasselhoff" in the Czech version. Although this cannot probably even be called "translation", it connects better with the local audiences because at the time of FIGHT CLUB release no one heard about Shatner over here.

You might also think that I am pretty confident translation critic for someone who doesn't know English very well (as seen in the text on these pages). In fact, I'd say I understand English really well. The problem is that I learned it by myself (by reading comics and watching movies), I never lived abroad and I have very limited ways to actively use English (I really only have a "feeling" which tense or article should be used in specific English sentence). This is why I occassionally have trouble finding the correct English phrases, not to mention the problems with English pronunciation. By the way, Mr. Kanturek, highly revered Czech translator of Terry Pratchett's works, cannot speak English at all and had to use a translator when he met Mr. Pratchett personally, which made him (i.e. Pratchett) understandably nervous. :)

Important note: Since 2009, this page is not update very frequently. See my translation tales of terror and fun on my blog instead.

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