Foreign titles on English series

Discussion in 'Notable TV' started by Emelee, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Mega Star

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  2. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The soap opera Loving aired on (American) ABC from 1983-1995, and though it was never that highly-rated in the US, it was exported to several countries and did well. Since Loving is a pretty lame/non-descript title, I can see why it got renamed for foreign markets. In Italy it was Quando si ama (When Someone Loves), and in France Amoureusement Votre (Lovingly Yours). It was said that the character of Trisha Alden was so popular in Italy that the unofficial name of the series was Trisha.

    The Bold and the Beautiful airs all over the world, so it gets a lot of different names. In many French-speaking areas, it is called Top Modeles but in France itself, Amour, Gloire et Beaute; Glamour in Sweden, Norway, and Denmark; Beautiful in Italy; Dragoste si putere in Romania, etc.

    Guiding Light also aired in Italy, renamed Sentieri (which I believe is a nod to the lighthouse motif GL used in its opening titles off and on for fifty years); Haine et passion in France; and Springfield Story (a nod to its setting/town) in Germany.
    All My Children was La Force du Destin (The Strength of Destiny) in France, and La Valle dei Pini (Pine Valley, the show's fictional setting/town) in Italy.
    Another World was Destini in Italy; Otro Mundo in Venezuela; and Inny Swiat in Poland.

    Outside of soapland, I always thought the French title for Scarecrow and Mrs. King (Les deux font la paire, basically "They're Two of a Kind") was amusing, since the entire premise of the series was that the two were nothing alike. He was a James Bond-type spy, and she was a divorced, suburban mother of two kids who gets swept up in his world.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  3. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Upstairs, Downstairs - Tussen Salon En Souterrain*, later renamed De Familie Bellamy.
    Rich Man, Poor Man - De Jordaches
    Man About The House - Man Over De Vloer

    There were several literal translations like:
    Little House On The Prairie - Kleine Huis Op De Prairie
    Who Pays The Ferryman? - Wie Betaalt De Veerman?
    The Last Days Of Pompeii - De Laatste Dagen Van Pompeii

    But like I said in the other thread, they didn't change the original screen title.

    *old-fashioned words like "souterrain" have completely disappeared now!

     
  4. Franko

    Franko Soap Chat Member

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    Ah, the French!

    ER = Urgences
    The Rockford Files
    = 200 dollars plus les frais (referring to Jim Rockford's daily fee of $200 and expenses)
    NYPD Blue = New York Police Blues (which works as a commentary on the characters' problems, I guess)
    Law and Order = New York, police judiciare (it sums up what the show's about, but feels so lazy to me)

    The Young and the Restless = Les Feux de l'amour (The Fires of Love)
     
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  5. Carrie Fairchild

    Carrie Fairchild Soap Chat Well-Known Member

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    Knots Landing was retitled, with mixed results, in a number of countries.

    Cote Ouest - the French went all out, not just retitling it as West Coast but also recording their own vocal theme music.

    [​IMG]

    Unter Der Sonne Kaliforniens - German title meaning Under The Californian Sun.

    [​IMG]

    Vecinos y Amigos - it was known as Neighbours and Friends on Venezuelan TV.

    [​IMG]

    Keen to hammer home the Dallas connection, Italian TV originally titled it Da Dallas a Knots Landing (From Dallas to Knots Landing) before simplifying it to just California while Swedish TV titled it the rather clunky JRs Bror - Gary Ewing (JR's Brother - Gary Ewing).
     
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  6. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    The sitcom Mama's Family would seem an unlikely purchase for Italian TV, but apparently they aired under the title La mamma e sempre la mamma, which translates as "Mother Will Always Be Mother".

    Designing Women got several different names in overseas markets, likely because the title doesn't really translate well. In Germany, it was Mann muss nicht sein, which I believe means "We don't need a man". o_O Somebody better break that news to Suzanne very gently. In Italy it was the less-confrontational Quattro donne in carriera, or Four Career Women. In France, it was the wordier Femmes d'affaires et dames de Coeur, or Business Women and Ladies of Hearts (??).
     
  7. Marika

    Marika Soap Chat Member

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    In Germany, foreign tv shows were often given a different name – usually if the original title was deemed too "exotic", meaning the general public wouldn't know what it meant.

    In recent years (from the late 90s on), shows have usually kept their original name, although in some cases with a German tagline added to it.

    Some examples:

    The Bold and the Beautiful | Reich und Schön (Rich and Beautiful)
    The Young and the Restless | Schatten der Leidenschaft (Shadows of Passion)
    Days of Our Lives | Zeit der Sehnsucht (Times of Longing)
    Santa Barbara | California Clan
    As the World Turns | Jung und leidenschaftlich (Young and Passionate)
    Upstairs, Downstairs | Das Haus am Eaton Place (The House at Eaton Place)
    Dynasty | Der Denver Clan
    The Colbys | Die Colbys – Das Imperium (The Colbys – The Empire)
    Little House on the Prairie | Unsere kleine Farm (Our Little Farm)
    Knots Landing | Unter der Sonne Kaliforniens
    Hart to Hart | Hart aber herzlich (Hart but Open-hearted)
    Family Matters | Alle unter einem Dach (Everyone Under One Roof)
    Step by Step | Eine starke Familie (A Strong Family)
    7th Heaven | Eine himmlische Familie (A Heavenly Family)
    My So-Called Life | Willkommen im Leben (Welcome to Life)
    Pacific Palisades | L.A. Affairs
    That 70's Show | Die wilden 7oer (The Wild 70s)
    Grosse Pointe | Starlets
    Young Americans | Rawley High – Das erste Semester
    The $treet | The $treet – Wer bietet mehr? (Who Offers More?)
    Titans | Titans – Dynastie der Intrigen (Dynasty of Schemes)
    Six Feet Under | Six Feet Under – Gestorben wird immer (There's Always Death)
    The O.C. | O.C., California
    Weeds | Weeds – Kleine Deals unter Nachbarn (Little Deals Among Neighbors)
    Grey's Anatomy | Grey's Anatomy – Die jungen Ärzte (The Young Doctors)
    Game of Thrones | Game of Thrones – Das Lied von Feuer und Eis (The Song of Fire and Ice)

    For soaps and dramas, Dallas, Falcon Crest, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, Models Inc., Party of Five, Central Park West, Savannah, Dawson's Creek, Sunset Beach, Gilmore Girls, Roswell, Desperate Housewives, Everwood, Brothers & Sisters, Dirty Sexy Money, Gossip Girl, 90210, Revenge all kept their original names.
     
  8. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Riptide (1984-86 NBC detective/action/adventure series w/Perry King, Joe Penny, Thom Bray, et al.): Trio Mit Vier Fausten in German, and Muelle 56 in Spanish (Spanish title voiced over American Riptide title)

    The Streets of San Francisco: Die Straßen von San Francisco in German, and Las Calles De San Francisco in Spanish
     
  9. Michael Torrance

    Michael Torrance Soap Chat Enthusiast

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    Some series that had in their title an American idiom had to be given alternate names, so
    Moonlighting became Das Model und der Schnüffler (The Model and the Detective) in German and Αυτός, Αυτή, και τα Μυστήρια (He, She, and the Mysteries) in Greek.

    But some others were given alternate titles for who-knows-what reason, so
    Call the Midwife became Ruf das Lebens (The Call of Life) in German,
    while The Six Million Dollar Man became The Man who Cost a Lot (Ο Άνθρωπος που Κόστισε Πολλά) in Greek.

    The funniest thing happened with Knots Landing, which first of all was shown while Dynasty was on hiatus on the same network on Greek TV, rather than on the network running Dallas, but then for some bizarre reason they decided to call it Μοντέρνα Ζευγάρια (Modern Couples).
     
  10. Marika

    Marika Soap Chat Member

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    Like I wrote in my previous post, "Ruf des Lebens" is an example of a tagline added to the original title. The show's full German title is "Call the Midwife – Ruf des Lebens".

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Swedish telly almost always keeps the English titles nowadays. Nowadays as in the late 90s and forward. ;)

    Here are some titles I can think of that were given a slightly different Swedish title (not just a direct translation as with Dynasty that in Swedish is titled Dynastin = The Dynasty)

    Falcon Crest = Maktkamp på Falcon Crest = Power Struggle at Falcon Crest

    Days of Our Lives = Våra bästa år = Our Best Years

    The Young and the Restless = Makt och begär = Power and Desire

    The Bold and the Beautiful = Glamour = Glamour (duh!)

    Emmerdale = Hem till gården = Home to the Farm

    Paper Dolls = Modedockorna = The Mannequins

    Absolutely Fabulous = Helt hysteriskt = Completely hysterical

    Married... with Children = Våra värsta år = Our Worst Years

    Soap = Lödder = Foam

    Bonanza = Bröderna Cartwright = The Cartwright Brothers

    Fawlty Towers = Pang i bygget = Bang in the Construction

    Keeping up Appearances = Skenet bedrar = Appearance deceives

    The Golden Girls = Pantertanter = Panther Ladies

    To the Manor Born = Ombytta roller = Switched Roles

    Upstart Crow = Att vara eller inte vara Shakespeare = To Be or Not To Be Shakespeare

    The Wonder Years = En härlig tid = A Wonderful Time

    Mission Impossible = Farligt uppdrag = Dangerous mission

    Happy Days = Gänget och jag = The Gang and I

    L.A. Law = Lagens änglar = The Angels of Law

    Moonlighting = Par i brott = Couple in Crime

    Hart To Hart = Par i hjärter = Pair of Hearts

    Curb Your Enthusiasm = Simma lugnt, Larry = Swim calmly, Larry (this title has always confused me - who the heck came up with that one??)
     
  12. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    What did German viewers need to understand about the name of a place? And yet Dynasty (easily translated as Dynastie) was renamed Der Denver Clan, eventhough nobody in Europe knows where Denver is.
     
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  13. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Mega Star

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    And now, Spain. L´Espagne. España... :cool1

    All the major soaps kept their names here, save for "Knots Landing" ("California", like in Italy), "Dynasty", which was literally translated as "Dinastía", and also "The Colbys" had a little change in the translation, "Los Colby".

    Regarding the rest of them:

    - "Emerald Point NAS": "Scandal in the Navy".
    - "The Bold and the Beautiful": "Beauty and Power".
    - "Beverly Hills 90210": "Feel of living".
    - "The Love Boat": "Sea Holidays".
    - "The X-Files": "X-File" (money only for one!).
    - "Soap": "Mess" (approx.)
    - "The Dukes of Hazzard": "The Nutty Sheriff".
    - "Knight Rider": "The Fantastic Car".
    - "Get Smart": "Super Agent 86".
    - "I Dream of Jeannie": "My Beautiful Genie".
    - "The Twilight Zone": "The Unknown Dimension" (and the 80s´ movie was titled "In the Edge of Reality").
    - "Sex and the City": "Sex in New York".
    - "Northern Exposure": "Doctor in Alaska".
    - "6 Feet Under": "2 Meters Underground".

    Sitcoms like "Family Matters" and its clones, were translated with a lot of freedom...They even changed the jokes about US celebrities with others with Spanish celebrities. Go figure...

    Titles with one syllable only (like "Cheers", "MASH", or "Friends") were never translated. Since the early 90s, there are more and more TV shows in Spain that are aired with their original title.

    upload_2019-10-16_22-47-28.jpeg

    "What about moi? You forgot to mention that until
    very recently, "The Muppet Show" was known in
    Spain as "The Tele-Puppets" ("Teleñecos"). Kermit was
    "Gustavo" and I was "Peggy" with no Miss! How dared they!"​
     
  14. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    Actually...I think that makes sense for the foreign dubbed versions.
     
  15. bmasters9

    bmasters9 Soap Chat Dream Maker

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    Hardcastle and McCormick (1983-86 ABC detective/action/adventure series w/Brian Keith and Daniel Hugh-Kelly) was Le Juge Et Le Pilote in France.
     
  16. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Not with THAT criteria, believe me. Seen today, those dubbed sitcoms are not understandable because people have completely forgotten about the TV presenters, other people´s lovers, and politicians (or even "famous" lines said by these celebrities...).

    Nowadays, this kind of translation is limited for animated sitcoms like "The Simpsons" or "South Park". But the equivalents are well-chosen and the dubbing people have even won awards for that.

    upload_2019-10-16_23-33-21.jpeg

    The second sentence reads: "It doesn´t matter.
    Kenny will resurrect in the next episode."​
     
  17. Willie Oleson

    Willie Oleson SoapLand Battles Moderator

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    But that also makes it very vintage!
     
  18. Toni

    Toni Soap Chat Mega Star

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    Hmmm. I´d say it makes it very "garbage"...

    upload_2019-10-16_23-41-0.jpeg

    Sabrina´s cat´s shades were infamous...
    (I don´t know if he said that but I found the gif funny)​
     
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  19. Emelee

    Emelee Soap Chat Mega Star

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    A few more (Sweden)

    Dad's Army = Krutgubbar = Gunpowder Geezers

    The Brothers = Arvingarna = The Heirs

    Going Straight = Hem från kåken = Home from the Slammer

    Upstairs, Downstairs = Herrskap och tjänstefolk = Gentry and Servants

    The Persuaders = Snobbar som jobbar = Snobs who Work

    The Young Ones = Hemma värst = Home Worst

    Trial & Retribution = Brottet och straffet = The Crime and the Punishment

    The Upper Hand = En karl i huset = A Man in the House

    Prime Suspect = I mördarens spår = In the Trace of the Killer

    The Thin Blue Line = Mitt liv som snut = My Life as a Copper

    Watership Down = Den långa flykten = The Long Escape

    My Family = Jämna plågor = Even Pains

    Monarch of the Glen = Karl för sin kilt = Man for his Kilt

    Wire in the Blood = Mord i sinnet = Murder in mind

    Call the Midwife = Barnmorskan i East End = The Midwife in East End

    ER = Cityakuten = The City Emergency

    Northern Exposure = Det ljuva livet i Alaska = The Sweet Life in Alaska

    The Practice = Advokaterna = The Lawyers

    Party of Five = Ensamma hemma = Home Alone (not the same as the movie, it's called Ensam hemma, which also translates to Home Alone)

    Boy Meets World = Här är ditt liv, Cory = This is Your Life, Cory

    Law & Order = I lagens namn = In the Name of the Law (however, they have retired the Swedish title and it's now called Law & Order here too)

    Step By Step = Lugn i stormen = Calm Down (the expression, which translates from Swedish to "Calm in the Storm", which is the same expression)

    Burke's Law = Mord, mina herrar = Murder, My Gentlemen

    Growing Paints = Pappa vet bäst = Dad Knows Best

    JAG = På heder och samvete = Do Solemnly Swear (actually, On Honour and Conscience - but it's the phrase that's important)

    NYPD Blue = På spaning i New York = On Stakeout in New York

    Family Matters = Räkna med bråk = Count on Division (or Count on Argument) it's a maths joke, as "bråk" means both division and fight/argument

    Caroline in the City = Singel i stan = Single in the City

    Picket Fences = Småstadsliv = Small Town Life

    Home Improvement = Tummen mitt i handen = All Thumbs (actually The Thumb in the Middle of the Hand, but it's the idiomatic expression that´s intended)

    Without A Trace = Brottskod: Försvunnen = Crime Code: Disappeared

    The Flying Doctors = Doktorn kan komma = The Doctor Can Come (yes, it sounds dirty in Swedish too, the same way - but it was obviously not intended by whoever came up with the title)
     
  20. Daniel Avery

    Daniel Avery Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess the internet made it so much easier for people around the world to become acquainted with international television programs (shows they would otherwise not know about). This would possibly explain why the networks cut back on renaming shows in the 1990s--the show may have already developed an online following using the original title.
    I'm guessing the person who was tasked with coming up with an appropriate name for the show happened to watch an episode that featured Sheriff Roscoe Coltrane prominently, and somehow came to the conclusion that he was more central to the show than he actually was. He was a supporting character at best. I recall Johnny Carson making a joke many (many) years ago that when the western series Bonanza was sold to China, it was renamed Hop Xing, King of the Wild Frontier supposedly after the Cartwrights' cartoony, Chinese manservant as if he was the star of the show.
     
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