Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Oscar Chinese

The Mandarin was checking out Chinese press reports of the Oscars (don’t ask him why) and he decided to see how the titles of some recent films had been translated into Chinese. It turned out that some Chinese titles were fairly literal, and others less so. Deciphering the names of directors and actors was a challenge, too.

So, without further ado, a selection of films nominated in various Oscar categories, as presented in the Chinese press:

“Broken-back Mountain” 斷背山, directed by Li An and starring Jieke Jilunxi'er and Xisi Laiji'er.

“Penetrating America from One End to the Other” 穿越美國 starring Feilixiti Huofuman. Mandarin’s note: Don’t go there.

“Flowing and Bustling” 川流熙攘 starring Telunsi Huohuade and Andongni Andesen. The song from this film also won the Oscar, but the Mandarin hasn’t been able to find a Chinese version of "Its Hard Out There for a Pimp" yet.

“Good Night, Good Luck” 晚安好運 , directed by Qiaozhi Keluni, starring Keluni and Dawei Siteleizeen. Keluni was also nominated as an actor for the film “Xinruina.”

“I Will Definitely Not Give Way to You” 決不讓步, also called “Wind and Clouds in the North” 北方風雲, starring Chalizi Sailong, Saien Bin, Wudi Haliseng and Fulanxisi Maikedaoman.

“Iron-fisted Male” 鐵拳男人 starring Luosu Keluo, Ruini Qiweige and Baoluo Jiyamati.

“Munihei” 慕尼黑 [Cantonese “Moneihak” = Munich] directed by Shitiwen Sipierboge.

“Press Forward with an Indomitable Spirit” 一往無前, starring Ruixi Weisesipeng and Jiaokuayin Feinikesi.

“Pride and Prejudice” 傲慢與偏見, starring Kaila Naiteli.

“The Never-withering Gardener” 不朽的園丁, also called “Ominous Pursuit Without Borders” 無國界追兇, starring Leiqie'er Weizi and Lai'erfu Feiyinsi.

“A Tale of Cold Blood” 冷血字傳, also just called “Kabote” 卡波特, directed by Beinate Mila and starring Feilipu Saimo'er Huofuman (no relation to Feilixiti Huofuman) and Kaiselin Jina.

and the Oscar went to:

“Automobile Accident” 撞車, directed by Baoluo Hajisi starring Sandela Buluoke, Ruian Feilipu (no relation to Feilipu Saimo'er Huofuman), Tang Qiande'er*, Mate Dilun, Bulandeng Fuleize, and Telunsi Huohuade (that makes two big films this year for Huohuade). Mandarin’s note: The Chinese title is a nice bit of wordplay, because the word also conveys a sense of “chance meeting” as well as things crashing into each other.

Next Sunday night, with the Oscars out of the way, the Mandarin will have to decide whether to watch "Frenzied Housewives" 瘋狂主婦 on ABC or "Criminal Clan" 黑道家族 on HBO. Decisions, decisions.

* If you got this one, you're probaby a Mandarin yourself. Tang Qiande'er = Don Cheadle.