Lost in Translation

After a long day in the factory in Penang, I was eager to get back to the island (and my beautiful hotel). I frequently get the same drivers, which means that the long taxi ride is full of conversation, questions, and misunderstandings. While I enjoy this most of the time, some days I just want to hole up and fade out - especially when traffic makes the drive take almost 2 hours.

This day I was thankful to have a van all to myself with a driver who didn't speak much and had left an American movie playing on the abnormally large tv inside the van. I relaxed and settled in for what promised to be an amusing b-movie that was basically Jaws meets the Bayou. 

Swamp Shark was entertaining enough on its own (check out the trailer). It stars Kristy Swanson (the original Buffy!!!), was retitled in Japan as Frying Jaws, and features my favorite tag line, "Fresh water. Fresh meat." The best part, though, was that my driver had the volume up and the subtitles turned on. The subtitles were in English, but had pretty clearly been translated into Malay, and then back into English. The result was the most I've laughed on one of these trips. 

Verbal: "Go to Hell" 
Subtitle: "Fuck you"

Verbal: "Get off the wheel!"
Subtitle: "Let go of steering!"

Verbal: "He just got in the way"
Subtitle: "He walked in the road"

In response to, "Are you ready?"
Verbal: "As ready as I'm gonna be"
Subtitle: "To the extent possible"

Verbal: "I gotta lock up"
Subtitle: "I must conclude"

In response to a question he didn't know the answer to:
Verbal: "You got me"
Subtitle: "I ask myself the same question"

Verbal: "Oh God!"
Subtitle: "Jasses"

Yes, Jasses. 

I now have a strong affection for this movie. Might just have to by myself a copy. Wonder if I can find a copy here with the crazy subtitles. I'll host a screening back in SF :)

Going through some pics I found this shot I took while in the taxi. The top line is the actual dialogue. The bottom is the translation.


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