Lost In Translation

Good setting, pacing, and casting.

The only scene in the movie that I found lacking was the filming of the television commercial. The Japanese director would give about a minute worth of direction, which the translator would relay to Bill Murray as such simple things as “Look from the right.” This is the stereotypical portrayal of foreign languages – a foreign character will give an extended monologue full of inflection that is then translated into English (sometimes in sub-titles) as “Yes.”

This:

??????????????” ??” ?

Becomes “No.”

(The string of odd characters was a line of Japanese glyphs, but either MT or MySQL doesn’t like Unicode. Phooey.)

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Daniel J. Wilson

I am a designer, drummer, and photographer in Brooklyn, NY.

2 thoughts on “Lost In Translation”

  1. It’s most likely MT; the default templates are, for some inexplicable reason, set to ISO-8859-1. I really hope the MT team changes this in the next revision.

    However, the appropriate files are relatively easy to hack; just search for ISO-8859-1 and then change those references to UTF-8…

    And for the record, the Japanese sentence appears to be in proper UTF-8 encoding!

  2. Actually, it’s even easier than I assumed (I had to do a bit more hacking because I used an older version of the templates): in the mt.cfg file, just set PublishCharset to UTF-8 and NoHTMLEntities to 1.

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