June 20, 2009

Thai Movie Titles: May and June 2009

As I wrote in the previous installment, "Thai titles for western films are sometimes corny, sometimes spoilery, and always entertaining. Especially when you translate them back into English. They have a style of their own."

Here are my (intentionally) over-literal re-translations of a few recent movie offerings:

Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins
ฅนเหล็ก 4 มหาสงครามจักรกลล้างโลก
"Iron Man 4: super machine war cleanses the earth"

Star Trek
สตาร์เทร็ค สงครามพิฆาตจักรวาล
"Star Trek: war to destroy the universe"

Angels and Demons
"Angel and Satan"

X-Men Origins: Wolverine
เอ็กซ์ เม็น กำเนิดวูลฟ์เวอรีน
"X-Men: birth of wolverine"

The International
"Fighting a worldwide organization from hell"

Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian
มหึมาพิพิธภัณฑ์ ดับเบิ้ลมันส์ทะลุโลก
"Gigantic museum: double fun penetrates the world"

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
ทรานส์ฟอร์เมอร์ส : อภิมหาสงครามแค้น
"Transformers: super mega war of revenge"


  1. If Terminator is Iron Man, then what is Iron Man called?

  2. Iron Man is just transcribed from English.

    But, of course, in English we don't pronounce "iron" how it looks -- we say "I-earn". The Thai transcription follows the spelling, and is pronounced "I-ron Man".

  3. For completeness, here is Iron Man with its subtitle:

    ไอรอนแมน มหาประลัยคนเกราะเหล็ก
    "Iron Man: super destruction man with iron armor"

    So that clears it up. He's the man with iron *armor*. :P

  4. I used to proof Thai subtitles for DVDs and laughed my heads off at these titles. Then again, I also have to edit some of the jokes and phrases that don't translate at all. Lots of stuff gone amiss when Christianity is also involved. (i.e. Stigmata...boy that was a fun job.)

  5. ไอ้รอน ..just add a mai thoo and suddenly Iron Man is that b*stard Ron :)

  6. Umm .. There's one thing about the Thai movie name, they often use "keyword(s)" to identify with the movie, usually the lead actor/actress.

    E.g. every Terminator movie will be called "คนเหล็ก".

    Jackie Chan, on the other hand, will have the word "ฟัด", "ใหญ่" - วิ่งสู้ฟัด (Police Story / HK), ใหญ่ฟัดโลก (Rumble in the Bronx), คู่ใหญ่ ฟัดเต็มสปีด (Rush Hour) or even หนึ่งฟัดหนึ่ง ใหญ่ต่อใหญ่ (The Forbidden Kingdom). But in the past, JC's trademark name would be "ไอ้หนุ่มหมัดเมา" (Drunken Master / HK).

    Same goes to the koreans. Jeon Ji Hyun is known as "ยัยตัวร้าย". :)

  7. hi does anyone know where i could watch thai video/movies with THAI subtitles on the web??

    I looked on youtube for ages but couldnt find antything..

    It would be real helpful, thanks.

  8. lolololololol I'm Thai and Thai titles always amuse me.

    ฅนเหล็ก 4 มหาสงคราม"จักรกล"ล้างโลก
    Iron Man 4: super "universe" war cleanses the earth

    จักรกล is not universe ( จักรวาล )
    it'd be
    Iron Man 4: super mechanical war cleanses the earth

  9. Whoops! You're totally right. I copied and pasted it, and in my hurry misread จักรกล as จักรวาล. Only in this context I'd say 'machine'. I'll correct that!

  10. Dear Blogger,

    you are nominated for the "Top 100 Language Blogs 2009" competition. Congratulations! After last year’s success the bab.la language portal and Lexiophiles language blog are hosting this year’s worldwide language blog competition once again. We are confident to surpass more than the 350 blogs which entered the competition in 2008.

    We have made two major changes to last year:

    1. Due to the amount of blogs we have created categories.
    (Language Learning/Language Teaching/Language Technology/
    Language Professionals)
    You are in category Language Learning
    2. User voting will count 50% towards final score

    Voting will start on July 8, leaving you enough time to prepare your readers for the upcoming voting. Voting will close on July 27 and the winners will be announced on July 30.

    For more information on the 2009 competition and what it is all about visit [http://www.lexiophiles.com/english/top-100-language-blogs-2009-nomination-started]
    So now you may ask yourself what you can do. Here are some suggestions

    -Nominations are open until July 6, so feel free to share any blog you like with us
    -Each blog will have a one-sentence-description for the voting. If you would like a special description to go along with your blog, just send me an email [marc@bab.la]

    Kind regards,
    On behalf of the bab.la and Lexiophiles team

    Marc Lütten

    bab.la GmbH | Baumwall 7 | 20459 Hamburg | Germany
    Phone: +49(0)40-707080950 http://bab.la/
    Handelsregister AG Hamburg | HRB 101207
    Geschaftsführer: Dr. Andreas Schroeter, Dr. Thomas Schroeter, Patrick Uecker

  11. อยากดูทรานส์ฟอร์เมอร์สมากๆ
    nice post rikker, good to see you back.

  12. Yeah, very funny transcription...Great people you are..you just change the titles for your convenience but it's hard to know by others. If someone is not from Thai he might think that this a thai movie :) :)

  13. As a teacher I often refer to western movies but don't always know the Thai name (especially if it's not currently showing or oolder), is there a list somewhere on line that gives English name and Thai name too (I can read Thai)? Thanks!

  14. Sharon, if you go to a Thai movie website like Siam Zone, you can search the English name. Then click through on the title you want and it will list the Thai name under ชื่อไทย if it has one.