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Translators need a lot of creativity to pull off the Woolseyisms which their job requires on a regular basis. The first thing to go in a translation is usually wordplay, followed by awkward concepts, dialects and so on.

Very, very occasionally, though, a Woolseyism isn't needed, since a Conveniently Precise Translation is already at hand.

This can often be caused by the meaning of words being extended in the same way in more than one language; or sometimes by metaphors that are obvious enough that many different languages have variations on the same one. But sometimes, it's just pure luck. These are the cases, when the translator doesn't have to think about how to preserve the pun, just use a direct translation, and the pun preserves itself.

Examples of Lucky Translation include:


Anime and Manga

  • In Azumanga Daioh, Osaka makes a pun on the word kaidan, which means either 'horror story' or 'staircase' depending on context. This pun translated easily into English, because of the double meaning of the English word 'stor(e)y'.
    • Earlier in the same scene, Tomo asks, "who's always banging up cars?" The answer is "the dentist", because the Japanese word for "dentist" is phonetically the same as the word for a scrapped car ("haisha"). But in English, "DENTist" works just as well. The anime could get this across through Osaka's diction; the manga didn't have this option, but also didn't have pictures to worry about, so they just replaced it with another joke.
  • The Pokémon series is filled with Punny Names, and some actually went well in the translation: Misty in Japanese was called Kasumi, the word for "mist", for example.
    • In Pokémon 3: Spell of the Unown, Molly Hale, wanting to see her parents again, takes some Unown tiles and uses them to spell out "Mama" "Papa" and "Me" together in a Scrabble-like fashion. She's actually spelling out her own name here (ミー, "Mi", in the Japanese version), but spelling it M-E lets them get away with it without having to change the letters.
    • Dawn had a nickname that was based on her past and was constantly known as Dee Dee from Kenny (or in Japan, Pikari). We learn that it was because she hugged a Plusle and Minun a bit too much and thus did an electric attack on her and made her hair stand on end thus gaining the nickname Pikari (with 'Pika' the Japanese onomatopoeia for sparks). The dub went for Dee Dee (which can be read DD) and the nickname became Diamond Dandruff.
    • Since Ash was called like that in the anime, in Pokémon 2000 (the one with Lugia), the translators said that "the world will turn to ash". While the phrase seems to be talking about "ashes", we know it's about our hero.
  • The most common translation of Kamina's/Team Gurren's Catch Phrase in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is "Who the hell do you think I/we am/are?" This happens to fit the mouth flaps quite well, and is used in the dub (though for the plural they add "Just" in the beginning).
  • In the original Lucky Star, Konata Izumi's favourite anime icon is Haruhi Suzumiya, and many of the jokes are dependent on the fact that the two are voiced by the same person (Aya Hirano). The jokes were left in the English dub because luckily, the same English voice actress (Wendee Lee) also had enough range to play both Haruhi and Konata. The same goes for Minoru Shiraishi in regards to Taniguchi (Sam Riegel plays both in the dub).
  • Ichigo Mashimaro: Nobue's name sounds close enough to "no boobies" that Miu was able to spin an insult out of it.
  • School Rumble - Reading Sun Tzu, Tenma misreads a word as 'to remove clothes' and 'hare'. The real problem was that she actually vizualised this strange image of someone stepping out of a bunny costume, so it would be hard to ignore. It was translated as 'to take off like a rabbit', a phrase which Sun Tzu did use.
  • In episode 11 of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, there's a scene where Ed's trying to talk about a baby that's about to be born, but he can't get the word out. All he can get out is "uma...", and as seen in a thought bubble, Winry thinks he's talking about a horse. By pure luck, "bay" is also an English word for a certain-coloured horse, and happens to be pronounced the same as the first syllable of "baby", thus making the pun work in the subtitles as well.
    • Another Greed one. Ed calls the second Greed "Greedling" because he possesses the body of a guy named Ling. However, ling as a suffix in English means little (e.g. fingerling potatoes), which works quite well in two respects. It makes sense that the second version would sort of be "little Greed", and it's completely in character for Ed to call someone else little, which makes the nickname funnier in English.
      • In the manga, though, Viz translated Ling's name as Lin, so a variation on his Junior Greed title had to be given. Ed ended up calling him "Grin" as a contraction of "Greed" and "Lin," which, while not as true to the original intent of the joke - i.e. a play on being a mini Greed - the joke still works in its own way.
  • The title of Bakemonogatari is a Portmanteau of the Japanese words "bakemono" (ghost or monster) and "monogatari" (story) making Ghostory or Monstory an obvious translation. One of the sequel novels, Nisemonogatari, also has this going for it ("Impostory").
    • Also in Russian Bakemonogatari is wonderfully translated as Монстрассказы (Monstrasskazy)
  • In Bobobobo Bobobo, "Hanage Shin Ken" (a parody of "Hokuto Shin Ken" from Fist of the North Star) literally means "True Fist of the Nose Hair". The reference to Fist of the North Star is obvious, even more so if the "True" is omitted.
  • Sebastian's catchphrase in Black Butler is a pun on akumade, meaning "to the end," and akuma, meaning "demon." The English translation used by both the Fan Sub and Funimation's official subtitles, "one hell of a butler," just happens to convey both meanings as well.
  • At one point in the Amazon Lily arc of One Piece, Luffy is being stared at completely naked by a group of amazons who don't know anything about men. When one of them asks what's in the 'bag' attached between his legs, Luffy replies with 'kintama', which is a Japanese slang term for testicles that also means 'balls of gold', so of course the amazons think he's saying that he has actual balls of gold between his legs. The English translation uses 'family jewels', which fits the joke perfectly.
  • In Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, there is a reference to the "former Taro Sekiutsu" (former because he sold his identity to Maria and now lives in a cardboard box) being classless. This works perfectly as a pun in English, since Taro is both classless in the sense of abandoning society and classless in the sense that he's not attending class in high school.
  • The translated title of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni is When the Cicadas Call/Weep. Luckily, the English word Cry also covers both meanings. This will probably be carried over to the spiritual sequel Umineko no Naku Koro ni.
  • Fairy Tail has a couple, usually in the way of puns. One more prevelant example is the "De-Malevo-Lance" a spear of Erza's that, in Japanese, was named using a word that doesn't have an English counterpart which more or less means "destruction of evil." In English, it's a nice play on words.
  • In Wolf's Rain Tsume frequently calls Toboe "chibi" (meaning "small") as a disrespectful nickname. In the dub, he uses "runt", which works even better for having a canine/lupine connotation.
  • In Urusei Yatsura episode 87, the principal makes a pun on "'nikui" (hatred) and "niku" (meat). AnimEigo's subtitles rendered it as "I've got a beef with you, seeing you hide that meat in your pocket."
    • Also, the chapter / episode introducing Kotatsu-Neko (manga chapter 111, anime episode 51) is titled "Kaidan ni Neko ga Onnen", which literally means "There's a Cat on the Stairs", but "kaidan" written as 怪談 means "ghost story" (as mentioned above), and "onnen" written as 怨念 can mean something like "a grudge that persists after someone's death, turning them into a ghost". Viz translated it as "Two-Story Ghost Story", whereas AnimEigo didn't try to translate the puns.
  • In Yakitate!! Japan, Kuroyanagi - known for his punny reactions to really good breads - tries a sample of chicken yakisoba bread and has to be restrained from taking off his pants. The double meaning of "cock" works the same in Japanese as it does in English.
  • In GeGeGe no Kitaro, Medama-oyaji, the title character's father, an eyeball monster's name could be translated into English as "Popeye".
  • In Bunny Drop, there's a scene where a little boy is having a laughing fit because of a news report on TV. He thinks that the report is about trains pooping (unko), when it's actually about trains being on time (unkou). The joke still works in English, due to the multiple meanings of the word "regular" (in addition to its normal meaning of "at frequent intervals," it's also commonly used euphemistically to mean "has normal bowel movements").
  • A nice bonus in polish translation of GetBackers is Mugenjou as "Nieskończony Zamek" which can mean "Endless/Infinite Castle" as well as "Unfinished/Incomplete Castle"
  • In Bleach, there's a scene where Yumichika refers to himself as "beautiful" and Ganju pretends to mishear it as "pathetic", or something along that line. This works well in English where Yumichika refers to himself as "pretty" and Ganju agrees by saying, "Yeah, you're quite a pity."


Comic Books

  • In the original French Asterix, Obelix's dog is named Idéfix (a pun on idée fixe, or fixed idea). "Dogmatix" is a more-or-less accurate translation and a pun on "dog".
    • In one of the Hungarian translations, they kept idefix, that works because "ide" means "here", as in the dog command.
    • In the Italian translation of Obelix's Catch Phrase, "These Romans are crazy!", is "Sono Pazzi Questi Romani!", which is also a pun on SPQR, the Roman initialism.
    • Asterix was chock-full of these which is part of the reason its translations are held in high regard and rarely prone to things getting Lost in Translation.
    • In Asterix and the Banquet, the characters tour Gaul, picking up regional specialties. In Cambrai, they pick up peppermint sweets called "Bêtise de Cambrai", meaning "mistake" or "nonsense". Most of that section was plays on "bêtise". If the sweets had just been "peppermints" in English, the translators would have had to fill it with unrelated puns. Conveniently, however, they're similar to the stripy mints that are called "humbugs" in the UK, so they played on the meanings of that word instead.
  • Flintheart Glomgold. Initially he got the German name "Steinerz Goldunger", but later he was renamed "Mac Moneysac", a Meaningful Name that's even understandable for kids who only know few English words.


Film

  • The title of Me Myself and Irene has a pun on Irene and "I". Coincidentally, the Hungarian equivalent of the name Irene is "Irén" and "én" means I, so the literal translation: "Én, meg én meg az Irén" did the same thing.
    • The Latin American title Irene, yo y mi otro yo ("Me, my other me and Irene"), though not as clever, still manages to retain the original English wordplay.
      • The Spaniard title would be Yo, yo mismo e Irene, which is a literal translation and the wordplay is practically intact.
  • Spaceballs 'Major Asshole' Scene, which in Italian is translated with the very similar expression 'Maggiore Stronzo' ('Major Turd').
  • In the Post-Credits Scene of "Daredevil", Bullseye is recuperating on a hospital bed after a fight with Daredevil when a fly suddenly comes and annoys him, and when the fly goes to the wall, he struggles to get a surgical syringe and manages to throw it right at it. He then shouts "Bullseye". The closest translation to this expression in Portuguese would be "Na mosca" which means "In the fly". Guess what he says...
  • The "Surely you can't be serious" gag from Airplane! works arguably even better in Finnish as "Et kai ole tosissasi". Kai means surely or supposedly and is also a first name.
  • Alejandro Jodorowsky's movie, "El Topo", is to have a sequel, "El Toro". That is, from "The Mole" to "The Bull".
  • In Mean Girls, Karen goes to the Halloween party dressed as a sexy mouse. In the Italian version, when asked what she is dressed as, she answers "Sono una topa", "topa" meaning "female mouse", but also a slang word for female genitalia and a rude compliment to a pretty girl.
  • Despicable Me: the scene with the cookie robots, which actually are boogie robots, is rendered very well in the Italian dubbing of the film. They have been renamed "Bisco robots", where "bisco" is short for "biscotto" (cookie), and then revealed as Disco robots, a joke that works as well, if not better, as the original English language pun.
  • The title of the movie Species was translated into Hebrew as "Min Mesukan", literally "Dangerous Species". However, "min" also means "sex", making the translation mean "Dangerous Sex", which could also serve as an appropriate title for the film.


Literature

  • In Japanese poetry, it's common to use the pine tree (matsu) as a symbol of longing, because matsu also means "to wait". It's easy to remember, because English has an almost identical double-meaning for the word "pine".
  • A French poem in House of Leaves gains a completely different rhyme scheme when translated into English. (One is ABAB and the other is AABB.)
  • Non-language example: In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams makes a joke about the movement of 'small green pieces of paper', meaning the British pound note. The joke made perfect sense to Americans, on account of the color of their money. Now the joke only works for Americans, because Britain doesn't use pound notes anymore[1]. and the other notes aren't green.
  • One of the dwarfs in the Discworld novel The Truth is named Goodmountain, a literal translation of the German surname of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable types in Europe. In the German translation, said dwarf's name is Gutenhügel ("good hill"). This not only solves the problem of salvaging the name's subtle reference, but also adds an additional layer of humor by alluding to the name bearer's height.
    • Another Discworld example: in dutch, 'seamstress' is translated as 'naaister'. 'naaien' does not only mean 'sewing', but 'fucking' as well.
    • Another Discworld example, this time from the Hebrew language. The Luggage is said to be made (originally) from "Sapient Pearwood". In the Hebrew version of the books, the Luggage is said to be made from "עץ הדעת" ("Etz Ha'Da'at"), which means "Tree of Sentience/Knowing/Knowledge". Yes, that Tree of Knowledge. Makes the Luggage all that much more awesome.
  • The Hebrew version of Animal Farm is considered by some actually a bit better than the original for a single reason: the word "שווה" ("Sha-ve") in Hebrew means both "equal" and "worthy/deserving". This gives the animals' motto an entirely new pun-tastic layer: "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal/deserve more than others."
  • In Scots, the word "heehaw", as well as being onomatopoeia for a donkey's bray, is also a slang term for "nothing". So in James Robertson's Scots translation of Winnie the Pooh, the line "Eeyore still said nothing at all" becomes "Heehaw wis still sayin heehaw".
  • Lewis Caroll not wanting to ridicule clergy did not feature Bishops in Alice in Wonderland. However, it still featured two Messengers of the White King - and in some languages (German, Polish) chess bishops are called runners or messengers. In French they're called fou - fools, which triples the lucky translation, as the messengers are March Hare and Mad Hatter.
  • In Xanth pineapples are highly explosive. But if you change it to pomegranate the pun still works in many other languages. In others, pineapple grenades are called lemons.
  • The name "Once-ler" from The Lorax is translated as "Einstler" in the German version, which, apart from being an equivalent, is also reminiscent of "Einsiedler" ("hermit"), which is what the Once-ler became.


Multiple

  • The Japanese Pronoun 'wareware' means 'we', but can also be used as an excessively formal way of saying 'I'. This is similar to the English-language Royal We. (See The King Of All Cosmos from Katamari Damacy for a well-Woolseyed version.)
    • If an alien in Ultraman says this, you know he wants to rule the world.
  • The Japanese "Gai" is pronounced exactly the same as the common western name "Guy".
    • As long as we're talking about the English name "Guy" and not the French variant, which is pronounced like "gee" (with a hard "g", as in "go" or "guilt".)
    • This one works particularly well in Darker Than Black with Clueless Detective Gai Kurusawa, as his (fake) name calls to mind the parody hard-boiled detective "Guy Noir" of A Prairie Home Companion


Mythology / Religion

  • In the Welsh myth cycle Mabinogion, one rhyme relies on the fact that "blawd" can mean either as "flour" or "to blossom". Luckily, the pun works just as well in English, since "flour" and "flower" are homophones.
  • In The Bible, the English words man and woman just happen to be very similar (as in the original Hebrew), making God's line on the Creation of Eve -- calling her Woman because she comes from Man -- make sense. Some other languages are not so lucky; in German, for instance, the meaning of that line is completely lost.


Theatre

  • The Lysistrata, a Greek play about women who go on a sex strike is full of double-entendres for those who are able to understand the original Greek meanings, but one pun in particular was a gift to translators. When the women are getting together, one of the characters comments that the Spartan woman isn't there yet, because Spartan women always arrive after everyone else. A translator who's not worried about sounding classy can make the pun in English that was made in the Greek. Spartan women come last.
  • Works in the title of The Importance of Being Earnest for several European languages, as the word cognate to or that translates as "earnest" is often used as a proper name.


Tropes

  • Not That Kind of Doctor: works in Western nations and also sinoxenic (i.e. China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, etc.). M.D.s are the doctors but so are other highly educated people.


Video Games

  • The hero of the game Gitaroo Man is called U-1, pronounced "Yuichi", which is a common Japanese boys' name. When it was dubbed into English, he became U-1 pronounced "Ewan", which sounds more normal to Western ears. Or sounding like "You Won", which is a nice encouragement to the player.
  • In the Polish version of Warcraft, Grom Hellscream gets a Meaningful Name - "grom" in Polish is either "thunder" or "bolt" (as in "bolt out of the blue").
  • At the end of Metal Gear Solid 2, the computerised Rose tells Raiden to trust her, with kanji which read 'lies'. This translated nicely into English, with the way 'beLIEve me' is spelt.
  • The name of Mario's Evil Twin, "Wario," is originally a Portmanteau of the Japanese word "warui" (bad) and Mario. Thanks to the negative connotations of the word "war" in the English language, and the fact that "W" can be read as an upside-down "M", Mario fans the world over are treated to a wordplay that translates exceptionally well.
    • Luigi's rival, "Waluigi", still works but a little less well. In Japan, it's an even better pun on "warui" than "Wario" is. Anywhere else, it hinges on the fact that there's already an established Evil Twin whose name starts with "Wa". Seems that Luigi doesn't even get his own nemesis without Mario overshadowing him.
      • In Japanese, "Waluigi" (or rather the more literal "waruiji") is also an anagram for "ijiwaru", which more or less translates as "mean", which Waluigi (and Wario for that matter) are.
    • Polish language has "wariować" which means "to go insane" and "wariat" for a crazy person. It's like the lottery grand prize of lucky translations.
  • In the Japanese version of The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, the hero enters a secret underground kingdom whose inhabitants were called Uura ("hidden"), and gets involved with an Uura girl named Urara ("beauty", and a pun on Uura). In the English version, the people are called Subrosians (referring to sub rosa, an old tradition of using a rose to indicate a secret meeting place), and the girl Link dates is called Rosa, preserving the pun of a secret place and a pretty girl.
  • Rabbids Go Home's plot itself is a kind of lucky translation. Said plot revolves around the Rabbids deciding to "go home" by building a huge pile of stuff to go to the moon. In the original version of the game, it makes sense because the Rabbids are insane enough to think they can build a pile of stuff to get somewhere as far away as the moon. In the Japanese version, it makes sense due to there being a lot of mythological connections between rabbits and the moon.
  • In Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, the sprite for the Gambler Trainer Class is a man wearing a brown longcoat and fedora hat, making them look a lot like a stereotypical detective. The English translators took note of this and changed the class to P.I., as in Private Investigator, but the fact that they're still flipping a coin and their dialogue was left completely unaltered (they talk a lot about chance and luck) still makes the translation fairly obvious.
  • Dragon Quest VIII features a pun by Yangus, a guy with a habit of picking his nose. In one scene, he says that he noticed something while "Picking me nose...erm, picking me some flowers. Lucky as that in Japanese the word for "Nose" is also a pun for "Flower" and in English, you can "Pick" flowers or "Pick" your nose, so the pun worked in both languages, if through different words.


Western Animation

  • In the Animated Musical genre, the songs are usually translated and re-dubbed in many countries. It's totally impossible to translate completely faithfully a song, since the translation has to match the music beats. However, from time to time, there are versions that are surprisingly faithful, and can translate the title, or even the whole chorus practically literally. Although some times the translators have to do some grammar juggling in order to do it.
    • We find some cases in the European Spanish translations of the Disney Animated Canon. "Bajo el mar" ("Under the Sea") from "The Little Mermaid" (100% literal, and it even has the exact same amount of syllables!), "Ahí fuera" ("Out There") from The Hunchback of Notre Dame (literal, although the song plays with that translation and the word "allí"), or "¿Cuándo va mi vida a comenzar?" ("When Will My Life Begin?") from Tangled (literal, although with a kinda twisted grammar construction) are good examples.
  • Basil The Great Mouse Detective, a Sherlock Holmes Expy, is called "Basil Holmuis" (hole-mouse) in Dutch. Yes, it's an actual word.
  • In the Dutch SpongeBob SquarePants dub, "Bikini Bottom" is translated as "Bikinibroek". "Broek" happens to mean both "pants" and "brook", and is a very common suffix for a small town close to water.
  • In Flemish, the word for "to saw" can also be used as slang for "to whine". So in Atlantis: The Lost Empire "Less talk! More sawing!" became "Niet zagen! Zagen!" ("Don't whine! Saw!").
  • In South Park, Mr. Garrisson once refers to Mr. Slave as his Teacher's Assistant, or Teacher's Ass for short. In Hungarian, Tanársegéd and Tanársegg mean exactly the same.
  • The Brazilian translation of Wacky Races saw the Slag Brothers being translated as "Irmãos Rocha". Irmãos = Brothers, and Rocha, which happens to be a common surname in Portuguese, means Rock. The net result is their name being more 'plausible' in Portuguese than in English.
  • The Polish dub of The Tick slipped in a joke about American Maid's vocation being "preserving peace", based on the word used to translate "maid" meaning more specifically "room maid" and "room" and "peace" being homonyms in Polish.


Real Life

  • A Real Life example: the Russian RPG series of weapons. In Russian, the Latin alphabet transliteration of the weapons' designation comes out as Ruchnoy Protivotankovyy Granatomyot: "Handheld Anti-Tank Grenade Launcher". This provides a perfect acronym match-up with the English designation of this weapon type: Rocket-Propelled Grenade.
  • The Japanese expression "ai shiteiru" (愛している)and the English phrase "I love you" have the same amount of syllables and consistent mouthflaps if the 'shi' and the second "i" sounds aren't stressed.
    • Not to mention they both start with the "I/Ai" sound and end with an "u" sound.
    • The Japanese word "suki" (好き) is often used in romance anime and manga to create love confusion because "suki" can be interpreted as either platonic or romantic love, causing people to wonder if the person who said that meant "I view you as a good friend" or "I love you". In other words, it has almost the exact same connotations that the English phrase "I like you" does.
      • On that note, "daisuki" (大好き)can be used to intensify the sentiment (dai = "big" or "much.") Thus, a distinction between the two might be rendered, "Likes her, or likes likes her?"
  • "Sumimasen" (Japanese) and "excuse me" (English) are each usable in many different senses and contexts...very, very nearly all of them identical, the exception being when "sumimasen" can mean "thank you", although some creative translation allows one to realize that something like "I don't mean to be any trouble" has connotations of thanks.
  • Similarly, chotto matte is conveniently similar to "just a minute", right down to the lip movements.
  • "R. I. P." on tombstones doesn't actually stand for "Rest in peace", but for the Latin "Requiesca(n)t in pace", which means (almost) the same thing. (To be precise, it expresses the hope that "may he / she / it / (they) rest in peace". One wonders why this particular phrasing was deemed necessary.)
    • Depending on the translation, it could also mean "(I command that) he/she/they must rest in peace." As in, don't disturb the dead. This is because Latin actually has a third-person imperative.
  • In Japan, legend tells that the sakura blossom is pink because it has been stained by the blood of a warrior. This might remind you of the Greek legend of Pyramus and Thisbe, the lovers whose blood stained the mulberry tree forever. In Iran, red tulips are said to indicate that a martyr has died on that spot.
    • Poppies have similar symbolism in Europe and Australia, partly because of their colour and partly because they were among the few plants that could grow on the devastated battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.
    • Or, for that matter, the Christian allegory of how holly bushes look like they do because a lost lamb bumbled into them, bending the leaves and staining the berries with its blood.
  • The Japanese name Johji sounds very similar to the English name "George". Actor Nakata Johji and manga artist Manabe Johji have both been known to occasionally sign their names in romaji as George. Taking it to its logical conclusion, baseball player Kenji Johjima occasionally refers to himself as George Mackenzie.
    • Ken is a legitimate name in Japanese, just as it is in English.
      • Not to mention Dan (although there's a slight difference in pronounciation).
    • There are female names that work like Johji/George too: Mei/May, Karin/Karen...
    • Emma is a common name in Japanese and English -- even the romaji is the same.
      • Naomi: a Hebrew-derived name meaning "pleasant", and a Japanese name meaning "straight beauty". Even the meaning overlaps somewhat!
    • There's also "Jun/June" (although in Japanese, "Jun" can also be a boy's name).
    • "Joe" has also been known to be used in Japanese for a boy's name (e.g., "Joe Kido" from Digimon Adventure).
    • "Mimi" is also a Japanese/English name.
    • And Guy/Gai.
  • There is an example of a language joke that works in both English and Chinese:
    • Wife: Do you think I'm pretty or ugly? Husband: Pretty ugly, in my opinion.
    • 妻子: 你觉得我好看还是难看? (Do you think I'm pretty or ugly?) 丈夫: 我觉得你好难看。 (I think you're really ugly.)
    • And also in German!

  Ehefrau: Findest du mich schön oder hässlich? Ehemann: Ganz schön hässlich, würd ich sagen.

  • An example of a lucky mistranslation: "tax haven" in French should be translated as "refuge fiscal". Instead it was translated as "paradis fiscal", which is the translation of "tax heaven". But the erroneous translation is actually just as appropriate as the correct one, if not more.
  • Not really a translation, per se, but anyone who has analyzed British and American English can find some interesting parallels between different words with similar meanings. In British, they use the term "bent" to describe someone being corrupt, very similar to the American use of "crooked." Similarly, the British term "Wanker," originally meaning someone who masturbates has since generalized into any moron or otherwise annoying person, with something similar happening to the related terms "jerkoff" and "jackoff" in American English, as in "Some jackoff stole my car."
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