In the UK, we have euphemisms for almost everything.


We don’t lie – we misspeak.

We’re not poor – but we might be economically disadvantaged.

And we’re never old – but we are mature.

The same cannot be said for many other countries. They say it how it is. No beating around the bush (to use a euphemism).

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This often results in some wonderfully weird translations of movie titles…

1. No Strings Attached becomes…


Sex Friends

This film is not about liberated puppets as the English title may suggest, it tells the story of lifelong friends – played by Kutcher and Portman – who take their relationship to the next level. The French title dispels any doubt you may have had about that. Flaunting their forthright sexual libertarianism, the French just decided to slap SEX FRIENDS on the poster. Quelle horreur.

2. Pretty Woman becomes…


I Will Marry a Prostitute to Save Money

This is a very, very, very sceptical interpretation of a film where an LA businessman (Richard Gere) falls in love with a struggling call girl (Julia Roberts). An extremely cost-conscious translation from economic power China.

3. Bad Santa becomes…


Santa is a Pervert

Children, DO NOT READ ON. The Czech Republic makes a good point with their title. Bad Santa implies Billy Bob Thornton's Father Christmas only wants a bit of fun, he doesn’t mean any harm. But actually in this film Santa is a sex addict. Sorry, kids.

4. Grease becomes…



For some reason the Argentinian title Vaseline sounds really gross. It's up for debate whether the original title of Grease refers to a hair product used by 1950s high school kids, or if it's an allusion to "greasers", the name for a working-class youth subculture at the time. But one thing is for sure, Vaseline is not the word...

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory becomes…

The Boy Who Drowned in Chocolate Sauce

Well, that’s bleak. With this rather ominous title, the Danish are referring to the one scene in the film which, to be fair, is quite terrifying. When he’s in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, Augustus Gloop gets a bit too greedy and in an attempt to eat the entire river of chocolate, falls into it. And drowns.

6. Lost in Translation becomes…


Meetings and Failures in Meetings

Obviously, we had to include a mistranslation of the one movie that actually sums up this whole list. In Portugal this film about an ageing movie star (Bill Murray) who meets a conflicted newlywed (Scarlett Johansson) was rather clunkily renamed Meetings and Failures in Meetings... and we do not have the foggiest idea why.

7. Fargo becomes…


Mysterious Murder in Snowy Cream

This classic, gory black-comedy loses all of its malice in China, where they (hilariously) call it Mysterious Murder in Snowy Cream. Somehow it makes homicide and kidnapping sound like a delicious sweet. There is a lot of snow in Fargo, North Dakota, to be fair, and a lot less in China.

8. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me becomes…


Austin Powers: The Spy Who Behaved Very Nicely around Me

This Malaysian translation is brilliant.


9. American Pie becomes…


American Virgin Man

So the French aren’t the only ones with a severe lack of nuance in their movie titles. In China they get straight to the point. At least they didn't call it American Virgin Man Has Sex With a Pie.