Bibliophiles often get a chuckle out of poorly translated book titles. Some are pretty straight forward like “The Great Gatsby”” turning into “A Man Without Scruples” in Swedish. But others are much funnier. Here’s a list of some of the funniest and oddly translated titles we’ve found to date.
1 “The Grapes of Wrath” – “The Angry Raisins” in Japanese
“The Grapes of Wrath” sounds like an interesting book while “The Angry Raisins” make us think of.. well, angry California Raisins. None-the-less, the point of the book still gets across with Japanese audiences, even with the weirdly translated title.
2 “The Hobbit” – “The Hompen” in Swedish
This translation of “The Hobbit” was one that ticked off JRR Tolkien. He was adamant about a few things when it came to translating his books. He created a guide separated by Persons, Peoples, Creatures, Places and Things which were a long list of words not to be changed. Other nomenclature such as “Big People” he had no issue with translators changing over. “The Hompen” is notable for rubbing him so wrong he made a list of things that should be unchanged going forward.
3 “Dune” – “Klit” in Danish
Obviously this one makes us giggle. A lot.
4 “The Hunger Games” – “Tributes of Panem: Deadly Games” in German, and “The Death Games” in Danish
Each of these translations made the title much more literal. Suzanne Collins‘ “The Hunger Games” became “Tribute von Panem: Tödliche Spiele,” or Tributes of Panem: Deadly Games in German. In Danish, it’s Dødsspillet or The Death Games.
5 “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – “The Men Who Hate Women” in Swedish
I mean, sure. But “Män som hatar kvinnor” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
6 “The Fault In Our Stars” – “The World is not a Factory For Fulfilling Wishes” in Macedonian
The Macedonian translation of “The Fault in Our Stars” is Светот не е Фабрика за Исполнување Желби which literally translates to The World is not a Factory for Fulfilling Wishes. Way to make a grim book even more grim.
7 “Bridge to Terabithia” – “A Bridge to the Afterlife” in Hungarian
Híd a túlvilágra was a really literal translation of what “Bridge to Terabithia” was about. In all honesty, if I had the title give away a main plot in the book I wouldn’t have read it. This image was the hardest to track down but I finally found it. I was starting to think this one was just a rumor.