Direct Translation Does Not Work

On one boring Sunday I turned on the TV.  It happened to be on TV5 at that time and Independence Day was on.  The movie had been dubbed in the Filipino language.  I thought that I should give it a try.

The movie reached the part where Will Smith’s squadron was attacking the giant saucers and alien fighters were going after them.  I waited how they would do “No.  You did not shoot that green s#!t at me!”  Green shit was translated/edited into “green laser.”

In other related thinking, the acronym “WTF” is actually shorter if translated into Tagalog.  It’ll simply be “AK.”  Go figure.



  1. “Men in Black”. A classic. Actually, that’s a good substitute word, allowing those of us who occasionally swear to evade censors when commenting on clean sites like Rappler. “Holy laser, Bozo, get a brain retread!” Or when kids are around. “Oh, laser!” I dropped my backpack in the mud.” Or a new favorite around the world, “Eat laser and die, checker player”, where “checker player” is also a substitute.

    1. I remember when they first showed “Scarface” on free TV, I think on ABS in the early 90s. They bleeped all the standard cuss words but forgot to take out the “pussy.” I guess someone thought that the writers had a weird fondness for cats.

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