Tag Archives: nyc mass transit

A Film By Any Other Name

From the directors of Two Stupid Stupid Guys, There's Something Going on with Mary.

Translation is a sticky game. I’ve long wished that I knew Russian so I could better appreciate Tolstoy. I wonder how much more I’d love Love in the Time of Cholera if my Spanish reading comprehension weren’t so dilapidated, or what greater enlightenment I’d have garnered from The Unbearable Lightness of Being in Kundera’s native Czech.

Translation is also a fun game, one that keeps me entertained for at least a stop or two every time I’m on the subway in New York comparing the sparse, pithy copy in the English language MTA ads to the meandering Spanish ones that require smaller font and tighter spacing to fit on the same poster, or pondering the rhythmic differences that make “si ves algo, di algo” sound better to me than “if you see something, say something.”

This post on the Economist’s Johnson language blog takes a look at interesting movie title translations, including “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which is, in its original Swedish “Men Who Hate Women.” Definitely more going on there than just a little lost-in-translation-ing:

When I arrived in Mexico I wanted something easy to practice my Spanish, so I went looking for “La chica con el tatuaje del dragón”, as I assumed Stieg Larsson’s thriller might be known. It isn’t: the title here is “Los hombres que no amaban a las mujeres” (“The men who didn’t love women”).What a rubbish name, I thought: why couldn’t Mexicans be given a direct translation? In fact, it’s English-speakers who have been duped: the original, in Swedish, is simply “Men who hate women”. (“It was considered too scary for foreign audiences, while just hitting the politically-correct spot in Sweden,” reckons my neighbourhood Swede.)

Duped indeed. Or maybe “Men who hate women” just wasn’t specific enough to differentiate it from other Hollywood flicks.

By the by, I’ve got a little movie title translation of my own to offer — for “Burn After Reading.” Sorry, Coen brothers, you know I love you, but you got this one wrong. Shoulda called it “Burn Before Watching.”

[Thanks, Ter.]

The Vertical Bed Helps You Catch Some Shuteye in the City That Never Sleeps

Someone should have thought of this sooner. The vertical bed. Collapsible into a George Jetson-like briefcase, the complete upright-sleep support system attaches to subway grates to support your body weight. The package also includes noise-canceling headphones, opaque sunglasses, and an umbrella. You know, in case you want to nap while standing in the rain.

One thing the designers forgot to hype: the soothing hot stench of subway grate air. Nothing eases me into sleep like noxious fumes wafting up from the steamy bowels of NYC’s mass transit system.

Apparently it works for the guy in the photo, too. He tested it by taking a 40-minute snooze at 33rd and Broadway. The site claims he “dreamed of a subversive van.” Any insight on that one, Freud?

Personally, I want one to wear to shows, so I can lean back and fold my arms judgmentally even when I can’t score real estate along the wall.

[via Gizmodo]