“Just another guy with a blog.  No big whoop.”

January 26, 2011

"Beat him out of recognizable shape."

Here's a list of actual English subtitles from actual Hong Kong Kung Fu Movies, sent to me the other day by an e-mail pal.* These are the results of the original Chinese dialogue being rendered — or rather, beaten out of recognizable shape — into English:
1. "I am damn unsatisfied to be killed in this way."
2. "Fatty, you with your thick face have hurt my instep."
3. "Gun wounds again?"
4. "Same old rules: no eyes, no groin."
5. "A normal person wouldn't steal pituitaries."
6. "I'll burn you into a barbecue chicken!"
7. "Who gave you the nerve to get killed here?"
8. "Quiet or I'll blow your throat up."
9. "You always use violence. I should've ordered glutinous rice chicken!"
10. "I'll fire aimlessly if you don't come out!"
11. "You daring lousy guy!"
12. "I got knife scars more than the number of your leg's hair!"
13. "Beware! Your bones are going to be disconnected."
14. "How can you use my intestines as a gift?"
15. "The bullets inside are very hot. Why do I feel so cold?"
16. "Beat him out of recognizable shape."

* I received that e-mail in October, 1997, and ran this list in the issue of Envoy Magazine that was just going to print shortly afterward. Anyway, I ran across it again just now and, even a dozen years later, it still evoked a chortle.


  1. Chortle? I think I asperated a piece of rice on #4!

  2. If you thought the subtitles of these kung-fu movies were bad, you need to watch some of the Mexican horror movies imported and dubbed by exploition film mogul K. Gordon Murray in the 1960's. Rent the Braniac DVD and you'll die laughing!

  3. I'm VERY interested in knowing what the correct titles are. And not at all sure I'd like to receive anyone's intestines as a gift.

  4. This is why the New Translation Bible is terrible.

  5. Reminds me of an old game called "F Zero" with such great renderings as "All your base are belong to us" and "Hurry, set us up the bomb"

  6. This is why original language is key.