Indiana Jones and the Temple of Beth Israel

So everybody knows that American movies are translated into funny or just weird names in Hebrew (and to be fair, other languages as well, although I’ll leave it up to Chien-Ming to make fun of his people on his Chinese immigration blog.) I referenced this phenomenon in this recent post and nowhere is it explained better than in this article which gives tons of examples.“The Naked Gun” becomes “The Gun Died Laughing”
“George of the Jungle”… “The Jungle Died Laughing”
“BASEketball”…any guesses? You guessed it…“Falafel Man, Put Away Your Chest Hair”

Just making sure you’re paying attention. But who is doing all this laughing?

“Hey, Dudu, this is lost in translation.

Look, how are you supposed to translate slang like “Knocked Up” into another language? Translators don’t have it easy and that’s where I come along. Starting now, I will be translating movie titles on this blog on a volunteer basis so they can be more easily understood by an Israeli audience. If you have any of your own, email them to me and I’ll post my favorites under the new category “Israeli Movie Titles”. Here are a few to get the party started, including the one from the aforementioned post.

  • A lawyer is unable to tell a lie, causing him to be brutally honest with everyone around him. In America, this movie is called “Liar Liar”. In Israel, “Tuesday”.
  • A look into racism, car accidents, and anger on the roads. In America, “Crash”. In Israel, “The Ayalon Freeway”.
  • Chaos reigns supreme as beachgoers are terrorized and fear for their safety. In America, “Jaws.” In Israel, “Arsim.”
  • A middle-aged man tries desperately to find love for the first time. In America, “The 40 Year Old Virgin”. In Israel, “One Ugly Chassid.”
  • And just in case anyone thinks the previous title was anti-religious… A man eats nothing but fast-food for 30 days. In America, “Supersize Me.” In Israel, “American Tourist.” (Just so it’s clear that I don’t mean every chassid nor every American. Ok, I mean every American. At least the teenage ones.)

Email me your movie titles and see you at the theater!

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