If there is one film that 2017 will be remembered by, it’s “La la Land.” Despite being a musical, it captivates you for its entire two hours’ duration. Nevertheless, there is something that bothers (and a lot) those involved in the world of translation. That is, the title of the film. “La la Land: City of Stars,” in the original version, “La la Land: La cuidad de las estrellas” in Spanish (which doesn’t change it much), “La la Land: Por Amour d’Hollywood,” in French (this is more contrasting). Was it a mistake to translate the film title when it’s such a simple one?
Marketing and translation, inseparable
Film title translation is part of daily life in the cinematographic industry and even more so when talking about Hollywood blockbusters such as “La la Land.” The translation has a great influence in the marketing campaign that will follow. Would you be tempted to watch a film called “Heroes wanted”? Or one called “Elite Squad”? The latter option seems to grab the spectators’ attention better, and large production companies work side-by-side with audiovisual translators to adapt the original film title to suit the country where it will be shown. [Sharer]
It’s also true that when the title is short and easy to pronounce, as is the case with “La la Land,” nether should there be any reason to translate the film title. By doing so, you run the risk of making unfortunate mistakes like those seen with some famous films. This was the case of “Pulp Fiction,” whose title was translated in Latin America as “Tiempos Violentos” (Violent times), “The Astronaut’s Wife,” which until today, the mystery remains as to why it was translated as “La Cara del Terror,” (The Face of Terror) in Spain, or“El Engendro,” (The Monstrosity) in Latin America or the famous “The Parent Trap,” known in Spain as “Tú a Londres y yo a California” (Me to London and you to California). Sometimes it seems that keeping quiet is a better idea. Although… as we know in the world of cinema, marketing is what sells.