Monday, June 21, 2010

Mismatch

So I watched Pierrot le fou last night. (What a promising start to a blog entry! Just warming up for when I get rich and famous and open a Jean-Luc Godard-themed comedy club called La Nouvelle Gag.) I’ve seen Pierrot le fou before and I always laugh a lot whenever I watch it, but never as hard as I did last night and I’ll tell you why:

(We need a quick language lesson first: 安静 is Chinese for “quiet.” End of lesson.)

I don’t have a copy of the movie here, so I had to watch it on a Chinese video sharing website — luckily for me it had English subtitles in addition to the Chinese, because my brain is in no way prepared to handle two different non-English stimuli at once. About halfway through the movie, Ferdinand and Marianne are lying on the beach and Marianne says:

Fuck me

In case you missed it:

Fuck me harder

That’s “安静” (quiet) in the Chinese and, well, “Fuck me” in the English. (Fuck you in the English? I hardly know you!) Who’s right? The French line is “baise-moi,” so…English!

USA! USA! USA!

(In China’s defense, this also was a problem in the original DVD release in the United States, which also had “baise-moi” as “be quiet.” A commenter on youtube says that perhaps someone misheard it as “apaise-moi” at some point, though this seems like a stretch.)

I’ve got to say I am glad to hear I’m not the only one who confuses these two phrases. It can really be a problem sometimes. Like in libraries, or in church.