It does not look like Vietnamese to me

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2005/12/12 03:01 -05:00, original URI:

This screenshot is from the movie Good Morning, Vietnam -- the brief period where we are watching Beach Blanket Bingo with what I have seen reported as Vietnamese, and French subtitles in places like this document.

But that middle language does not look like it could be Vietnamese. Well, I mean unless it is 17th century or earlier Vietnamese which was more likely to be ideographic.

Maybe it is just me. Or could it be Chinese, perhaps? If memory serves, the actual dub for the audio was Vietnamese (other than when Frankie and Annette are singing)....

# Visitor on 12 Dec 2005 3:40 AM:

Yes, the words on the second line are chinese characters...translating them into English would mean:"My feelings..." Which is kinda weird because it doesn't match the English subtitles at all...

# ChrisTorng on 12 Dec 2005 4:04 AM:

It is Traditional Chinese "我的感覺", means "my feeling".

# Andreas Magnusson on 12 Dec 2005 4:18 AM:

Hmm, it's Chinese, but it doesn't make sense with the English translation, since the first two characters mean "my" (as in belongs to me).

Still this is not the only place I've seen ideographic characters somehow related to Vietnamese. Maybe there are a lot of Chinese people living in Vietnam?

# Duncan Mak on 12 Dec 2005 5:12 AM:

Vietnamese used to be written in a way that's quite similar to Chinese characters:


# Gabe on 12 Dec 2005 5:48 AM:

If the audio was in Vietnamese, why would they need subtitles in the same language? It makes sense that the subtitles would be in English, French, and Chinese.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 12 Dec 2005 8:39 AM:

I agree, Gabe -- though I wonder that different sites say the subtitles are in English, French, and Vietnamese....

Seems like common sense that it would not be.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 12 Dec 2005 8:40 AM:

Duncan -- I know, but it has been centuries since it has been used. I doubt a movie would be subtitled with it....

# Michael Dunn_ on 12 Dec 2005 12:18 PM:

To make it even more odd, the French says "if they dropped her".

# Michael S. Kaplan on 12 Dec 2005 2:00 PM:

I am hoping that the various differences in traslation are due to the fact that only pieces of sentences are being handled at a time -- so the three will not usually be in sync.

If not then they ought to fire a few of them.... :-)

# Maurits [MSFT] on 12 Dec 2005 3:51 PM:

It seems likely to me that the makers of Good Morning, Vietnam probably looked for an already-made Vietnamese version of an American film rather than making one.

So any mistakes are likely to be "authentic" mistakes. :)

"if they dropped her" sounds like a reasonable translation of "if they passed her up" -- translation of popular media is only partly about literal translations, and is heavily about conveying the "sense" of the words.

No clue on the Chinese translation.

Here's a question... are the French and Chinese translations made directly from the original English, or are they "second-generation copies" of the Vietnamese translation?

And is the English the original English, or is it a re-translation from the Vietnamese?

Anyone have a copy of Beach Blanket Bingo?

# Jonas Grumby on 13 Dec 2005 8:21 PM:

I think "if they let her fall" is a more literal translation than "if they dropped her". Also, it's potentially an idiom beyond my 4 years of French (il y a douze ans). I'm willing to believe that the French translation is correct.

referenced by

2005/12/13 Continuity in the subtitles?

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