Monday, December 10, 2007

Books? You mean scripts, right?

Apparently the publishers of the Harry Potter series had to change the titles of the books in America because they feared that people wouldn't be able to understand some of the more difficult words. Those zany Americans. What will they think of next? Government sanctioned torture? Ya big kidders.

First of all they had to change Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone because no-one could rightly say what a philosopher was. Who can blame em! Instead, they decided to call it Harry Potter and The Guy Who Thought About A Lot Of Stuff's Stone. Well, that's much more descriptive! Publishers 1, Stupid Kids Nil.

Then you've got that romping epic Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Goblet? What the hell is that? Isn't that the bit of a chicken you throw away? What idiot would go around causing spot fires with chicken goblets? Luckily they managed to shuffle a few things around with the title guys and came up with the much more arresting title of Harry Potter and the Big Gulp of Fanta. Such canny product placement! You'd hardly even notice it. Man I feel like a Fanta.

But who would have thought they needed to change Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? Surely everyone knows what a prisoner is? Anyway, apparently that one needed to be changed to Harry Potter and the Unlawful Enemy Combatant of Azkaban. I assume that there was some legal reason for doing so, but it's all a bit over my noggin to be honest.

Although there are a lot of naysayers suggesting that this strategy of 'lowest common denominator' is counter productive to the intellectual growth of our kids, I'm all for language rebranding. After all, the argument suggesting that a person's vocabulary suffers from coddling is flawed.

I would point out all the reasons why this is so, but I've really got to dash. Im cing m8s 2nite 4 phun or sumthing LOL.


Jo said...

I'm halfway through 'Boy With Glasses Does Satan's Bidding For Yuks'.

It's a bit slow.

kiki said...

i like it how 'spunk' in australia and north america refers to dudes like us, Davey
whereas over in sunny england it refers to something completely different

eleanor bloom said...

*wonders what 'spunk' means in England & considers changing own definition*

er, ha ha..?

Anyway, that's really depressing news. Guess the yanks want their kids to be like their great leader.

The Blakkat said...

Mmmmmm... Fanta. They butchered 'The Castle' apparently as well, not to mention they had to do their own version of 'The Office' Too English, didn't get it.

Rosie said...

their version of The Office is genius though... "There's something just not right - about Dwight"

anything that encourages kids to read at all can't be too bad, right?

kiki said...

is rosie saying that the american office is better than the british?

davey said...

Can't admit to having seen the yank version. To be honest, it's all a bit too cringe worthy for my sensibilities anyway. Any form of social uncomfortability and I'm hiding behind a pillow. I'm told that in some cultures it's considered manly so I'm not too fazed.

Blakkat -- Are you telling me there's an American version of the Castle?? Erm... how?? Last time I checked there was no Bonnydoon in America. And I checked like, yesterday.

Rosie said...

not better, but as good.

(scared of incurring kiki's wrath)

The Blakkat said...

I remember seeing that 'The Castle' was playing at a cinema in Atlanta when I was there in '99 - but what I heard is that some ockerisms were changed because the yanks wouldn't get them. As to the 'how' they actually did this, I don't know. Maybe some American actors did a voiceover with a bad Australian accent? It's certainly possible, anyway.

davey said...

'The wrath of kiki', is that not another Harry Potter title?

Blakkat, I'm just going to pretend that I never heard that they may have dubbed the Castle in the states. It's one of my favourite movies. I'm really not sure I would ever recover having heard the immortal line "It's not a house, it's a home" morphed into some justification of owning a crib or something.

kiki said...

the wrath of kiki is also known as pol pot's reign in cambodia

Mars said...

ha. i wouldn't be scared of kiki's wrath. i've said it before, and i'll say it again... the american version of the office is AS GOOD as the british.


the dwight/gareth chatacter is comparable... as is the david/michael. dawn is marginally better than pam, and tim is deifinitely better than jim. but over all... both are fully excellent versions, in my opinion.

kiki's just not as open minded as the rest of us...!

kiki said...

i think "more intellectual" is the correct terminology

Milly Moo said...

These comments are all worthy of being put "Straight into the pool room."

Ah, 'How's the serenity...'

Ariel said...

The North American inability to adapt to differences in other cultures, even ones as remarkably similar/imitative as the UK and Australia, is ridiculous. Imagine if they started dubbing The OC or Friends (both obsolete, I know, but let's pretend they dub the re-runs) so we Australians could understand it? Like, they'd have to change the name of 'Central Perk' becuase we don't live in New York so we wouldn't get the Central Park thing.

Ah, cultural supremacy's a bitch, ain't it?

Oh, and the English Office kicks the US Office's arse. Tim and Dawn over Jim and Pam anyday ... and Ricky Gervais over Steve Carrell, hands down.

Steph said...

I was watching some doco on Discovery the other night, and I noticed that the Australians all had subtitles when they spoke, and it's not like they were huge Ockers either, one guy sounded more like a kiwi/Pom.

Americans,bless 'em. All gotta be spoon fed.

River said...

You're kidding, right? They didn't really change those titles? Please tell me this was a tongue in cheek post.

davey said...

Tongue firmly in cheek River.