A few years back one of my children introduced me to the glory that was Star War The Third Gathers: The Backstroke of the West.
Now I see that Mark Liberman of Language Log has flagged up this piece by Patrick Shanley for the Hollywood Reporter:
YouTuber GratefulDeadpool has done the unthinkable: He’s made Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith cool.
Using the original Chinese subtitles, which feature multiple lost-in-translation misinterpretations, GratefulDeadpool redubbed the prequel trilogy’s final installment — with hilarious results.
Entitled Backstroke of the West Highlights Part 1 (Star War: The Third Gathers), the recut features such memorable lines as “I has been hating you,” from the villainous Count Dooku, and “The front is a lemon avenue flying straightly,” spoken by Obi-Wan Kenobi while piloting a careening starship.
Dorkly explains the bizarre translations likely “began with a machine translation of the Chinese script to [Revenge of the Sith], which attempted to literally translate from Mandarin to English, despite the multitude of barriers between the two languages.” The end result was great quips, such as “Smelly boy” from General Grievous to Kenobi and “Your dead period arrived, teacher” from a rebellious Anakin Skywalker during his fateful lightsaber duel with his master on Mustafar.
You can view either edited highlights of this semi-accidental masterpiece or the whole thing by following the links in the Hollywood Reporter piece. Back at Language Log, one of the commenters, Jonathan Smith, rightly says that, “This latest editor’s genius was to get voice actors to read it with straight faces.”
However I cannot endorse Mark Liberman’s view when he writes, “I’m skeptical of the machine-translation idea, because I seriously doubt that there has ever been an MT system that rendered “the Jedi Council” as “the Presbyterian Church”.
Doesn’t he know what happens when you say things like that about Star Wars?