Boromir, No Longer a Liar

Anxious days of waiting are finally over for the fans in Japan.

On the release of the video and DVD on September 21st, they found the “fatal mistranslations” in the Japanese subtitles on the FotR movie are not as they had seen in theaters.

“About 85% of the most serious errors are repaired,” says one of the leaders in the movement for better and proper subtitles for FotR, “though it is regrettable some of them are still there.” He is the one who sent a petition with 1281 signatures to Nippon Herald Films Inc., the Japanese distributor.

After such petitions and criticisms from the audience, a notice was posted on the official site in June. It did not contain a single word of apology for mistranslation, and nowhere was expressed any intention to correct the errors, but merely mentioned that the subtitles in DVD/VHS will be revised ‘because the number-of-letters restriction is less strict in these media.’

This traditional euphemism to “save face” of the company and the subtitler made some of the fans very angry and gave others hope. It has turned out that the persons responsible are not blind after all. Frodo in DVD no longer calls Boromir a liar. And Denethor of Gondor is not dead this time.

Still, when you see FotR with revised subtitles, ‘the air is poison gas’ in Mordor, and Boromir on the verge of death says to Aragorn, “I am ashamed” instead of “You did what I could not.” Do you find these translations acceptable?

Now fans in Japan are looking forward to seeing TTT, just as any other fans in the world. But their anxieties wear different colors. (If you are interested, you can find more examples of bad translation here )

written by Herbalist