I mentioned in an earlier entry the translation of the director’s words in the film ‘Lost in Translation’. Actually, it was originally posted in the New York Times:
bq. With wholehearted feeling, slowly, look at the
camera, tenderly, and as if you are meeting old friends, say the
words. As if you are Bogie in “Casablanca,” saying, “Cheers to you
guys,” Suntory time!
Chris Durban in the ITI Bulletin (not online) quotes a later letter in the New York Times from Manako Ihaya, an ATA member in California, explained that even here something went wrong.
The famous line in Casablanca, ‘Here’s looking at you, kid’ is translated into Japanese as something like ‘Cheers to your eyes’ (Kimi no hitomi ni kanpai). This is regarded as a brilliant translation and it is this to which the director in ‘Lost in Translation’ refers. Bob was to imitate Bogart saying ‘Here’s looking at you, kid,’ not ‘Cheers to you guys’.
I think I should have guessed this.
Another thing: the meaning of the English is something like ‘I drink a toast to your looks’. So it sounds as if the Japanese really is a good translation. But the German version, equally often praised as brilliant and almost as well-known in Germany as ‘Dinner for one’ is ‘Schau mir in die Augen, Kleines’ (Look into my eyes, little one). I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: condescending, self-centred, jokey, and completely lacking in romance. But famous.
A Google search will show thousands of uses of this hackneyed sentence. Here’s even a sermon (in German) based on this misconception. To which I can only say, ‘My brother is a hairy man, but I am a smooth man’.