Margaret Marks has a fascinating entry explaining that the translation of the “Suntory scene” in Lost in Translation has a crucial error in the director’s first speech to Bill Murray: “As if you are Bogie in Casablanca, saying, ‘Cheers to you guys,'” should read “…saying, ‘Here’s looking at you, kid!'” After discussing the “brilliant translation” of the Casablanca line into Japanese, she moves on to the much-praised, exceedingly famous translation into German, “Schau mir in die Augen, Kleines,” which she considers “condescending, self-centred, jokey, and completely lacking in romance.” I have to agree with her.
It’s particularly amusing, by the way, that the director’s line immediately before turning to Bill Murray is:
DIRECTOR (in Japanese to the interpreter): The translation is very important, O.K.? The translation.
And it’s interesting that the film’s title is apparently not translated into German (“Schlechtes Dolmetschen in Lost in Translation”). Is it common practice not to translate English-language titles? Or was this one considered peculiarly untranslatable?