Movies about Translation & Interpreting


I do not understand why there are few movies about translation and interpreting. Indeed, every translation is a kind of new adventure for the translator. You are always alone with your text. There are only dictionaries, language forums and the e-mail addresses of a couple of friends. Once you open your text, you enter in a completely (almost completely let’s say) new world. Especially if you are a freelance translator, the text may be about anything. When you finish translating, you learn many things about that subject. Sometimes, only one unknown word may teach you a whole concept. You have to search many wikipedia-wise websites to learn about the concept so as to translate the word. Even this process of searching can make a movie 🙂 On our Facebook page, we started a discussion on the movies  about translation. We got results but they are really few:

1. Lost in Translation: This is the best known movie in this area.

2. The Interpreter: It highlights the dangerous part of interpreting.

3. The Translator: One of the friends said this but I could not find a decent information about it.

4. Plus One: A Russian friend said it is Russian movie about translation.

If you know more, you can let us know 🙂

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7 responses to this post.

  1. The woman with the five elephants is a good one:)


  2. Posted by Margarita Nadales on November 10, 2011 at 03:35

    A French movie : Je l´aimais, directed by Zabou Breitman, Daniel Auteuil leading actor, 2009, recently exhibited in Buenos Aires ( Argentina). Pierre tells his daughter-in law about his love story with Mathilde, ( French interpreter in China). Although the focus is on the romantic story, her role as interpreter is clearly shown, (emphasis set not only on languages differences but cultural ones)


  3. El Pasado, by Hector Babenco (Argentina 2007), with Gael García Bernal. The protagonist of the film is an interpreter and translator.


  4. Posted by Paulo Montes on November 11, 2011 at 16:48

    Tradurre, by Pier Paolo Giarolo.
    It’s a documentary about translation.


  5. Posted by Sarah on November 15, 2011 at 05:08

    The Translator is a book by Daoud Hari. I don’t think it has been adapted as a movie, though it would really be worth it.


  6. I don’t know if anybody’s mentioned this one, but “Judgment at Nuremberg” portrays the beginnings of simultaneous interpretation very clearly. It is a very good movie to watch, not just for its general historical value, but for the historical value for interpreters as well.


  7. Posted by Lars R. Larsen on January 13, 2012 at 21:50

    Hi, was looking for a (perhaps) russian movie abouttwo guys who try to avoid being sent to a slave camp by pretending that they are about to produce a translation machine, and stumbled upon your blog. I have the following link for you:ètes_de_conférence_de_fiction

    Best greetings – and if you know the movie, please send me the references.


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