Terrifically terrible: the only enjoyable bad translation courtesy of Deadpool

Comic-based movies are ruling the box office, including Deadpool 2, the sequel for Marvel’s manic mercenary who loves breaking the fourth wall almost as much as saying “chimichangas.” But have you heard of the great lengths creators and publishers will go to reach their audience – sometimes using terrifically terrible translations for comedic effect?

Meet Masacre, the Mexican merc who transformed himself into the south-of-the-US-border version of his idol, Deadpool. He first makes an appearance in volume 4 #3.1, a self-contained issue that was originally published in Mexican Spanish. Imagine the surprise of diehard Deadpool fans when this entirely-español book was pressed into their hands at their weekly Wednesday pull. There was no explanation in the issue, at least in English. Deadpool simply introduces his Mexican counterpart on the first page in perfect Deadpool style, quipping – roughly translated – “Do you understand what I’m saying? I bet most of you don’t. Which means I can say whatever I want, right? Fantastic.” This confusion led fans to the forums, where some lamented why they had learned French in high school, and others contemplated popping the Spanish speech balloons into Google Translate.

Luckily for these deflated fans, Marvel published an English translation of this issue five months later. But the creators did not entrust the task to professional translators. Instead they tried out some of Deadpool’s trickery and used an internet translation site, calling the issue “Masacre #1: Presented for the first time in BADLY TRANSLATED ENGLISH.” This leads to some humorous exchanges in some of the bloodiest panels (“I have glass in the buttocks.”), which makes it difficult to take the story seriously. But that’s exactly this antihero’s MO.

So if you’re trying to elicit a couple of chuckles from your audience, know that even superheroes have reached out to translation fails for laughs. Otherwise, probably best to leave it to Supertexters. Face masks optional, grammar vigilantism a given.

Image Credit Didit Putra Flickr (CC BY 2.0)


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