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What 11 American TV Shows Are Called in Non-English-Speaking Countries

January 8, 2016

When TV shows from the United States are exported to other countries, they usually necessitate a title change—idioms, phrases, or wordplay used in English titles may not make sense if translated directly. The new titles are often very blunt or simplified, or even ruin the show’s big reveals.

What 11 American TV Shows Are Called in Non-English-Speaking Countries

  • Game of Thrones. In Hungary, the fantasy series is known as Tronok Harca: “Throne Fight.”
  • Breaking Bad. In Brazil, audiences were enthralled by the story of a high school chemistry teacher who became a drug kingpin on A Quimica do Mal, or “The Chemistry of Evil.”
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David must be very careful not to accidentally offend anyone on Sweden’s Swimma Lugnt, or “Swim Quietly, Larry.”
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The German version of the cult favorite gives a pretty clear reason for why a teenager girl has to fight all those monsters. It’s called Buffy im Rann der Damonen, or “Buffy is Under the Spell of Demons.”
  • Lost. The mysterious show was about an infernal paradise of sorts. In Hungary, Lost was called Pokoli Eden, or “Infernal Paradise.”
  • Six Feet Under. Direct and to the point: The Russian version of the HBO mortuary-set drama was called Kliyent Vsegda Mertv, or “The Customer is Always Dead.”
  • Who’s the Boss? The 1980s Tony Danza sitcom was exported to Costa Rica as Un Gringo con Mucha Suerte, roughly “The Man is Very Lucky.”
  • The Walking Dead. The title with two meanings doesn’t have a counterpart in Polish, so in Poland the show is called Zywe Trupy, “Living Corpses.”
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. The title in Hungary is very direct, and a little boring. It’s Kaliforniaba Jottem, or “I Came to California.”
  • Scrubs. Now here’s some clever wordplay. The sitcom about young, confidence-lacking doctors was aired in Belgium as Toubib or No Toubib, alluding to Hamlet’s most famous line. In French it means “Doctor, or Not Doctor.”
  • Mad Men. In Serbia, it’s called Ljudi sa Menhetna. That means “People in Manhattan.”
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