Is it a Game or is it Real? WarGames Quotes in Mandarin

After signing up for MOD (the Taiwanese internet TV service) I discovered that one of the channels, Fox Family Movies, broadcast every movie in both its original language (usually English) and also Mandarin. The rarity of Mandarin dubs in Taiwan (most Taiwanese prefer subtitles) made this a valuable find for a Mandarin student such as myself.

If I’m honest, most of the movies aren’t that good and are of the ‘made for TV’ variety, though every few weeks a gem pops up such as WarGames (Groundhog Day, the Ghostbusters duology and Pixar animations are among other good finds). WarGames was one of my favourite movies as a kid, and as it’s full of so many memorable quotes I thought I’d take this opportunity to pull out the Mandarin versions and see how they translate. If you’re a fan of the movie you’re sure to remember these.

Reproduction Without Sex

First, the classic line that gets David kicked out of class, giving him a chance to discover the latest password to sneak into the school grading system:

Reproduction without sex

Mr Liggett:
無性繁殖概念是誰先提出來的?(无性繁殖概念是谁先提出来的?)
wúxìngfánzhí de gàiniàn shì sheí xiān tí chū lái de?
Who first suggested the idea of reproduction without sex?

David:
你的老婆?(你的老婆?)
Nǐ de lǎopó?
Your wife?

This example is an interesting one as the word order is almost completely reversed in the Chinese translation. A direct re-translation of the Chinese back into English would be “Reproduction without sex idea was who first suggested it?”. Fun 吧?

Greetings

The first time WOPR greets David, incorrectly assuming he’s Falken:

Greetings Professor Falken

你好,法肯教授
nǐ hǎo, fǎ kěn jiàoshòu
Greetings Professor Falkan

Doesn’t have the same ring in Chinese, does it?

Global Thermonuclear War

David innocently asks to play Global Thermonuclear War:

Global Thermonuclear War

來玩全球熱核戰爭好嗎?(来玩全球热核战争好吗?)
lái wán quánqiú rè hé zhànzhēng hǎo ma?
How about Global Thermonuclear War?

Finally I know how to say ‘Global Thermonuclear War’ in Chinese!

Win the Game

WOPR lets David know that it means business:

To Win the Game

David:
什麼是主要目標?(什么是主要目标?)
shénme shì zhǔyào mùbiāo?
What’s the primary goal?
WOPR:
To win the game
贏得比賽(赢得比赛)

Is it a Game?

Possibly the most classic Wargames line:

Is it a game, or is it real?

David:
這是遊戲,還是真的?(这是游戏,还是真的?)
zhè shì yóuxì, háishì zhēn de?
Is it a game, or is it real?
WOPR:
這有什麼差別?(这有什么差别?)
zhè yǒu shéme chābié?
What’s the difference?

The Only Winning Move…

WOPR realises that war is futile:

The Only Winning Move

唯一贏的方法就是不要玩(唯一赢的方法就是不要玩)
wéiyī yíng de fāngfǎ jiùshì búyào wán
The only wining move is not to play

Game of Chess

How About a Nice Game of Chess

要不要來一盤?(要不要来一盘?)
yàobúyào lái xià yīpán?
How about a nice game of chess?

Here the verb to play chess is 下棋, with 一盘 being the quantifier for one game.

It was great to be able to watch one of my favourite childhood movies in Mandarin, and the dub was actually pretty good at that. If I come across any other classics worth quoting I’ll be sure to post them up.

One response to “Is it a Game or is it Real? WarGames Quotes in Mandarin

Comments are closed.