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I have to admit that I am quite a big fan of the movie “Tango and Cash.” Link points to external site Maybe it’s because of my love to mismatched police duets (in the vein of “Bad Boys” and “Lethal Weapon”), maybe to good action movies, maybe to great music (from Harold Faltermeyer of “Beverly Hills Cop” fame), or maybe it’s just one of those movies from your youth you like just because you grew up on them (for me “Tango and Cash” joins the ranks of such flicks as “RoboCop”, “Ghostbusters 2” or middle parts of “Police Academy”). I guess most likely a little bit of all these reasons.

The idea was born in my head about 10 years ago, when I’ve watched the original Warner Bros. videocassette for a dozen of times, and the movie was first aired by the national television TVP. To my amazement – since I already memorized the best quotes – the translation was completely different. Unfortunately, since I recorded the new version on the old one, I couldn’t compare them, and the idea was abandoned.

However, it was floating here and there and came back for good after the TVN television aired the movie in 2003, with their own, again completely different translation. Alas, I was without the data: I didn’t record that version, and the aforemention cassette has long been overwritten. But soon I managed to find a copy of the TVP version, and later rented both DVD and original VHS editions.

I spent the next couple of days painstakingly typing in the dialogues from all the versions. I still miss the TVN translation, as well as those from HBO and Canal+ (provided they exist) – sadly, none of those television stations answered my requests and questions (let me know if you could help me out). Therefore the project still has the “work in progress” status and planned commentaries and evaluation will have to wait for better times.

Still, I hope that even in this form the comparison will appeal (and in some ways be useful) to everyone interested or living from Polish-English translations, especially – as in my case – of “street American.” If you consider yourself one of these people, feel free to proceed to the first chapter.

Updated in February 2005: Added TVN translation.

Marcin Wichary

Page added on 23rd September 2003, and updated on 6th February 2005.

Copyright © 2002-2005 Marcin Wichary
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