Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Thank you, Dave Addey, and your Typeset in the Future blog! I haven’t been served up so delicious a serving of Alien minutia in a long time!

I swear, I thought all that crap about the “Weyland-Yutani” corporation was just jibber-jabber made up to fill the pages of tech-spec books, that it wasn’t even thought of until the third or fourth movie in the series, but there it is, plain as day on one of the ship displays in the Act One, Scene One of Alien:

(Credit for all images to David Addey, TypesetInTheFuture.com)

If you ever wondered why Ripley wasn’t able to shut off the self-destruct mechanism in the first Alien movie:

Ripley follows the French instructions with her finger, not the English ones from before … And this is where it all goes horribly wrong.

Let’s take a look at those French instructions in more detail:

Poussez le NUCLEAR BOLT CODE No 1
Vérifier CRAMPON de L’ACHEMENT
Exécutez INSERTION/BOULON No 1 a la cale No 1
Vérifier SÉCURITÉ du SOMMET NUCLEAR
Vérifier SÉCURITÉ du SOMMET NUCLEAR
Vérifier la DETONATION ACTIVE

Hmm … something something “NUCLEAR BOLT” … something something “SÉCURITÉ” … it certainly sounds plausible. But how do these compare to the English instructions we verified the efficacy of earlier?

For the first three steps, all is bon. But from instruction four onwards, things take a definite turn for the worse.

Thanks to this truly awful piece of translation, Ripley fails to abort the detonation process in time, and the five-minute countdown to total detonation continues …


all is bon | 7:48 pm CDT
Category: entertainment, movies, play
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