Spider-Man: No Way Home – A Missed Easter Egg in Hungarian

In focus: Spiderman

It is a fact that Spider-Man: No Way Home was one of the biggest box-office hits in 2021. Since the premier last December, a whole lot of articles and reviews have surfaced on multiple forums across the Internet that tell us their take on the picture.

Since Hunnect is a Language Service Provider, we would like to point out one small aspect of Tom Holland’s third stand-alone Spider-Man movie that is related to our profession. And also, we do not want to spoil any plot points for those who haven’t seen the film yet (if it was possible to avoid it) but would very much like to in the future.

In order for it to make sense for everyone, we need to say a few things about Spider-Man in the comics and in the movies, but we promise that we will not go full geek, so everyone will understand this small missed easter egg for the Hungarian audience (even if you do not know anything about Spider-Man or do not speak a word of Hungarian).

Many people know Peter Parker’s (Spider-Man’s) catchphrase that “with great power comes great responsibility” as it comes up often in the comics as well as in the films (about Spider-Man). The Hungarian translation is the equivalent (which reads: “A nagy erő nagy felelősséggel jár”), so there is nothing interesting there. However, the original catchphrase, that was written by Stan Lee in the Amazing Fantasy #15’s last panel, has a slightly different wording: “…with great power there must also come — great responsibility!” The Hungarian translation of this can be found in the Hihetetlen Pókember 2014/1 annual published by Kingpin Kiadó, and it conveys the meaning of the original English by using a slightly different wording which makes the translation a little longer character-wise (…a nagy erővel… nagy felelősség is jár!”). As you may know when the space for a translation is limited (like in the case of software strings, comic book bubbles or movie subtitles) the experts might need to shorten their translation to fit into the specified textbox, field, or space, so in Hungarian translations of comic books it is common solution to apply the shorter translation of this catch-phrase in order not to leave out other details that would be of paramount importance to the story.

It must be because of these limitations that the dubbed and subtitled Hungarian versions of No Way Home contain no distinction between the two versions of the catch-phrase. During the movie, the first appearance of this is the originally worded version, the “there must also come” one, and then they repeat the phrase with the shorter (the more commonly known) one. In Hungarian they are both translated the same way in this film, hence a small easter egg is lost in translation. But in this case, it would have been nice to differentiate them since it was probably an intentional decision by the authors to use both versions as it lets the audience know “who is really home” in this cinematic universe.

Of course, we are not saying that the translator made a mistake; on the contrary, they followed the catch‑phrase’s most commonly used (a.k.a. legacy) translation, which means that the person was an utterly professional linguist. We just point out this small nuance in order to show that there’s a bit more under the surface for the Hungarian audience.

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