Dating back in 1979, the first alien movie appeared. The translation of the Alien movie was done in Hungarian, Yugoslavian and Polish and referred to as the eighth passenger. This stood for a stranger and extraterrestrial meaning in the linguistic articulation. In Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian, the term Alien was translated as osmi punik and in Slovenian the translation was osmi potnik whereas in Macedonian the translation was osmiot patnik. This caused variations in translations of the alien. The Macedonian fans had dissenting views and raised eyebrows on the translations and did not care much for the movie.
The long standing linguistic difference of the translations were evident in Albania, Bulgaria, Czech, Slovakia and the former USSR countries. The controversy of translation ensued among the Yugoslavians due to their view that the alien covenant was outdated. The controversy further boiled over when the alien movie was viewed by some as a carrier for a cat being
comfortably boarded on the spaceship. This was in itself not true as the alien was not considered as the eighth passenger. Apart from the cat in the movie controversy in the western Balkans, people grew to refer to the cat as six humanoids and a single android.
A huge debate on the science fiction of the alien movie was evident among the Yugoslavians which affected their culture and translations beyond reasonable doubt of science fiction and analogies. For instance, osmi putnik popularity was the best known song translated as glasno, glasnije. The political class also referenced their ideas, put them into translations in comparison to what was in the movie which termed the eighth passenger in rather unpalatable terms in the ruling party’s exit.
We do hope that the new addition to the Alien movie, Alien Covenant, can be translated correctly for every language in the West Balkans and won’t get lost in translation.
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