Lost in [PT] Translation (#1): Star Wars: The Plurals Strike Back

Today I’m inaugurating a new blog section, delving in matters of translation into and/or from Portuguese. It will serve as an opportunity to discuss matters of translation and comparative translation, especially in the realms of media and culture (get ready for a lot of geeky posts about my favourite TV shows/films)!

For today’s installment, I couldn’t think of a better topic than the hype surrounding the new Star Wars film, The Last JediWhen the film’s title was first announced, on January 23rd last [1], I immediately assumed that it referred to a singular Jedi, namely Luke Skywalker, but more shrewd observers wondered whether the Jedi in the title was singular or plural (since Jedi can be both singular and plural) [2].

Given the secrecy surrounding the film, how could a translator working on this title know how to translate it into an inflected language where the rest of the sentence fragment – the definite article The and the adjective Last – could potentially give away these plot points?

©StarWars.com / Disney / LucasFilm
The Last Jedi title card, courtesy of StarWars.com

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