Looking for a fluent French speaker to help guage how serious this situation is

I was watching the series Lupin on Netflix the other night, had the audio on the original French with English subtitles.
One of the characters asked his son if he liked this book he’d given him.
His son said: “Oui c’est tres bon”
The subtitles said: “Yeah it’s awesome!”

As very much a non fluent speaker of French, I’d translate this as “yes it’s very good”.

How wrong am I? And/or how wrong is the given translation?

Please help.


On The Queen’s Gambit, at one point, the lead actress says the word “fucking” yet it was not included in the subtitles.

I was outraged.

Le chat est sur la table!


Depends on the context. I.e how excited/enthusiastic did they sound?

Tres bon does not mean awesome though, you are correct. Formidable would be a good translation of awesome, kids might be more likely to say genial I reckon.

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Fin text

he didn’t seem very excited but he’s your typical glum teenager so I guess the fact that he was saying something positive at all suggests he was pretty fuckin enthusiastic.

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They probably got an American to do the subtitles

If you are looking for a word for word translation do it your fucking self!


I used to work with a guy whose French wife worked as a translator/subtitler for French to English tv and film. She didn’t like swearing so removed it all. I was kind of surprised no one seemed to mind.

could you get in touch and find out her take on this please?

Pretty sure he’s saying ‘yes I like sweets’

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Could write an essay on this but the tl;dr is essentially

  • Netflix don’t pay subtitlers enough and I doubt they give them enough time to do the best job so you’re never gonna get something perfect
  • subtitles are there to help people follow what’s going on and if you managed to follow what was happening then the subtitles are fine
  • they’re subtitling for a global English-speaking audience so some turns of phrases aren’t going to sound local or natural to UK viewers

Watching Evangelion was a head fuck enough but doubly so when I started to dig in to the translation choices, which differ between the dub, the subtitles and the original subtitles from it’s first run in the west:

Japanese Fans, Official Translator Weigh in on Netflix Evangelion English Subtitle Debate - Interest - Anime News Network.

Don’t know if any Japanese speakers here (@wileycat ?) can weigh in on the like / love issue.


The last line of End of Evangelion used to cause so many online arguments as well, because it could be translated as either “how disgusting” or “I feel sick”.

The unofficial fansubs that circulated that used one translation, the official version used another.

Didn’t help that it took years to come out in the west, so lots of fans had seen a fansub, or how absolutely open to interpretation that scene / most of the back end of the film was anyway.




To answer your actual question, “awesome” is OK as a translation for “trés bon” if it’s like the American way of saying “ossum”, I’d probably translate it as “great” but I’m British and Netflix probably want their subtitles to err on the side of American. Teenagers don’t say “very good” so it would have been jarring to read that as a translation.

Here’s a fun thing I used to do with subtitles.

You remember back when people pirated movies and TV shows etc. and if you wanted subtitles, you’d have to download the right .srt file for it? Well those srt files are just regular plain text. Sometimes back in uni days if we were planning on watching a film in a foreign language, I’d find random sentences if the file and add “, you twat” or “, you fucking idiot” onto the end and do my best not to crack up laughing before for that moment in the film arrived.


yeah this makes sense, thanks.

interested in this. for a shitty netflix series that I probably won’t bother finishing the first season of, fine. but for something a bit more high end, do you think the writers would see it this way? ridiculous example but you wouldn’t apply this logic to King Lear would you? maybe you would idk.