Phrase Origin: Do Not Want

The phrase “Do not want” is one of endless amusement, now spoken often in my department when referring to anything bad or…well…unwanted. The phrase is brilliantly humorous and more so now that I know its accidental origin.

But where did this epic phrase come from? I found out yesterday that I had inadvertently blogged about the origin without even realizing it in titled Star Wars, Backstroke of the West. As I mentioned in my previous post, this was Star Wars Episode III recorded in theater, dubbed in Chinese, then subtitled in English off the Chinese dubbing…thus resulting in truly hilarious phrases, such as “Like, reach the man, Good good good let us counter-attacking.”; “The Presbyterian Church like enjoys you not.”; and of course: “Do not want”.

This gem that I’m focusing on in this post occurs when Anakin Skywalker – clad in his Darth Vader garb – learns of Padme’s death. In Episode III he yells: “Noooooooooooooooooooooooo!”, however, the skillfully done translation of the Chinese dubbing to English resulted in the beloved phrase: “Do not want.”

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Beautiful. The world has seen this phrase’s real-world usefulness and has embraced it with open arms producing high-end content like the lolcats at I Can Has Cheez Burger:

DO NOTÂ WANT

Star Wars, Backstroke of the West

Engrish. Gotta love it. It seems that there is a copy of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith floating around on DVD that is a recording from the theater when it aired. As luck would have it, it was dubbed to Chinese, then had English subtitles placed across the bottom. The great news? Well, the english subtitles were translated from the Chinese. The results are hilarious. Check out this article to see the images.

Its also nice to see that General Grievous calls Anakin a “Smell boy” and threatens to feed dog to his troups. We also see extreme battle strategy infused lines like: “Like, reach the man, Good good good let us counter-attacking.” and “You two careful he is big.” And one of my favorites: “The Presbyterian Church like enjoys you not.”

Here are a few rough translations:

Troops becomes Troopseses
Premonitions becomes Pregnancy
Jedi Council becomes Presbyterian Church
They’re all over me becomes He is in my behind

Check out my Backstroke of the West photo set on Flickr.