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The girl with the dragon tattoo: the books and the movies: the original Swedish titles

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What do the original titles really mean?

As many of you have noticed, the Stieg Larsson book series about Lisbeth Salander and her friends have become quite the hype.

Since I know many of y’all out there are very interested in the books and movies, I am trying to put some general information in my blog about it. I will add additional posts as I go forward.

For starters, here are the books/movies and their orginial names in Swedish..

The girl with the dragon tattoo and the original Swedish title

The Swedish title is “Män som hatar kvinnor” which actually translates to “Men who hate women” and nothing else. My own theory is that the popularity concerning Lisbeth Salander became so extreme that the English translation release simply rode on that wave a bit. The English title puts Lisbeth in the center, where as the center of the story is really “Men who hate women”, indeed several of them, and indeed some very substantial hate.

The Girl Who Played with Fire and the original Swedish title

This title is more correctly translated from the Swedish title: “Flickan som lekte med elden”, which actually means “the girl who played with fire”. Nothing much to comment there, really..

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ nest and the original Swedish title

In Swedish, the book is called “Luftslottet som sprängdes”, which directly translated into English becomes “the air palace/castle that exploded”. The words are more of a saying, and a “luftslott”, i.e. palace made out of air, can be compared to a house of cards, i.e. a big, huge building held up by a structure that if hit in the right spot, the whole structure will come down. You who have read this book totally sees the connection here, I hope.

The English title gives a feeling that the girl, i.e. Lisbeth kicked the nest and stirred up some serious agression. Yes, true to some extent, but she didn’t really kick it, did she? Someone else did.. She helped bringing it down though, that’s for sure..

Please comments if you have any thoughts or questions about this.

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