The movie name Lie to me, should be directly translated to 对我说谎. But the Chinese translation is 别对我说谎, which is opposite to the expected translation.

Is this common? When should we opposite the meaning when translating English to Chinese?

  • 1
    It’s common for TV shows/series, movies and film to have wildly different Chinese names. The Chinese names are usually more “flashy” and attention grabbing. It’s likely that a name like 对我说谎 would be too cryptic for a foreign audience to want to watch based off of name alone.
    – Mou某
    Dec 13, 2017 at 7:31
  • 2
    In Hong Kong "House (MD)" was translated as "醫神", 'Six Million Dollar Man'' was "無啟鐵金剛" We rather name a show base on it's content than translate it follow the original English title.
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 13, 2017 at 8:42
  • 1
    Sorry, it was "無敵金剛" , 啟 was a typo and there's no 鐵
    – Tang Ho
    Dec 13, 2017 at 8:58

2 Answers 2


"Lie to Me" sounds like a challenge (feel free to lie to me and I will see through you).

"别对我说谎" sounds like a warning (Never lie to me or I will see through you).

They are not that contrary but actually quite close in this particular context, since both convey the subtext "I will see through you".

In Chinese, "对我说谎" isn't as strong as "Lie to me" in English, unless you say "来,对我说谎" or "对我说谎试试" to stress that it's an imperative sentence. I guess this is why the translator chose 别对我说谎 rather than 对我说谎.


This translation is rendered to cater to the market demand. I think 别对我说谎 can actually draw more eyes on the movie poster. I can't tell the rationale but it is a rhetorical technique.

Besides, 对我说谎 alone makes nonsense since this imperative sentence is not logically reasonable, at least in Chinese context.

In general cases, 对我说谎 is proper.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.