I just saw the movie, and I can’t understand why it has this title.

First of all, A whale is not a fish! Is the word translated as “fish” used for all swimming animals? Even if that’s the case, any idea why the movie producers would use a patently incorrect translation?

And a begonia is a small herbaceous plant, that in no way resembles a big tree. I think the big flowering tree is what the title is supposed to refer to, as one of the items on the Blu-Ray (a supplemental feature or a song; I don’t recall) gave it as Big Fish and Chinese Blooming Crabapple. I’ve tentatively identified it as Malus spectabilis. So, what’s all the talk about begonias?

  • 1
    A whale is a fish in many languages, because it looks like a fish and swims like a fish. For example: Chinese 鯨, Vietnamese voi, Malay ikan paus. In Thai too AFAIK. Even in English we have jellyfish and starfish...
    – 范阮煌
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 2:11

1 Answer 1


lost in translation lah :(

according to wiki: the main actress is a fairy in charge of begonia (掌管海棠花)

the main actor, he change into "鯤" a legendary big marine creature, its body is more than several thousand chinese miles long (鯤之大・不知其幾千里也).

"big fish" is a good enough name for such marine creature.

anyway, it's an anime for children, need to have a simple, easy to comprehend name, for both the local & foreign kids.

have fun :)

  • I wonder if that’s a pun or wordplay? Google shows that 鯤 can mean "sea monster" or "young of fishes",fry,whitebait. The soul turned into a tiny baby Red Dolphin, and would grow into a giant.
    – JDługosz
    Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 0:23
  • i don't think so: dict.revised.moe.edu.tw/cgi-bin/cbdic/… the second explanation :) Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 1:18
  • I like the "lah" Commented Oct 4, 2019 at 4:38
  • What does “I don't think so” refer to?
    – JDługosz
    Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 2:32
  • it refers to “a pun or wordplay” Commented Oct 7, 2019 at 11:55

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