French ‘Barbie’ Poster Tells Us What Ken Really Does When He Undresses Her

The French loosely translated the tagline of the film to, ‘She knows how to do everything. He just knows how to...’
French ‘Barbie’ Poster Tells Us What Ken Really Does When He Undresses Her

Much like an eight-year-old boy, the French won’t let the absence of genitals stop them from making Barbie and Ken fuck.

For some strange reason, the country that gave the art of cinema such giants as Jean-Luc Godard and Agnès Varda also contributed a bizarre tradition to the international movie market — every time an American movie studio plans a French release for a film, the French translate the titles and poster copy into strange phrases that confound and delight movie buffs on both sides of the Atlantic. For instance, the French think The Hangover is called Very Bad Trip, and Cool Runnings is actually Rasta Rocket — though they might be onto something with the latter.

Unfortunately, the upcoming mononymous movie Barbie leaves little to be lost in translation, which is why French importers interpreted the tagline “She’s everything, he’s just Ken” into a double entendre that can be loosely translated into, “She knows how to do everything. He just knows how to fuck.”

The clean interpretation of the tagline, “Elle peut tout faire. Lui, c’est juste Ken,” simply means, “She can do everything. He’s just Ken.” However, in France the word “ken” is slang for “fuck,” since the French famously have so few ways to describe sex. 

The Hollywood Reporter detailed the linguistics at play in the indecent idiom, noting how a French marketing professional shot down the suggestion that the double entendre was the unintentional result of a high-school-level-French-speaking American intern poorly executing on their assignment. “It’s definitely deliberate; there’s no way a French speaker wouldn’t have noticed the dirty pun,” the unnamed executive said. “It’s sort of genius, really, that they slipped that in.”

Pretty sure Ken’s the one slipping it in there, Frenchie.

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