Colon Cancer Sucks Ass

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Insomnia, Hypertension, and Subtitles

I had a horrible time getting to sleep again last night, but fortunately there was a "Full House" marathon on Nick at Nite. I really did look for something else to watch, but once you hit 3am, most stations have gone infomercial.

A few days ago I was talking to my roommate Jim about the Scottish dialect. For me, out of all English dialects, it is the most difficult to understand. When I studied in France, my program director was Scottish. I didn't have a problem with him, but we generally spoke in French and he was also fluent in German and Russian so I think his Scottish dialect was a little diluted. When we went to Paris, he invited his aunt and uncle to join us. They were very nice people, I think. While riding the Metro, I had a long conversation with his uncle, but to this day, I have no idea what he was talking about. I just smiled and nodded, trying to pull out any words that I could recognize. That converation was probably the most difficult I had in France. I had less trouble speaking French!

Last night in the midst of my insomnia I turned to a movie on the Sundance Channel. Riff Raff is a Scottish film from 1990. This film is in English with English subtitles. They leave out most of the slang and in some places actually "translate" the dialogue. One of the characters referenced "high blood pressure" and in the subtitles, it was translated to "hypertension." Does anyone else think that's really weird? I know that it can be difficult to understand, but a film in English subtitled for English speakers... and poorly subtitled at that.

It reminds me of a French-Canadian film, Jesus of Montreal, that I watched in college. The film was in French with English subtitles. It became weird when the characters started speaking in English which was subtitled into French which was subtitled back into English. At one point, a character said "cool" which was translated into French as "cool" and then translated back into English as "cool." It's a little bit of overkill.

Sometimes I think it would be nice if we could turn on subtitles for the people around us. If you're tired and don't really want to listen, you could mute them and turn on the subtitles. It would be a nice, quiet conversation. Or if you're just having a hard time understanding someone and you don't want them to have to continue to repeat themselves, turn on the subtitles.

"Itslk a snicker vact!"


"Itslk a snicker vact!"

"I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. Let me turn on the subtitles."

"Itslk a snicker vact!"
It's like a sneak attack!

"Oh, I got it now, but what on earth are you talking about? A sneak attack, pshaw!"

And so it goes...


  • At 12:53 PM, Blogger Kristen said…

    I totally agree! I remember my friend Helen visiting once and she needed to get some "Shih-ruhr jil." It took about 5 minutes of turning that over in my brain to figure out that she wanted shower gel. If only there had been subtitles...


Post a Comment

<< Home