Blogs in this series

Life in Culebrón is a disconnected series of pieces about the banal and ordinary of everyday life in an inland Alicante village seen from my very British perspective.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

The language of Angels

Despite my best efforts none of my students would ever be confused with a native English speaker. It's the same for me. Try as I might, when I speak Spanish, I sound like an English person mispronouncing Spanish with the wrong cadence. Lots of Britons around here complain that, when they say something, in Spanish, to a Spaniard, they get a blank look but that, when they eventually get through and ask the Spaniard to repeat the offending word or phrase it sounds exactly the same, to them, as what they originally said.

Most of us are, apparently, deaf to some sounds and incapable of reproducing others.

We went to see a French film last night called Historias de una indecisa in Spanish or, originally, L'Embarras du choix, in French. It was a nice, enjoyable, light romantic comedy; very French with lots of style and even more eating and drinking.

One of the characters was supposed to be Scottish; in reality the actor was English. Either way the man knows how to speak English. I can't work out from the French trailers on YouTube whether he spoke French on the original French soundtrack or not. He does speak English on the French trailers.

In the version we saw, dubbed into Spanish, everyone speaks Spanish, including the Scottish character. There are some sections in English. At least they purport to be English. They are what the Spanish dubbing artists suppose to be English. I would have been hard pressed to understand them save for the Spanish subtitles. The pronunciation was risible, alarming even but the total effect was remarkably amusing. It reminded me of that scene in the Steve Martin remake of the Pink Panther where he is trying to say "I would like to buy a hamburger".

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