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Author Topic:   Humour VIII
dwise1
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Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 1306 of 1309 (887157)
07-15-2021 6:13 PM


Looked Like Merkel was Getting the Scottish Treatment
Sorry, but I just noticed this and there's no one else to share it with.

In the press meeting with Biden and Angela Merkel, I noticed that her lips did not match the voice we were hearing. I realized that they had just simply cut directly to the interpreter, which is a proper practice and a bit less frustrating than the voice-over method.

It reminded me of some comedy videos done by a Scottish comedienne, Janey Godley, in which she takes press briefings given by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon but she dubs her own dialog over it, filled with a good bit of Scottish profanity (the best kind, though it takes German cursing to open a Mexico City Metro door).

For example, "You were telt":

"Frank, get the door!"

One comment was:

quote:
Whenever I hear Nicola for real now, for a split second I think “she sounds different” and “why’s she not swearing?”

 

 

Notice that Nicola Sturgeon has a signing interpreter. That must cause problems for those who know signing, since what's being signed will be different from the new dubbed dialog. I'm not sure what the sign is for that ever popular Scottish adjective, "f**kin'". Maybe it's similar to what was used in Airplane 2! (Airplane 2 - News according to different countries!):

I have the same problem with all those videos from Downfall where Hitler is viciously chewing out his leading generals who had been shielding him from the reality of their battle losses (To the effect of: "Position this unit here." "We cannot." "Why not?" "They don't exist anymore.").

The original scene is on YouTube at Downfall (2004) - Clip 1: Steiner's Attack

It's been popular to rewrite the subtitles to have Hitler having a temper tantrum of other things, like England at the World Cup, the downfall of the Playstation network, the Watchmen movie ending differently than the book, being denied a gay wedding cake, etc.

I simply cannot watch any of those parodies. Because I know German, I can follow what Hitler is actually saying (only the subtitles are being changed) and so I also know that it's not what the subtitles are saying. When I watch a subtitled show, I am constantly listening to the dialog, reading the subtitles, and comparing the two -- I do that regardless of how meager my knowledge of the language is (eg, Japanese -- when I know nothing about the language it's less interesting, which is why I studied Swedish just so I could better enjoy watching the Millennium Trilogy on Netflix (no longer there, starting with "Män som hatar kvinnor" ("Men Who Hate Women"), AKA "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" -- the Italian translation of the book kept with the original title, so when I saw it in a train station kiosk it took me a couple seconds to realize what it was)). Yes, I do catch when the subtitles do not match the dialog and I treat those as Easter eggs of a sort. However, when none of the dialog matches then I find that disorienting (much like the conflicting reports of your eyes saying you're not moving while your ears say that you are which induces motion sickness). Seriously, it's even worse than Spock using parsecs as a measurement of time!

 

 
ABE:

 

 

There was a book and then a movie, "Er ist wieder da" ("He's Back", though translated into English as "Look Who's Back." Basically, Hitler suddenly appears in Berlin completely healthy, is taken to be a street performer, and a TV "reporter" turns him into a national sensation.

The book was published in 2012 and the movie was made in 2015. I saw it on Netflix, but it's no longer there (nor can I find it anywhere on my Roku search feature). Most of the street scenes are done like Borat, not staged so the social anxieties being expressed to Hitler are real -- that they would open up to Hitler about such fears should be telling. Once Hitler had the nation's attention (on a national comedy show), it was all straight Hitler -- you are all hurtling towards a chasm, only I can see it and only I can save you from it.

Sound familiar? That's exactly what Trump was saying to us. Watching it during the 2016 campaign, I was amazed at how closely it mimicked Trump's campaign, but then I realized that it was filmed long before Trump was saying the same things.

I think that that's known as the "oh FUCK!!!!" moment.

Edited by dwise1, : Not sure what the sign is for ...
Also embedded additional YouTube videos. Shouldn't be any problem for anyone, right?

Edited by dwise1, : ABE


Replies to this message:
 Message 1307 by ringo, posted 07-16-2021 12:49 PM dwise1 has responded

  
ringo
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Posts: 19140
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


(1)
Message 1307 of 1309 (887162)
07-16-2021 12:49 PM
Reply to: Message 1306 by dwise1
07-15-2021 6:13 PM


Re: Looked Like Merkel was Getting the Scottish Treatment
dwise1 writes:

Because I know German, I can follow what Hitler is actually saying (only the subtitles are being changed) and so I also know that it's not what the subtitles are saying.


When Prime Minister Trudeau speaks in Parliament, he does a paragraph in English and then the same paragraph in French. But the interpreter tramples on the French with a translation into English. I feel like yelling at the TV, "I already heard the English! I don't need your second-hand second-rate version."

(One thing that interests me about French-to-English translations is the use of the word "population". French Canadians tend to say things like, "The population likes ice cream," where English Canadians say, "The people like ice cream," and reserve "population for the number of people.)

dwise1 writes:

Yes, I do catch when the subtitles do not match the dialog and I treat those as Easter eggs of a sort.


I have some movies that I downloaded (from possibly questionable sources) that have Portuguese subtitles. I do feel compelled to read the subtitles and it is a bit of a distraction. But I can tell Portuguese from Spanish.

"I've been to Moose Jaw, now I can die." -- John Wing

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1306 by dwise1, posted 07-15-2021 6:13 PM dwise1 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 1308 by dwise1, posted 07-17-2021 3:08 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
dwise1
Member
Posts: 4639
Joined: 05-02-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


(1)
Message 1308 of 1309 (887165)
07-17-2021 3:08 PM
Reply to: Message 1307 by ringo
07-16-2021 12:49 PM


Re: Looked Like Merkel was Getting the Scottish Treatment
(One thing that interests me about French-to-English translations is the use of the word "population". French Canadians tend to say things like, "The population likes ice cream," where English Canadians say, "The people like ice cream," and reserve "population for the number of people.)

Part of the fun does come from each language having its own characteristics, especially when the results don't fit the English.

Part of French is greater use of "on" than English uses "one" (eg, "On ne dit pas .. ", "One does not say ..." whereas we normally say "We/You don't say ... " -- or should I have written "one normally says"?). I have to smile when I keep hearing "on" being used so profusely in a French film. Kind of the same with the use of the reflexive in Spanish (and I think also in Italian) to express the same idea. Kind of reminds me of the German idea of "Heimatsklang" ("the sound of home") which refers to minor effects one's dialect has on how one speaks Standard German (eg, one's accent, the use of certain words or expressions).

The entire familiar/formal pronoun issue is foreign to English so the subtitles get a bit strange when that dichotomy is central to the dialogue. For example, Netflix USA used to have a French rom-com in which a confirmed bachelor was keeping his female-run family at bay (they took a vote and demanded that he get married) by taking in single woman to pose as his fiancée. When his family was present, they used "tu" and as soon as they were alone they reverted back to "vous". Being a rom-com, of course they end up falling in love. During that process they are conversing over dinner and they slip comfortably into "tu", but then they start to disagree and he returns to "vous" -- as I recall, she even makes a comment like, "So, we're back to 'vous' again?" I forget how the translator handled that in the subtitles, but as I recall it was clumsy.

Similarly, there was a Spanish TV show (El ministerio del tiempo) about a secret time-travel ministry in the Spanish government (a lot of the jokes were about bureaucracy and budget problems) who recruits its agents from various time periods. One main character is a 16th-century soldier who now in the 21st century is getting involved romantically (she looks exactly like his 16th-century wife). When he speaks with her, he keeps using archaic polite forms (eg, "Vos"); while doing so on the phone, his 21-century colleague keeps correcting him with "te". The subtitles try to handle that by using the archaic English "thou" and "thee."

Other subtitling issues are when there's a cultural reference that the translator thinks the target audience would not get. For example in one of Jean Dujardin's "OSS 117" movies (the "French James Bond", but the most recent treatments have been 60's spy parodies) his assignment is to deliver a large blackmail payment. When he's told the amount, he asks whether that's in new francs or old francs and it's confirmed to be in new francs. In 1960, France revalued the franc with the new franc (NF) being worth 100 old francs. For a number of years until the old francs had ceased to circulate, both prices would be posted and every time a price would be quoted one would have to specify which franc that's in. The English speaking world could not be expected to know about that obscure bit of recent French history; I only learned about it as a teenager from one of Ian Fleming's Bond novels. So the subtitles just presented OSS 117's question as being his not quite hearing that right.

Speaking of 1960's French spies, have you watched Au Service de la France, on Netflix as "A Very Secret Service"? It's set in 1960 and is filled with cultural references (including "La vache sérieuse" which competed with "La vache qui rit" -- the trademark lawsuit was interrupted by WWII and was finally settled around 1960 (that Wikipedia page exists only in French) ), but mostly it depicts French attitudes of the time. I am still amazed at seeing a secretary touch-typing reports while holding a lit cigarette between her fingers.

And sometimes the translator goes too far. In the third Millennium movie, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest", a female cop admonishes a male colleague for his benighted attitude about women by asking him in Swedish if he's from Jurassic Park, specifically naming that movie. The translator had her asking if he's a caveman. As if nobody in the English-speaking world would ever recognize a reference to Jurassic Park.

And knowing the language can get you strange looks at times. When we saw A Bridge Too Far, I was the only one in the audience who knew what Lt.Gen. Maximilian Schell told Lt.Col. Anthony Hopkins as the latter was finally surrendering at Arnhem, at least until Schell's remark was translated by a staff member. As you will recall, the final bridge for Operation Market Garden was at Arnhem and a British airborne brigade landed there to take and hold that bridge until relieved by XXX Corps, but XXX Corps fell behind schedule getting mired down at Nijmegen. Even worse, there was a Waffen-SS Panzer corps in the area on R&R, so the paratroops were immediately pushed back and their landing zone (LZ) overrun. Since their radios also did not work, they could not report on the situation and so Allied planes kept dropping that units supplies in that LZ and the Germans kept gathering them up.

So in the scene in question, as Schell was accepting Hopkins' surrender, he offers Hopkins a chocolate bar which Hopkins refuses. Schell explains that he can freely accept it since it was from the supplies being dropped by the Allies. I chuckled at that, the only one in the audience to do so, and got some puzzled looks until Schell's statement was translated.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1307 by ringo, posted 07-16-2021 12:49 PM ringo has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 1309 by vimesey, posted 07-18-2021 12:56 AM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
vimesey
Member
Posts: 1249
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011
Member Rating: 6.9


(1)
Message 1309 of 1309 (887167)
07-18-2021 12:56 AM
Reply to: Message 1308 by dwise1
07-17-2021 3:08 PM


Re: Looked Like Merkel was Getting the Scottish Treatment
I do love learning other languages. I've learned French and German, with French being the better for me. (Plus a little bit of Russian). It's something that both expands your mind, and also shows an appreciation and respect for other cultures and people.

(I did in my late teens/early 20s have a French girlfriend for a little while. I spent years waiting to do so, but last year, I finally got to say a line I'd been waiting for ages to say, when explaining to a French shopkeeper that I had a French girlfriend in my youth, then going on to say: "Et avoir une amie Française, c'est quelque chose qui améliore sa langue." Sadly, it didn't work as well as I'd hoped - but I'll try again sometime).


Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1308 by dwise1, posted 07-17-2021 3:08 PM dwise1 has not yet responded

  
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