Monday, August 3, 2009

TV Time

I'm coming clean. One of the things I miss about home -- along with my garden and having a regular paycheck -- is television. I've never been a huge TV watcher and in fact, TV was strictly rationed when I was growing up and we were absolutely forbidden to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings. But every now and then, especially when I'm tired, it's kind of nice to turn on the TV and just enjoy a smartly written comedy or a good thriller.

People keep telling me that watching TV is a good way to improve your language skills so I've tried on and off to get in the habit of watching. But I don't know, I guess I just haven't been willing to make the commitment. Until recently that is, when I noticed that one of the kids had been fiddling with the TV and magically turned on the closed captioning for the hearing impaired. And while my French isn't good enough to understand mumbling cops who use nothing but slang, it is plenty good enough to read the French subtitles. Plus, it turns out that there's a lot of recycled American fare dubbed in French: ER (Les Urgences), CSI (Les Experts), Without a Trace (FBI Portes Disparus) to name a few. Knowing a bit about the characters and the context does help after all. So if you're thinking if I'm spending my evenings sipping fine wines and discussing existentialism, think again. It's more likely than I'm flopped on the couch watching three-year old reruns of David Caruso squinting into the Miami sun. His acting is just bad even with the French voice over but at least I can pretend it's time well spent.

6 comments:

Terry said...

How do you turn on hearing impaired feature? I have tried but w/o success.

Starman said...

My problem is when the character says one thing, but the subtitle says something totally different.

Anne said...

Terry: Sorry but I haven't got a clue. I'm pretty sure it depends upon your TV and your cable provider, though.

Starman: But isn't flagging the difference a sign of progress?

dyana said...

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Dyanadevis
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FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com said...

Or practicing helps too

I like watching english stuff with French subtitles and pestering BF about what each word means.

Am getting quite good at French now!

Steven said...

I dont know if its just me or a more general thing but I find it much easier to hear and understand what is being spoken in French when listening to the radio rather than when watching TV - even with the French sub-titles turned on

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