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Friday, February 15, 2008

By Any Means Necessary

I try to hit the learning of Spanish on as many fronts as possible. I have to speak Spanish with my girlfriend—unless I would prefer to use Italian or Valenciano. I was at a dinner party the other night with seven other people…all of them Spanish. I only read books in Spanish. I don’t watch the English CNN on the television and suffer through some pretty lousy programming in Spanish all in the name of education. I watch as many Spanish movies as I possibly can but they just don’t make that many. What you can find a lot of are American films dubbed into Spanish.

Watching American movies dubbed into Spanish usually means seeing stuff that I would never bother with in my native language. I have said many times that I can justify sitting through just about any piece of crap movie or TV show if I feel like it is somehow improving my Spanish. A couple of American movies I watched recently in Spanish I wouldn’t have touched with a ten foot pole in English. The Bucket List and No Reservations (Ahora o Nunca and Sin Reservas in Spanish, respectively) are both typical American multiplex fodder. Both of these films are so heavily-reliant on formulas that they were probably written by a Microsoft screenplay software program.

I have to say that I find these sorts of throw-away movies a lot more enjoyable when I see them in Spanish. I guess I am too busy trying to understand every word spoken to worry too much about their incredible predictability. These kind of movies are actually perfect for advanced students of Spanish because their obvious plot developments and routine dialogue make them easier to follow.

I can think of few movies dubbed into Spanish that would be easier to understand for me than Uno de los Nuestros (Goodfellas), not because it is predictable but because I practically know it by heart in English.

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