Fun With The Princess
Tiffany Tang in The Storm Warriors
Last night John and I were watching The Storm Warriors, a beautifully-filmed Chinese martial arts movie with huge doses of awe and splendor. John does not care for dubbed movies, so we were watching it in Cantonese with English subtitles…even though I was trying to do laundry at the the same time.
The characters in the movie would utter some dramatic phrase and John would try to repeat it. Our daughter, sitting a few feet away QQing with her friends on her computer, would burst into gales of laughter. She would come over. John would replay the phrase. She would repeat it. John would try and often fail. She thought this was soooooo funny.
(Cantonese is even harder than Mandarin. )
Ping-Ping had already seen the movie, but she watched parts of it with us. She would give us heads-up. “He good guy.” or “This one go to die.”
It was great fun.
Originally posted to Welcome to Arhyalon
My first experience with subtitles (Outside of the ones for Klingon and Vulcan in the Star Trek films) was about fifteen years ago with a fansubbed anime that a friend lent me. I was miffed at the subs at first, but I grew used to them, and, shortly afterwards, found that I remembered, in the character's voices, English words.
Ironically, as I've started watching more foreign films and learned some Japanese, I don't get that effect anywhere nearly as strongly as I used to.
With the very, very rare exception, just about everything in the world is better in the original language. (Mononoke and the following Ghibli films are generally okay.) The big, glaring exception that I'm familiar with is the Metal Gear Solid games, in which the creator decided a couple games ago that the English voice actors were superior enough that English is now the official audio track.
When I was working on my MA in linguistics, there were two women from Shanghai in my phonetics class. They tried to teach me the tones in their dialect, but apparently I am quite literally tone-deaf; they would say something, have me repeat it, and dissolve into gales of laughter at whatever I'd unintentionally said.
Some of it was gibberish. Other times, he said chicken...which he manages to do a lot. (Especially since there's a Manarin word for chicken and a Cantonese one.)
I did't even try to say anything because I'm already struggling with Mandarin, the idea of taking on Cantonese, too, is daunting. ;-)