Monday, June 18, 2012

Sous titres (subtitles)

This year's French Film Festival recently concluded at the Shang Cineplex. I watched 2 films because I've seen some of the other movies included in the line-up. By some miracle, I persuaded D to give in to my whims. So we watched a romantic comedy that featured several love stories compiled into one film. It was entertaining enough for me NOT to fall asleep as I was really tired for some unexplainable reason.

Before we entered the cinema, I silently told myself I won't read the English subtitles. It was a test for me to understand French even though I haven't spoken it in almost 3 decades. Well, except for a very brief period when I was involved with a guy who spoke the language, it has been 30 years! We were re-assigned to the home office in 1982 after spending 4 years in Brussels, Belgium. I'd have to mention that the French spoken in Brussels is slightly different than the one spoken in France.

So the film starts on a good note, I was able to avert my eyes from the sous titres (subtitles), laughing at the comedic parts and absorbing the dramatic moments. Until one of the characters started talking in quite an animated manner, I got lost in translation. It was quite a disappointing instance. I tried desperately to understand her fast paced conversation but it was hopeless.

I was quite upset about the whole incident, D thought it was funny that I got all riled up over what he says is a trivial manner. I don't think it is funny. It is really sad. I've always felt a sense of accomplishment that I could speak another language other than English and Tagalog. But I guess having no one to speak French with (other than my sister) is a huge factor.

To console myself, I emailed the above mentioned guy and told him about my chagrin. To my utter surprise, he told me and I quote "Actually, Daph I have the same experience with French films. Talking in French is no problem, but when it comes to understanding a film I need subtitles." I couldn't believe it. That statement coming from a person who actually lived in Paris for several years really uplifted my crushed spirits. I am not the only one who needs subtitles. Hurray.

2 comments:

Photo Cache said...

that's how i enjoy my bollywood movies. i always rely on subtitles :)

Daphn3 LaurA said...

Strangely enough although we lived in India for several years, I never learned Hindi. :D

I didn't know you were into Bollywood movies.