Monday, December 5, 2011

Odd German Way No. 3 - The Nanny Has a Dull Voice

I have finally given up. I will never, NEVER, learn to tolerate the dubbing of TV programs.

First I thought it was just because I didn't understand the language. Now I am starting to understand REAL German programs, but I still cannot follow the American TV series, in which Desperate Housewives or CSI agents speak German. And as it cannot be the language, it must be the fact that I am only concentrating in being annoyed.

As you might guess, in Finland the TV programs are not dubbed. Historically, it has been because it is so much cheaper to use subtitles. But no matter what the reason, I think it has been a good decision.

First of all, it would just sound stupid. As Finland is quite small country, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito and Brad Pitt would probably all have the same voice. And it sounded weird even to hear the Donkey in Shrek to speak Finnish after hearing him with Eddie Murphy's voice.

Secondly, what could be better way to learn a language than to hear it daily on TV (well, being Expat of course, but I guess that is not always an option). Even older generations learn English by watching the Bold and the Beautiful. You can learn some very useful phrases, which are repeated there in regular basis, like "I love you, will you marry me for third time?" or "I'm going to have a baby with my daughters boyfriend".

But back to the situation with the Odd German Way. About a year ago I got really frustrated with this. So, we bought the Unitymedia TV packet, in which you get also some English TV channels. But quite soon the old episodes of Two and Half Men started to repeat themselves on TNT Serie and, unlike my husband, I'm not so interested in current economic situation, that I would like use my evenings watching CNBC.

And then about a month ago there came the last straw: they started dubbing E! Entertainment. Now my friends Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendra and Holly all speak German. Why, WHY?!?!

So, we decided we would invest in Finnish TV programs. Well, they wouldn't need to be Finnish programs (most of those you can see free online), but this was the only way we knew how to get see fresh TV series, which are not dubbed in German. Yesterday we purchased a two week trial period of Finnish service called 'TV Kaista'. In this service, you get a digibox reserved for you in Finland. On this box, all TV programs from all 12 free Finnish TV channels are recorded. The TV programs are saved for four weeks and you can watch them from internet with your own user name and password.

So, now all Finnish TV channels are available for me to watch on my MacBook or on our television via PS3 (finally some use for the PlayStation!). The only minus point here is that you cannot watch them live, but only after the show is over. It is not a problem with TV series, but my husband was a bit disappointed when he realized he wouldn't be able to watch the ice hockey World Cup matches live with Finnish commentary.

And just my luck: yesterday the two week trial period cost 10€, today you get it for free...

P.S. If you were left wondering about the title of this post, I'm referring to the American TV show The Nanny, which is mainly based on the fact that the lead character has a nasal voice and a funny laugh. But in the German version her voice is plain and normal...

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