Sunday, March 14, 2010

Blast from the past: Spain's TV

Just as nearly all the movies at the theaters are dubbed here, lots of the TV shows are dubbed as well.

Yeah, it's annoying that the mouths don't match up, but the great thing about dubbed American television in Spain is that I get to re-live my childhood/teen years.  They have some current shows, too, but most of the shows that are usually on are from the 90s or early 2000s.  Including:
  • Judging Amy (was sooo excited when I discovered this is on nearly every day here)
  • Diagnosis Murder
  • Early Edition (that show where that guy gets the newspaper a day early)
  • Fear Factor
Also, speaking of tv... of the 32ish channels that we get in my apartment (lots of my friends' places only have 5 or so), one of them is the "aprende inglés" channel... or "learn English".  Anytime you're in the mood for an English lesson, just flip to that channel and wa-la!  It was clear from the start that learning a second (or third, or fourth) language is definitely more important here in Spain than in the US, but the fact that there's an entire channel (1 of 32) dedicated to learning english makes it even clearer.

The kids I teach English to and the kids I help at the women's center have French and English classes in school (and they're not electives...).  One of the girls, Janira, at the women's center (she's 7 or 8) has her science class in English.  In my history of science class at the Complutense, a couple of the required texts are in English.  In the origins of humanity class that I was going to take (but didn't), all of the powerpoints were in English, and all of the readings were in English as well.  Since a majority of the top anthropology research is done by English-speakers, and there aren't many Spanish translations (biological anthropology is a fast-changing field, so the most up-to-date books and articles are in English), it's learned in English.  It seems to just be assumed that by the time you're in a university, you should be able to read and comprehend English at that level.  (When the anthro professor asked if anyone couldn't read in English, only two students raised their hands.  Glad I'm not them...)  

But clearly, you would never show up to an anthropology or history class at UW and have required readings in Spanish or French, for example.  Just goes to show the influence the US (and UK) have over Spain: non-English speaking countries learning English rather than us learning theirs.*

*Though I realize learning Spanish has picked up recently, at least in our district - they're starting to teach it in elementary school rather than waiting until middle school.  But still, there's a whole lot more English/US culture in Spain than Spain in the US.  That's for sure.

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