Saturday, June 09, 2007

Suds duds

Vile TV is currently showing an absolutely fantastic soap opera from two years back called Friska, a Dynasty type extravaganza following the fortunes of two rival families over the course of fifty years which has got me enthralled. It's got some brilliant acting, terrific music and wicked story lines and - even better - it uses the same actors for the main roles, meaning that we watch a 50 year old man 'mature' over the span of half a century into a 50 year old man. All the classic markers of age are rolled out including: pigtails to indicate youth (on a middle aged woman), jumpers swung over shoulders and petulance to indicate youth (on a middle aged man) and very high waisted men's swimming trunks to indicate the Nasser years. The best thing about is its use of documentary footage of Nasser abdicating, and Sadat in the Knesset and old newspaper headlines from the era: it's like a fun history lesson.

This being Vile TV, the second best thing about it are the subtitles which are as entertaining as the soap opera, mostly because the translators seem to use a dictionary of 1950s American idioms for the more colourful language. I have been watching avidly and have thus far noted three corkers which I share with you here:

Actual dialogue: Fekra heyla!
Meaning: Great idea!
Vile TV translation: Hot dog!

Actual dialogue: Ya ibn el kalb!
Meaning: You son of a bitch!
Vile TV translation: You s.o.p!

Actual dialogue: [said to man very clearly asleep, mouth open and snoring] Enta saa7ey ya Riyad?
Meaning: Are you awake, Riyad?
Vile TV translation: Are you up, Riyad?

13 comments:

Seneferu said...

Hot dog! Tayeb where did the translator get that one?:) Its muse is disproportionate with that of s.o.p. at least.

Forsoothsayer said...

the last one wasn't too whack...but a whole blog could be created for nile tv translations. M is using it to learn arabic. he must be baffled.

Amnesiac said...

The last one I agree isn't hugely comical, but it is odd to ask someone comatose whether they are up or not given that up means out of bed and not awake.

Hence in my parents' house my father would always ask the question 'is your mother awake yet Amnesiac?' (at 2.30 pm) to which my answer would be 'she's awake but not up yet.'

Forsoothsayer said...

i often use up for awake...am sure lots of peeps do also.

a librarian said...

'up means out of bed and not awake' ... very true! I've often spoken to people shortly after they've got up who've claimed not to be awake yet.

Amnesiac said...

Ha ha Dad.

Forsooth: But think about the meaning of the word: 'up.' Up as in up and out of bed.

Basil Fawlty said...

You know what's just as funny, if not funnier? American TV taking the swear words out of commercial movies and redubbing them with innocuous alternatives. The famous one is 'Forget you' instead of 'fuck you' but there are others that are more ridiculous.

I'll post a selection tonight.

Basil Fawlty said...

Also, when I was growing up (which could be anywhere from 1975 to the present day), there was a show called 'Street Hawk' about a renegade cop riding a super motorcycle. The TV announcers would ALWAYS refer to it as 'Shari3 Hawk' (Hawk Street).

zzzz said...

you british have a reputation for being boring, there's no need to give us more proof

Amnesiac said...

Basil: Shari3 Hawk! Fantastic. And I didn't know about forget you.

Amnesiac said...

You know zzzz I’ve been thinking
On what you said:
Uncontrovertibly,

Absolutely. You are
Right,
Exactly right with your slight,

As

The British are indeed bores and while we’re at it their women are all
Whores
Abandon hope all ye who enter here
Time will stand still for all eternity.

Sam said...

Actual dialogue: Fekra heyla!
Meaning: Great idea!
Vile TV translation: Hot dog!

Actually he prolly has some friends from southern texas and they use "Hot diggity dog" all the time :)

Actual dialogue: Ya ibn el kalb!
Meaning: You son of a bitch!
Vile TV translation: You s.o.p!

Maho inta mish wakhid balak, son of a Peech sa7 3ashan howa mish 3arif el far2 mabein B "khafeefa" we B "T2eela" WTF IS UP WITH THAT? B KHAFEEFA AND T2EELA!?


Actual dialogue: [said to man very clearly asleep, mouth open and snoring] Enta saa7ey ya Riyad?
Meaning: Are you awake, Riyad?
Vile TV translation: Are you up, Riyad?

It's a known medical fact that most men when they wake up have erect penises therefore "Are you up" is the correct phrase, his wife prolly wants to know if he's going to have morning sex before breakfast :)

Maxxed`ouT said...

In "you've got mail", "did you have cyber sex?" was translated into
هل ضاجعتيه الكترونياً؟

this was arguably the funniest i have ever heard in my life.