Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Disney Goes Uyghur

One of my favourite ways to study language is to sit back and watch a movie. It is amazing the vocabulary you can pick up by just vegging on the couch before bed. The only problem with watching Uyghur movies is that they are all so tragic. In everyone one someone dies, someone is in jail, or being cheated on by their spouse, or something very emotional is happening. The movie covers almost always have a picture of someone bleeding and someone leaning over them weeping and wailing. When ever I watch a disk before bed (most movies come on 2 VCD’s) I tend to go to bed all sad. Here is a small clip I found on YouTube, while there are no words being spoken, I am sure you can see how depressing the story line seems to be.

In an attempt to lighten the mood of my language pursuits I have started to buy Disney movies that have been translated. In the last few weeks my collection has really grown. I have Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, A Bugs Life, Shrek, Toy Story, Finding Nimo, Lion King, Tarzan and others. They are a lot more fun to watch before bed… and are actually packed full of useful vocabulary. I have even found such classics as Gone With the Wind and Titanic in Uyghur.

It is kind of funny to see what they have done with some of the songs in the Disney cartoons. As you can imagine it is hard to translate a song and get the syllabification to fit in time with the music. In some cases they have kept the English song and just have a Uyghur voice over speaking the meaning of the song. In other cases they sing the song in the national language hoping the Uyghur kids will be able to understand some of it. In some movies they have sadly cut the video short by cutting out all the songs. And in others they have kept them in English, some songs like “A Whole New World” have become popular world wide and don’t need any translation.

1 comment:

Meena said...

We've been watching movies all in Chinese the last month or so, which makes me kind of sad since all the new movies out are big Oscar contenders and they're off our list right now. But some of the best dubs are Disney and Dreamworks cartoons. Much more fun than sticking my nose in a stuffy textbook, though.