Say What?

When Laura and I headed back to her apartment it was nearly midnight. And we talked for hours more.

She explained that watching American TV in Spanish is not very easy. The translation is done in Spain Spanish and she told me that while she understands English and Spain Spanish, sayings and words get lost in the translation.

She also pulled up a few of her favorite American television shows and we watched each for just a few minutes to find American slang as she was curious what it meant. We watched a little bit of Mike and Molly, Two and a Half Men, Outsourced and various other American TV shows.

We watched shows in English with Spanish subtitles, we watched with Spanish voiceovers and English subtitles and we watched in English with no subtitles.

When a show from the States references a brand or product, the subtitles instead say ‘popular laundry detergent in EE.UU’ to describe the product. But even when she explained some of the translated subtitles, it didn’t make sense, and the content was clearly, lost in translation.

I watched these familiar shows with a different perspective and I realized how much of the conversations on television are full of slang! So I introduced Laura to Urban Dictionary so she could look up the definitions of American slang when I wasn’t there to help translate.

I have to admit, I had a hard time figuring out how to explain some of the slang!


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