Tuesday, October 05, 2004

 
Sign Language
Sex and the City was shown briefly on some Chinese cable channels a year or so ago before it was suddenly cancelled due to obvious reasons. But the show's forbidden mystique lingers and at the request of a couple of female former coworkers from my former paper, I got a box set of the first season in Hong Kong and brought it over the border feeling a little like a smuggler.
We were watching some episodes over the weekend and I began to realize that the Chinese subtitles didn't exactly always accurately translate what Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda were saying.
A reference to "Eurotrash" had been translated as simply "European", which gave me the opportunity to explain the concept of European slackers in the US living off their accents and exotic origins.
"I would not like to be called 'Sinotrash'" said one, before adding wistfully: "But it might be nice for people to pay for me because I am different."
The translation seminar got somewhat steamy after that. I rushed through an explanation of a "rabbit" vibrator, though found they were more embarrassed than I.
Then came "golden showers."
"What did it say?" I asked.
"It said she enjoys to take many showers," was the reply.
Uh. No. And they were horrified at my explanation. "Americans do that?"
Finally there was a catty quip: "She gives hand jobs for a living."
I asked for the translation.
"It said she works hard with her hands. How do you say? Manual labor?"
Despite their occasional shock, though, they're eager to see season two and seem determined to work their way through the entire six seasons if I can find them.
But after this I'm thinking that something like Little Women might be more in order.
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