Subtrifles and the decline of the interpreted zombie

The Walking Dead 1.1 Days Gone By Behind The Scenes Andrew LincolnAlthough I have perfect hearing I love watching TV shows with subtitles. You can pick up so much more of the dialogue reading it than if you just listen.

However the subtitler doesn’t always get it right – which can lead to some hilarious misinterpretations.

For example, watching a recent episode of The Walking Dead tonight (if you haven’t seen it – think The Waltons with zombies), Merle suggests that a family they just saved could at least give them an enchilada. The subtitles interpreted this as a bottle of water!!

Similarly watching thickly accented Devonian Johnny Kingdom being converted to subtitles throws up barely a correctly interpreted sentence! Luckily my own South West roots helped to piece it all back together.

All this leads me to wonder whether a general decline in literary skills amongst school leavers in recent years has now manifested itself in what they hear too?

To correctly interpret the spoken word and convert it to text requires a wide knowledge of different languages, colloquialisms, historical references, scientific understanding and so on. But if the subtitler has, shall we say, a less than rounded education, it’s a fair bet that enchiladas will always be a bottle of water. Neither of which is of great use to a zombie in any case!


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