Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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Miffy, Miffy, we love you / Always know just what to do

A few weeks ago, we bought a mini DVD of "Miffy classics" (simple animated cartoons in the style of the original Dick Bruna books). It had only five episodes, and only a German soundtrack.

Amy liked it a lot, especially the story of Miffy and her bicycle. I wanted to let her listen to it in English, too, though.

For St. Nicholas's Day (6 December), we bought her the "full" version (Miffy classics 1), which episodes 1–11 and soundtracks in both English and German.

I decided to listen to it this evening to see what it was like. I was a little disappointed, though; it seemed to me that the English soundtrack was a translation of the German one(!), which surprised me. I had expected the English soundtrack to be closer to the English translations of the Miffy books, but it wasn't. (Or maybe it's like the American translations of the books, if there is a separate one? For starters, episode 3, which tells how Miffy was born, and which is the first Miffy book we got Amy in English, uses "cock" in the book but "rooster" on the DVD soundtrack.)

And one of the bits of bonus materials is "learning English with Miffy", showing several objects with their names in English and German, both as words on the screen and read out loud. However, they're read out loud by a German, and while his English is certainly comprehensible, his pronunciation doesn't sound native to me. I would've thought that if you're teaching the language, especially with so few words (20-odd), it would have been better to model the "correct" pronunciation. I wouldn't have been fussy whether it was British, American, or even something else (Australian, New Zealand, South Africa, India, ...) as long as it was a native speaker. And if they wanted the English and German words read by the same person, by all means get someone who's bilingual; there can't be a shortage of them. But having an ESL German native speaker there was a disappointment for me.

Oh well. I imagine Amy will be less fussy about the differences between the books and the DVD episodes, and might appreciate hearing "the same" story whether she listens to it in English with me or in German with Stella.

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