The Economist's Apprentice

In which a little girl confronts the world and battles the anti-humans.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

El Codigo Da Vinci

I just got back from the local Barnes and Noble. Although I don't live in a town with a particularly high number of Hispanics, I was able to pick up the the unabridged The Da Vinci Code read in Spanish on 19 CDs for a mere $39. It is published by FonoLibro.

For Americans, it is a great time to be learning a foreign language. First, your local video store has hundreds of DVDs dubbed in Spanish and French. More interested in Italian and German? Pick up a season of Charmed at and get it dubbed it German, Italian, French, and Spanish - even English. Sure, Charmed is horrible compared to a TV show, but compared to old fashioned language videos, it is great. and have a wide selection of DVDs and they deliver to the U.S.

A few tips for learning foreign languages.
1) If you read The Lord of the Rings 10 times in high school then read it in Spanish or French. Since you already know the story, your vocabulary acquisition will be rapid. Some people would think reading an English novel in translation is silly, but what do you care - you're a Tolkien nerd anyway. Novels are invariably translated into a foreign language using far fewer idiomatic expressions than in the original version - style is lost in translation, rarely gained. This means that reading English novels in translation can be a great first step to learning a foreign language.

2) Don't be afraid to watch cheesy television dubbed in foreign languages. Shows that suffer from selecting attractive actors over acting quality are often improved by dubbing. Would Sarah Michelle Gellar have made it in radio?


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