English encouraged through Sex and the City
Sep 09, 2005
Dec 23, 2005
So, I'm on the train from Ljubljana to Zagreb, a little frazzeled because the train arrived an hour late. Meaning, I would miss my bus connection in Zagreb for Dubrovnik and essentially be sleeping in the bus station. As I was using my cell to try and find alternative routes, Sarajevo, Split - anything, the girl in my cabin started conversation with me - just as I had seen throughout slovenia, in perfect english. Almost without an accent and with full use of slang. It was easy to see it was not book learned English. As Maja explained, when most Slovians are asked if they speak a foreign language, they anwser with French, German or whatever it may be, but Never English. It is just assumed that if you are under 30, you must know English. The english is taught in schools, so some have a better handle on it than others, but everyone knows it. I asked if she had lived or continuosly used English, because hers was flawless...she laughed and said that an episode of Sex and the City encouraged her English. Most of the media in Slovenia is American media with Slovian sub-titles. Well, Maja's english was advanced enough that she could watch most shows with only a little assitence of the sub-titles. One night she was watch S&C and recognizing that it was not being translated properly. The translations were completely missing the undertone of the episode, and/or double meaning of some of the jokes. It frustrated her enough, that from that night on, she vowed to never read a sub-title again. In turn, making her English flawless. She also commented that most Sloves don't understand the "stubborn" mentality of the French and German. "How can you be a modern nation, and yet most of your population not speak English? They continue to translate most of the American and British entertainment, but not learn the language. That just sounds lazy to me." That was definitely the first time I had heard a perspective like that, from a nearly european citizen.