Yesterday I was watching a brazilian made TV show for netflix called 3%. The show is, of course, in portugese, which prompted Netflix to create a dubbed english version for the lazy people amongst us. The dubbing being terrible and sounding very cheap, but that is not the point here.

It reminded me of a big problem that I have encountered when learning chinese – you can not learn chinese from subtitles. Not really.

The reason for it is that written chinese is vastly different from the way a person actually speaks. They use different grammar, and different syntax. The subtitles also usually try just to communicate the general idea (english being so much of a different language) and not the word for word translation. It has always been very frustrating. I mean, you probably can learn something from it, if you want to sound like a newspaper instead of a real human being 🙂

Similar problem arised in the brazilian TV show. When I turned on the subtitles together with the english dubbed version, it was like reading a completely different narrative. They either haven’t tried to reconciel those 2 versions, or portugese has the same problem as chinese. If that is the case, it must be super frustrating for portugese learners.

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