I am multi-illiterate. I can’t read in many languages

In my last post about Obsession (good name for it I guess. That was last week and I am still pissed about it) I brought up a point that I think needs to stand out better. The movie features a bunch of footage from middle eastern television and of course it’s in Arabic. We are trusting the producers of the movie to provide us with accurate translations. I am NOT saying that they have not, but if you take a look at the truthiness(tm) of the rest of the movie, it’s not hard to imagine them turning a furniture ad into a death threat.

This is a larger problem that is overlooked too often in my opinion. Not just this movie, but everything. Most Americans have enough problems conveying coherent thoughts in our native tongues, much less knowing what anyone is saying in another language. We trust the media to provide the translations for us. It has been said that if you can speak fluent Spanish and listen to many (American based) Latino radio stations that there is rampant and unrestrained racism preaching the Reconquista movement and La Raza etc… Now, I do not know that is true, but it sounds like it could be. I can’t be sure though because I don’t speak Spanish. Most languages (excepting perhaps Asian ones) one can sorta figure out if you are reading something. Many words look or sound like English, but when a native speaker is speaking that language, you have to be able to keep up, and people in that situation are a tiny minority in this country.

We already know that our media plays tricks with words and outright lies to keep the ‘national dialogue’ on topic (i.e. whatever their talking points for the day are) and this is all in our own language. Many people are just too dim witted to pick up on it. Now imagine what we are being fed when it’s not in our language. They could put anything at the bottom of the screen and get most people to believe it. The few that would see right through it would either laugh at how they can get away with such a thing, some might even complain or ‘out’ the lie, but the retraction would end up buried in tiny print after the legal ads 4 months later.

I would suggest folks try to learn a second language, but there are so many that have such a tenuous grasp on their first maybe they should focus on that instead.

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One Response to “I am multi-illiterate. I can’t read in many languages”

  1. […] bookmarks tagged coherent I am multi-illiterate. I can’t read in many langua… saved by 5 others     MichaelJacksonsWife bookmarked on 09/29/08 | […]

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