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Multilingual films/shows - Know any?

  Tags: Film | Multilingual
 Language Learning Forum : Music, Movies, TV & Radio Post Reply
Senior Member
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Speaks: English*, French
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 Message 1 of 6
29 June 2015 at 7:34pm | IP Logged 
I recently discovered the TV show Danger 5 (available on Netflix) which has characters speaking regularly in English, Russian
and German. Plus French, Italian, Japanese and Spanish depending on the episode.

I love the feeling of switching in and out of different languages. Each of these movies swaps between English, French and German:
Inglorious Basterds
Joyeux Noël
Der Himmel über Berlin

What other great multilingual movies/shows do y'all know of?

Edited by AlexTG on 29 June 2015 at 7:36pm

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 Message 2 of 6
29 June 2015 at 9:57pm | IP Logged 
Bon Cop Bad Cop
Daredevil tv series (there are long dialogues in Spanish, Russian, and Mandarin with some Japanese sprinkled in there pretty much every episode)

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 Message 3 of 6
29 June 2015 at 10:02pm | IP Logged 
As part of the Super Challenge I watched a film called "Neke druge priče" (Some Other
Stories). It was a collaborative effort between the former Yugoslavian countries and
consists of five completely separate stories (but with similar themes) from Croatia,
Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia and Slovenia. Each story was filmed in the language of the
relevant country. So it has at least three different languages in it, depending on
whether you want to count Croatian, Serbian and Bosnian as separate languages :)

I think I found a copy of it on Youtube with English subtitles. I don't necessarily
recommend it though, unless you're very interested in the languages of the region or like
dark stories about pregnancy!
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 Message 4 of 6
30 June 2015 at 12:07am | IP Logged 
For younger kids, Disney's Handy Manny contains a lot of English/Spanish code switching and at least one monolingual Spanish speaker. My kids love it, and you don't need to know anything beyond the most rudimentary Spanish to watch, because everything is either clear from context, or explained/translated by a character.

And yes, Bon Cop Bad Cop is awesome. It switches between English, standard French and highly colloquial Quebec French with great comedic effect, and it's a pretty fun buddy cop film.

(Also, it's not a film or TV series, but the graphic novel Paul a un travail d'été also contains a number of on-the-job scenes with mixed English and French.)
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 Message 5 of 6
30 June 2015 at 2:15am | IP Logged 
Carlos is a 5 1/2 hour
miniseries that fits the bill: English, French, German, Arabic, Russian, Hungarian, and
Japanese. I thought it was an amazing series; it works as a thriller, but
also as an exposé of the politics and money behind international terrorism.

Edited by kanewai on 30 June 2015 at 2:15am

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 Message 6 of 6
30 June 2015 at 2:01pm | IP Logged 
The Cuckoo (Кукушка): a film with just three characters, all of whom speak different languages - Russian, Finnish and (Northern?) Sami.

Lilyhammer: a comedy series about the misadventures of an American ex-mobster in a Norwegian small town. Lots of code-switching between English and Norwegian.

When it comes to anime, I don't usually like it when they use dialogue in languages other than Japanese, since in most cases the people saying the lines are either Japanese voice actors who don't actually understand what they're saying or native speakers of the language in question who aren't even professional actors. The one example of good foreign language in anime I can think of right now is Ping Pong, which has a Mandarin-speaking character in the main cast portrayed by an actual Chinese actor. Interestingly, in both the original and the English dub of this anime the actors playing him are actually native speakers of Cantonese, but the one in the original is from the PRC and the US dub's actor is not, so the latter's Mandarin apparently sounds more stilted (from what I've been told; I haven't actually heard the dub, and wouldn't be able to judge if I did).

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