Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Introducing Garry Potter

There are a couple of cinemas in Bishkek. They get their films directly from Russia, which means that there are generally some blockbusters showing at any given time. In the last month we've had both Transformers and most recently, Harry Potter. A friend asked me along yesterday; normally, I would say no, because I don't quite see the point of sitting through two hours of a film in a language I don't understand. But this time, because I'm familiar with the story and because I wanted to test out my newly acquired vocabulary, I agreed. Also, movie tickets are about the equivalent of four dollars here, so it wasn't exactly going to break the bank.

As it turned out, I understood about one word in twenty; in combination with my fairly thorough grounding in the Potteresque, it meant that I gathered the gist of things. For some reason, even though they have a perfectly respectable 'H' (masquerading as 'X') in their alphabet, the Russians have turned Harry into Garry. It could be because the Russian 'H' sounds like one is clearing one's throat. Anyway, it was quite amusing to hear Voldemort growling on about 'Garry'. Also, 'Snape' is turned into 'Snak'. Altogether, it was an enjoyable experience: I might even go to see Transformers, because I don't anticipate reams of dialogue or weighty language-dependent plot development. It's good practice.

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