Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Growing Up In A Bilingual Country Meant Having A Radio Alongside Your TV.

We became masters at the simulcast game...

A bilingual childhood isn't bad at all because from a young age you are surrounded by two languages. Always a plus. In my case, I had already a first language ( German ) and thus was blessed with an additional two languages. English and Afrikaans ( Afrikaans is an amalgamation of Dutch, French and German ).

Of course I didn't grow up at the time of the Arc but not far behind either...the eighties. It might surprise you that TV only arrived on the shores of South Africa in the mid seventies and thus the early eighties meant a TV schedule in its infancy. English language programs were mainly from England and America. British humour is subtle and rather elegant and it gave us endless laughter with Fawlty Towers and Not The Nine o' Clock News

For the Afrikaans side of programming, unless it was ' homemade ' it was an imported show dubbed into Afrikaans. German shows were brilliant for it as the language was rather similar and easy to dub.

Now for the interesting part. Each dubbed program could be accompanied by the original sound track through a radio station. Don't forget, in the eighties there was no Internet / SmartTV / or Smartphone...Many a night, when my favourite program ( still to this day ) was shown, we had the radio tuned. The always interesting....Tatort or as it was called in Afrikaans, Misdaad.

Honestly, you would think it is easy to tune the radio to the TV, yet often we heard the actors speak before their lips moved or vice versa. At other times the radio made the voices sound very tinny and so forth. When you compare it today and how we are in the lap of TV luxury, you would never complain about anything anymore.

Back in the eighties, I don't think we had a remote control either and I must confess it was rather bliss being able to watch the whole program.

Most of us were too lazy to get up and change the channel and to be honest, even today, if our remote control is out of reach I, at times suffer through a so-so show instead of getting up to fetch the remote. It might perhaps be possible in a few years time to change the channel by merely thinking about it...

Biggi