Tuesday, 6 March 2007

A Sneaky Ploy by the White Australia Movement

While flicking through the subtitles alternatives on a DVD just recently, Mr Coffee made this startling observation.

"Region 4 [for Australia] DVDs never have Chinese or Japanese subtitles. I've see Danish and even Icelandic subtitles, but never, never Chinese or Japanese. You'd think with all the Chinese people in Australia ..."

Now after pacifying Mr Coffee, who is a capable reader and speaker of Cantonese, unlike myself (except for my mastery of "Kung Hei Fat Choy" some time ago, of which I am very proud, and practise over and over every now and again, in case some time impromptu I'm called upon to greet someone with a Happy Chinese New Year) I mulled over the situation.

Of course this was possibly inconvenient to some hapless Asians in Australia, but were we not all supposed to be speaking English (or, perhaps, Danish or Icelandic?) under this proud flag of ours? Perhaps it were all for the better. After al, myself, being monolingual at the moment, it would be just as simple to pick up Icelandic as it would be Cantonese, as I'm equally ignorant of both, except for not knowing how to wish people a Happy Icelandic New Year.

It just looks like discrimination all over again - if you're Chinese, you have to learn English, if you're Icelandic, you don't. I bet you those Great Danes and Icelanders are laughing at their triumph over Region 4 DVD-land.

*If you'd like to protest and suggest languages that you believe have been too long marginalised, to become compulsorily subtitled on Region 4 DVDs instead, forcing us all to not understand a word of what's going on, and wipe those grins off everyone's faces in the name of equality of disappointment, please comment below. Aramaic subtitles, anyone?

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