Mad About English reveals the frenzy as English fever spreads to policemen, taxi drivers, waiters, official dignitaries, even elderly matrons involved in community services. Textbooks can be found in bookstores across Beijing, and each morning audio lessons of conversational English can be heard at the city’s supermarkets. Parents send their children to special boot camp-style English training programs where, in a unique teaching method, instructors encourage their pupils to scream out their English lessons at the top of their lungs. (Da CBS Newsworld)
A giudicare dai provini, è un riso amaro.
Aggiunta del giorno dopo: Tym Blogs Too, blogger di Singapore, ha postato alcune riflessioni interessanti su questo film. Ne riporto una parte.
No matter how many times we come back to any of these people, we never find out their full stories. Where do they come from? How do they feel spending so much time and energy to learn a language that is so historically, culturally and grammatically divorced from their own? What are the implications of learning English when China is on the ascendant? Are these people fringe elements or truly representative of English learners in Beijing (or, for that matter, the rest of China)?
So many questions, hardly any answers. There’s only so long that you can watch people stumble over learning a foreign language before it starts to feel not only trite and tired, but also mean and cheap. Stick a camera in front of anyone learning a foreign language â€“ especially a language with such different roots from one’s native tongue â€“ and youâ€™d pretty much get the same result. There are signs in Paris that have just as entertaining (or apparently insipid) translation errors in English as they do in Beijing. There are Americans or Europeans learning to speak Mandarin who make just as egregious or laughable errors as these Chinese mainlanders stuttering their way through English. Mad About English doesn’t tell us anything that we don’t know already.
It was also ironic that all the Chinese interviewees largely spoke in English, whether they were being interviewed or interacting with other (Chinese) people. It felt as if they were constantly having to perform in English, with little opportunity to speak in their native tongue and say what they really thought and felt. Perhaps this was deliberate, to show exactly how “mad” about English these people are, but it only made them seem more inscrutable and kooky (ah, those inscrutable Orientals!), allowing them to be laughed at but not understood.
Impossibile darle torto.
Postato da: IM