A Cinematic Surprise

Having still not seen the new ‘Kung Fu Panda 3‘ movie, we decided to head to the cinema to watch it. Our good Chinese friend helped us book them online, as it is much cheaper than buying them at the cinema itself. For two people it was 50yuan, so about 7euro. Great! We even got to sit in the 25 seater ‘VIP’ room!

We arrived and sat down in the lovely comfortable seats and got ready for the film to start. My boyfriend asked me ‘Did she buy the tickets for the English version?’… I dunno, I forgot to ask. I know in China they have two variants of the film, one in Chinese and one in English…..’Aw I am sure it’s in English’ I thought.

It was in Chinese…

I knew, 3 seconds into the film that it was. . .It definitely didn’t sound like Jack Black huffing up that mountain… I turned to my boyfriend and whispered ‘Oh no…’

So there we were, the only foreigners in the place watching the film and not having a clue what they were saying. I was thinking to myself ‘The Chinese people here must think are Mandarin is great!’

So we spent 1 hour and 30 minutes listening to an all Chinese movie, with no English in sight… and to be honest, I’m actually really glad I did!

I say I could understand maybe 10-15% of the movie, but I spent that whole time listening and trying to comprehend what they were saying. When they were speaking fast, I literally had no idea what they were talking about, but in some scenes they would speak slow and I could understand quite a lot of actually!

If it wasn’t an animation, oh I would have been bored to death. At least with animations they are much more visually entertaining.

To be put into that situation, like a cinema… you kind of HAVE to watch the movie…. unlike at home, you’re not allowed on your phone, you’re not allowed to talk, so you are totally immersed in an all Chinese speaking environment.

I think I will try to watch Chinese animations at home more. I was really happy with myself when I could understand what they were saying.

Now that I know what kind of level I’m at while watching the film, I’ll be interested to see how my listening has improved in another year. I think I’ll watch it again in a years time and see what else I can pick up on. It will be interesting to find out!

So, although we may need to watch the film again…. ha but this time in English…. I’m actually glad to have my first experience watching a 100% Chinese speaking film with no subtitles.

I hope one day I’ll be able to confidently watch the whole film and understand all of it. 🙂



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