Spain Blogger Confessions

You all already know I’m not the starry-eyed Spain enthusiast that some bloggers are. I do like Spain, of course—I just take it in moderation. Some days enough gets to be enough. So I thought I’d confess a few things that you might not have surmised from my posts. It’s okay to be honest—really, we’re better off for it!

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Okay, Kaley, less “Blah, blah, blah” and more fun!

  • I don’t try everything. I don’t care how good you insist it is, I don’t want to try morro (snout) or criadilla (bull testicle) or oreja (ear). I’ve tried orejas already and never again!). If this makes me unadventurous, sue me.
  • I hate dubbing. I refuse to watch TV shows dubbed. In any language. Please, try to tell me that The Big Bang Theory is just as funny in Spanish. No. Just no. So yeah, this means I watch a lot of TV in English, which is bad for my Spanish learning. But I really don’t like Spanish TV or movies. Neither does Mario. 
  • I’m still patriotic. No, I’m not blindly patriotic. I understand the US has its flaws and is not God’s chosen country, but I still love my country and miss so many things about it—barbecues, the openness, the informality, the ease with which I navigated any and all social situations … en fin, so much!
  • I don’t idealize the Spanish lifestyle. Sure, Spain is known for relaxation, sun, and siestas. But the truth is, many Spaniards work endless days and get little to no rest. Nowadays the unemployment rate is sky high. I think that Spaniards definitely get it right with regards to enjoying food/drink, eating healthily, and walking, but they’re not perfect. They’re not inherently less lazy than Americans. They’re human—just like us.

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Spain + America = Success

  • I have a love/hate relationship with blogging. Sometimes (most of the time), I love blogging. I love the relationships it has created, the opportunities it has given me, the wonderful feedback I get from it. At others, I feel intimidated by other bloggers, worried that no one likes me, afraid that what I say will cause someone somewhere to become angry with me. I’m often envious of other bloggers’ success because I wish that I could achieve that same level of success without compromising any of my principles.

So, what about you—anything to confess? C’mon, spill it.

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23 comments

  1. We can’t expect Americans to understand what dubbing really is when you grow up in a country where this is not necessary. Brazilians, like Spanish people, are used to dubbing because we grow up with this. How can you expect a 5-year-old child watching a cartoons and movies with subtitles?

    1. I can understand them, I suppose. I still dislike dubbing, even into English. I watched the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo dubbed into English — ugh!

  2. So watching dubbed shows and movies is a cultural thing, like food is. I noticed that Americans love turkey. Brazilians hardly eat it. Nobody will convince me that turkey is good, because I have tasted it and didnt like it.

  3. I hate dubbing too! I did get into Aguila Roja and El Barco while I was in Spain and I watched a few Spanish game shows. I was not into Spanish tv for awhile, but once I gave it a try, I found there were a few (emphasis on the few) programs I could stomach and enjoy. I have to say, watching television (with the Spanish subtitles turned on!) really helped me improve my Spanish.

    Ditto on being envious of other bloggers. I always feel like I’m playing catch up and I have so much to learn! Yet I get to interact with a lot of cool people on the web and I can only learn more from them (and hopefully they learn something from me but that’s okay if it’s not the case!).

  4. I’m not a big fan of jamón serrano, and when I tell people that they look at me like I just shot the pope. Even worse (here in Málaga) is that I don’t like boquerones. I’ll never be fully Spanish, but I’m happy that way!

  5. I love your honest posts. I feel the same about Spain- I like it but I can see it’s faults. No country is perfect and I also miss the states. If anything, living abroad has made me appreciate the USA even more and all it’s opportunities. I was under the illusion until I returned for my 2nd year that Spaniards worked less and had a better lifestyle, now I realize they often work the same, if not “longer” days with the siesta in the middle.

    And agree with the blogging too. I keep thinking of taking my blog to the “next level” but I have to educate myself first and then I wonder, if it’s worth it, what are my goals, etc. I, too, sometimes have blog envy.

    But the grass isn’t always greener. We have to remember this.

    LIke Amalie, I like spanish Tv for helping me improve my Spanish with the good ole subtitles

  6. There’s no need to love everything about Spain. Dubbing sucks–I refuse to accept any other opinion on this–and it’s not cool when the cheapest maple syrup you can find in a country costs €14 (the hunt continues). Life in Spain is like anywhere else; there are pros and cons and good days and bad days. In the end, it’s just normal life in a different language with more blogging material…if you so desire :)

  7. It’s ok not to like everything from a country, that’s the way we are and it differs depending on our own original culture. I hate Spain so much sometimes… but when I’m far away I remember all the things I like from there and I miss it. YOu just have to find what you like the most and do it often :)
    As for the dubbing, it’s one of the problems that some countries (including France, Italy or Poland) have when learning languages. The majority of hte population is illiterate in foreign languages, and I have to say that reading subtitles is the most boring and unconvenient thing specially if you just want to enjoy the movie or show. So people prefer to have it dubbed, it’s perfectly understandable. It doesn’t help to learn foreign languages but it doesn’t mean that it will be useful either (Japanese people don’t dub and they’re famous for being one of the worst nations in speaking anything but Japanese)… Plus, it’s a big industry that gives jobs to translators and voice actors :)

  8. I’m an American living in Korea so I understand that no matter how much you love or have adjusted to the culture of a foreign country, there are still things that you can never get used to. Especially some of the food! I love reading your blog. Keep up the good work!

  9. Sometimes the dubbing is fun. I like to guess which actors are the “same”. It’s funny to be watching Brad Pitt and realize he sounds exactly like Robert Downey, Jr.
    Nice post.

    1. I thought the dubbers (good word, eh?) did only one actor … but maybe that’s not true. Especially for lesser-known actors; the same actors could probably done 2+.

      1. Yes, the dubbers often do several different actors. You can look them up online. I notice it now on the cartoons, too. I hear Homer or Bart when we have some other cartoon on.

  10. Oh I also don’t like dubbing. It’s so monotonous and serious even though clearly the scene is supposed to be funny for example. I’ve seen and liked several Spanish movies (with English subtitles) but I can’t even with the shows.

    But the one thing that REALLY bugs me the most is that a lot of Spaniards call me “China” coz I look Asian. The irony of all this is I have Spanish blood. Go figure.

  11. If you’re not pissing off someone, somewhere, then you’re not doing it right.

    Or something like that, I’m paraphrasing, pretty sure someone famous said something along those lines…

    For what it’s worth I’ll never work with dubbed material nor will I never recommend it to other Spanish-learners, there are just so many other better options out there.

    You’re doing a fine job, please keep going, I love learning about other countries–especially ones where a language is spoken that I’m learning or interested in learning–and you’re one of my two main sources for Spain (the others are Spanish Sabores and Notes in Spanish).

    Cheers,
    Andrew

  12. I’m not a fan of dubbing either, it makes everything either less funny when it was supposed to be, or unintentionally funny because it’s just so bad. Either way, horrible. I’ve gotten kind of used to it now though and it doesn’t irk me as much as it did at first. Basically that’s how I feel about most of my issues with Spain, that I’ve mostly gotten used to them even if I don’t like them. But I think it’s OK to feel that way about any place where you live. There are good parts and bad parts, but like you said, no place is paradise.

    And I’m also in a love-hate relationship with blogging. I like sharing my stories with the world, but then I get creeped out that random strangers know too much about my life and I quit posting for a while. I go back and forth. I guess I should have created one of those anonymous blogs where I never show my face and don’t use my name, but too late now!

  13. I can relate to so much of this, especially the part about food! I’ve always been someone who will try anything once, but some of the organ/weird meat here is really outside my comfort zone. I’m okay with tongue, but I tried ear once and literally started gagging in the middle of the tapas bar (because I’m a really cool person). After that I’ve been a little bit more cautious…

    And I’ll go ahead and jump on the I-hate-dubbing train, too.

  14. 22 comments enough blog love for ya? :-)

    Growing up in Spain, my wife never really noticed the dubbing, but after living in England and hearing Chandler, Ross, Phoebe and Rachel’s real voices, she could no longer stand watching overdubbed in Spain.

    One positive thing I can say about dubbing is that the dubbers are professional speakers, and they enunciate everything extremely clearly directly into the studio microphone in front of their mouths, so it makes the Spanish a LOT easier to understand than television of Spaniards speaking rapidly to each other, often with accents and far from the mic. It makes for good listening practice, is what I’m saying.

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