Picking up a language from the media

Re learning from movies/soaps/cartoons/etc. Most Desi kids i.e. those from the subcontinent, understand Hindi even if it’s not their language b/c the ever-so popular Bollywood movies are in Hindi/Urdu. They watch them here in the U.S. I think b/c culturally the families aren’t so much into American movies that’s changing of course.
So yes, picking up another language is commonly done via the media. I think that’s why so many Dutch and Scandinavians speak English almost without an accent.
BTW, good luck fighting your way out of the infelicitous expression “weird Mexican intonation”. Since I get in trouble so often, I enjoy watching someone else skewered.
Here’s the post:
Talking about dubbing…I have lived in Spain for the last 5 years, everything on TV and cinema is excruciatingly dubbed (freedom is in the palm of your hand if you figure out how to use the settings on the remote control). Perhaps that is the reason behind the popular Spanish excuse: “Inglés?mmmm…Lo entiendo pero no lo hablo”
During the last two months I have been with my family in Colombia. When I visited my best friend from school I noticed something in the accent her 5 years old boy: he speaks with a weird Mexican intonation. Last week at the supermarket I noticed the same intonation coming from another couple of young boys talking to each other and again this morning with a group of little kids in a park . Then, I sat with my children as they were watching cartoons on TV and suddenly I identified that Mexican intonation on the dubbed cartoons they were watching…all channels like cartoon network, discovery kids, nick etc, are dubbed in Mexico and distributed in Latin America. It is not a very strong Mexican accent but enough to be consider foreign accent for sure. So if children (toddlers?) are picking up intonation from listening ….I wonder if they could do the same if they were watching and listening Gumball or any other super compelling cartoon in English.
A friend of my husband once expressed his surprised to meet people in Croatia who spoke very good Spanish with Latin American accent, when he asked them how was that possible they reported that they are used to watch soup operas on TV without dubbing, since the stories were so compelling they simply picked up the language in order to follow the drama.
So…cartoons and soap operas on the menu.

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