Caution, subtitles

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In video stores in Japan, foreign movies make up the bulk of films for rent. And they come in two varieties: dubbed in Japanese and subtitled in Japanese. Which means the unwary English speaker sometimes ends up with a subtitled movie where the original language isn't English.

As an example, we rented Jackie Chan's Accidental Spy. It incorporates Cantonese, Mandarin, Korean, Turkish, English, and French. Fortunately, the key plot points are given in English by a reporter who seems to turn up exclusively to do so. And it's not necessary to follow the plot in a Jackie Chan movie--it's the action sequences that are the fun, anyway.

I'm usually pretty careful to check the "country of origin" on the tape, since that's the only clue about which language the film's in. Accidental Spy fooled me completely--it had the English title (instead of the Chinese one) and I didn't check!

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