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Hinterland and Cymraeg

Posted on Monday, July 8th, 2019

Dave!I have had Hinterland on my Netflix watch-list for a long time. Tonight I finally watched the first episode of the first series.

It's fantastic. Mostly due to the remarkable performance of lead Richard Harrington. You can feel the wheels turning any time he's on screen...

Granted, I'm only half-way through the first season, but I'm sure liking this show. The atmosphere they've created permeates every scene so the series feels more "real" than most.

What's interesting about this show (other than how good it's been) is that every scene is filmed twice... once in English and once in Welsh (which is called "Cymraeg" in the Welsh language). I did a YouTube search to watch some of the Cymraeg scenes and it's amazing how all these actors have to essentially perform the same show twice. And since Hinterland looks so grueling and demanding of the actors, I can't imagine how difficult that must be...

I'm sure they use all kinds of tricks to make the show affordable. In the scene above where he destroys a kitchen, for example, they were careful to make sure there was no dialogue so they only had to shoot it once. If he had said "I hate my life!" while smashing the dishes, they would have had to buy all new dishes, clean the set, then reset the scene so he could say "Rwy'n casáu fy mywyd!" for the Welsh version.

Here's the trailer in Welsh...

I first learned about Wales and the Welsh language in anticipation of my visit to the beautiful Hard Rock Cafe in Cardiff (Caerdydd). Cymraeg is a fascinating language which is estimated to be spoken by less than a million people around the globe. Most people have probably only ever heard of it on viral YouTube videos where people are pronouncing very long Welsh words...

Before wrapping up this post, I'd be remiss if I didn't post a link to one of my favorite comedy bits by Welsh comedian Rhod Gilbert...

Happy Monday, everybody!

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Categories: Television 2019, Travel 2019Click To It: Permalink
   

Comments

  1. Neil Turner says:

    One of my friends is actually a native Welsh speaker – I.e. it’s her first language, with English second and German third (her husband is German). The Welsh government are keen to try to keep the language alive.

    • Dave2 says:

      I hope that as many languages as possible are kept alive. Human diversity in language is such a beautiful thing. I honestly think the key to maintaining languages is to be sure that children are taught a world language that’s popular for the region (English, Spanish, German, etc.) alongside the marginalized language of their region or culture as early as possible. When kids are young, they absorb languages like a sponge, and it just gets harder as people age. By making sure they are duo-lingual from the start, and not waiting to see if they care enough to learn later when it’s harder, it’s insuring that languages aren’t going to be replaced. I’ve seen documentary programs on this, and it’s had considerable success. Where it falls apart is giving those who learn the language opportunities to listen/speak it later in life. Having Hinterland be broadcast in Welsh is exactly how you do that.

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