How to Germans Adapt to Watching American Television?

So last week, T and I were watching Two Broke Girls (in German, of course) and it struck me how do Germans adapt American television shows to appeal to their non-American audiences.

What do I mean?

Well, in terms of comedy, the jokes are normally translated directly from English to German.  For the most part the jokes work (because Germans and Americans have a similar sense of humor)….unfortunately some reference slip through….

An example of this was while watching How I Met Your Mother – Barney once referred to Ted as Ellen DeGeneres because he wore Chucks with a suit.  I laughed but T didn’t get it….obviously Ellen isn’t as big in Germany as back home.

Anyway, even the thought the jokes work on Two Broke Girls, there are still some aspects that get changed.

I am talking specifically about the character Sophie Kaczynski played by the ever talented Jennifer Coolidge.

She plays a Polish woman in US, but her German counterpart is Russian.

What the what?!

Not entirely sure why that is but it’s what appeals to the German audiences.

The most interesting change I have found so far is found in The Simpsons.  If you remember from waaaaaaaaaaaay back in the 90s that there was a little German exchange student in Springfield who went by the name of Uter? If not, maybe this will jog your memory:

Obviously this character is a joke of what Americans in the 90s saw as a German stereotype: blonde, Lederhosen, thick Bavarian accent, and full of chocolate.  This stereotype is not funny to Germans, for obvious reasons; so how to they make that character work?

They made him Swiss:

Since I live close to the Swiss border and I hear Swiss radio on occasion, the accent is hilarious even to me.  It’s interesting something that you take for granted (Like Uter, for example) and you don’t think about how other countries may view them or even realize how they are being viewed.

Anyway, I thought it would be funny way to being your Monday!

Bis Mittwoch!

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