"Speaking Native Language"

I am not one to shout "cultural imperialism" at the drop of a hat. But nature documentaries drive me nuts: pretty much every person who is not from a first-world country speaks something called "native language" in the closed-captioning system. French people speak French, and German people speak German... but even people from the Faroe Islands speak Faroese, a language that is used by only 70,000 people!

Meanwhile, in Assam, the elephant herders speak... "native language." Dear documentary captioner, let me venture a guess that they might be speaking... maybe... Assamese?! That wasn't that hard, was it? You could bother figuring out that the egg hunters on the Faroe Islands speak Faroese... but Assamese, a language with roughly 200 times the speakers, that was too hard to look up?


  1. Why are you watching nature documentaries if they drive you up the wall?

    1. I was sinking down the wall!

      But seriously, lots of nice scenery, shots of animals, and occasional interesting facts.

  2. I for one am perfectly fine with subtitles over Frenchmen, saying “Speaking failed beta version of English” .


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