On non-English Language Soap Operas: El Clon and Aliya


So I just realized I have never mentioned two of my “educational” past times…

The first, while on home on break from Qatar I was watching tv one night, when I turned to telemundo and saw characters in MOroccan dress, the show looked interesting, and a lot more believable than a telenovela that I had attempted to watch a month or so earlier, so kept up with it.  Later, I found out that it’s actually a remake of a really popular Brazilian soap opera with the same title (el Clon= the Clone).

I have needed a way to brush up on my Spanish and El Clon has thankfully been a great way to do it, it’s not quite as cheesy as some of the other telenovelas out there, of course the representations of Arabs and Muslims on it makes me cringe sometimes… but what can you do?  add to that the way the black characters are portrayed is much to be desired as well.  But the world isn’t perfect.

El Clon has an interesting  plot, it’s about as Wikipedia sums it up

“Lucas is young when he falls for a young Arab girl named Jade. She is caught between modern values and her Islamic upbringing. They separate and two decades pass. Then a strange turn of luck brings the pair together. Then Jade meets the clone, who is just like Lucas, but twenty years younger. She must choose between the man she loved and the memory she cherishes.”

And that’s basically what it’s all about.  I skipped a good 20 or so episodes, but amazingly that hasn’t really messed with my ability to follow events… besides, even my mom and sister watch it, so translating for them has helped with my Spanish tremendously.  I don’t know what I’m gonna do when El Clon is over… sigh.

Aliya is a Turkish Soap Opera, dubbed in Levantine Arabic that I am watching to try to beef up (acquire) my Levantine Arabic skills.  It’s about a woman whose husband cheats on her, gets the other woman pregnant and then kills the other woman.  Aliya of course, has had enough and she roles out.  It’s not as fun as El Clon, but I don’t understand quite as much.

Funnily enough, I hated the Turkish Soap Operas that were running when I was in Qatar, but Aliya is making me give them a second chance.  At least it’s not the same old love story.

anyway, this is just a taste of what I have been watching…. globalization is amazing.


4 thoughts on “On non-English Language Soap Operas: El Clon and Aliya

    • gazelledusahara

      come to think of it, so many of the programs on Arab tv are dubbed from elsewhere, that I don’t really very often. There was a Moroccan soap that I tried to watch but it was a hot mess (about aliens with cheesy special effects…lol)

      I’ve never been in an Arab country during Rammadhan where I’m more likely to watch original Arabic programming.

  1. Brazilian novelas and those based on them can only be better than novelas from the rest of Latin America, in my experience. I think they put more money into their telenovela industry or something, I’m not sure why that is. They previously dubbed “O Clon” into Spanish before they created their own version. I’m waiting to see if others of the novelas I’ve watched will be translated/recreated into Spanish.

    And it’s excellent for language learning! Most of the Portuguese I know is from the two novelas I’ve watched, “A Favorita” and “Viver a Vida.” Awesome! Together, that was about 400+ hours of Portuguese!

    …but yeah, I sit on my hands, or else I’ll start talking about Brazil and this comment will never end…

    • gazelledusahara

      I must concur, I think every culture/country depends on certain basic plots that are recycled over and over, and that is my main issue with enjoying telnovelas, but El Clon’s twist was interesting to me.

      I tried to watch the Brazilian, version, but Portugese just sounds so weird to me (like Spanish with a strong Catalan accent), I never got used to it. The characters on their definitely seemed more believable than the telemundo version. I’m sure it was better than this remake.

      Hopefully there will be others to follow once El Clon is done… sigh… It’s definitely the best way to get immersed in a language, short of going to a country where the language is spoken.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s