Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Supermodel (The Swiss Version of Top Model)

I’m not really a big TV watcher, but since moving here from the states over two years ago, I admit that I have missed watching a mindless reality show here and there. Luckily, Switzerland is no stranger to reality shows—especially knock-offs of U.S. ones. Unfortunately, watching a mindless show in another language is anything but, however, I took the plunge and decided to tune into Supermodel last night after reading about it in the local paper.

Supermodel is a low-budget version of Top Model with women from various locations in Switzerland like Appenzell and Frauenfeld fighting for the title of, well, Supermodel. Unlike the English show, this version throws around two main languages—German and Swiss German—with a little English here and there for good measure. The poor women from the Italian-speaking section are forced to speak German (but I could understand them best since they spoke high-German) and during intense cat fights I could not understand a word with all the Chuchichäschtli‘s being thrown around. But my comprehension rose to almost 100% when an American cat-walk trainer appeared and spoke German with his American accent. English phrases were also tossed around every couple minutes or so, making the entire show an interesting patchwork of language.

My favorite phrase was “Kick-off”, which was what they called the elimination round. For those that are interested in German study, the word “Kick-off” is apparently masculine as it was referred to as “Der Kick-Off”. Who knew? But if I had to guess a sexuality for “Kick-off” I’d pick masculine since it sounds like a sports term.

Anyhow, it was a very enlightening Tuesday evening and for those of you in Switzerland, just think of the hours of crappy shows you can watch without guilt because they are “language lessons”.

For those that are interested in working on at least three languages at once, Supermodel is on Tuesday nights at 20.15 on the appropriately titled, channel 3+. And next week should be extra enlightening, as in addition to the German, Swiss German, and English and the models will be going Paris, and were handed French dictionaries at the end of this week’s show and told to learn French, so we should hear yet another language tossed around during the show.

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