Season 3 now premiering!



Get ready for more clashing cultures and raging hormones as Season 2 of the hilarious and critically-acclaimed German comedy Turkish for Beginners premieres is now available on MHz Choice!

Season 2 Now Streaming!

Praised by DW as “a highly entertaining bonanza of cultural stereotypes,” Turkish for Beginners stars Josefine Preuß as Lena Schneider, a typical German teenager living with a single mom, Doris, and her dorky little brother, Nils. Doris is a free-spirited, anti-authoritarian psychologist; her idea of good parenting is to give the kids free reign and to talk it out afterwards. So far, so good. But Lena is horrified when Doris decides to move the family in with her Turkish boyfriend Metin and his two kids! Now, not only does Lena have to adjust to life in a new house and a new school, but she also has two brand-new step-siblings to deal with – Cem, a macho wannabe whose main goal in life is being cool, and the stern, hyper-religious Yagmur, who masks her grief over her own mother’s death by throwing herself into Islam. Towards the end of the first season, the family expands further when Doris’ right-wing, xenophobic father moves in with them. One big happy, right? Things get even more complicated when Lena and Cem begin to fall for each other. Did we mention this is the most un-PC show ever? Yes, it’s The Brady Bunch with sex!

Season Two picks up with Lena caught in a dilemma: should she follow her head and stick with her boyfriend Axel, or follow her heart and pursue a relationship with Cem? Meanwhile, Yagmur starts receiving anonymous messages from a secret admirer, Doris’ sister returns to Berlin (much to the chagrin of Doris!) and Metin begins planning the ultimate proposal…

One of the challenges of creating English subtitles for a foreign language sitcom is the sheer amount of dialogue in each installment. For example, the average episode of Turkish for Beginners features 400 individual subtitles – that’s a lot of on-screen text to fit into less than a half hour! Combine that with the rapid-fire delivery of the actors, the mixture of spoken German and Turkish (often swapping back and forth in the same scene) and Lena’s stream of consciousness voice-over commentary (which we signify using italics) – not to mention the s-stuttering Costa and his unique v-verbal t-tics – and it’s no wonder that it takes just as long to subtitle a single 25-minute Turkish episode as it does to subtitle a complete 90-minute Tatort! It’s a time-consuming process of laying in the original translations scene-by-scene, re-writing and re-timing each and every subtitle to make sure all the punch lines land – and that they’re up on screen long enough for you to read them! (We watch each episode in real-time with the finished subtitles to make sure they’re just right. And often find ourselves laughing out loud at them again.)

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Lena (Josefine Preuß) and Cem (Elyas M'Barek)
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Doris (Anna Stieblich) and Metin (Adnan Maral)

So get ready for a bumper season (24 episodes this time!) of love, laughs and a ton of uniquely German* pop culture references! (This is the only show that can casually reference Goethe in one scene and debate the relative merits of Bavarian Tatort in the next.) Growing up has never been this much fun!

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Yagmur (Pegah Ferydoni) is in love!
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Lena (Josefine Preuß) and Axel (Axel Schreiber)

Random notes:

* In the early episodes, Axel torments Cem by singing the ‘TKKG’ theme song. ‘TKKG’ is a long-running junior detective – think ‘The Hardy Boys’ or ‘The Famous Five’ – series of radio dramas. Yes, that’s still a thing in Germany.

* In the episode where Yagmur tries on makeup, she compares herself to actress Sibel Kekilli. These days, Kekilli is best known for her role as Shae in Game of Thrones. Kekilli joins the regular cast of Tatort: Borowski beginning with Season 2, Episode 6 (‘Borowski and the Matter of Pure Taste’) – playing free-spirit Sarah Brandt.

* One final note: In Episode 209, we reference Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen as being Germany’s defense minister, a post she assumed in 2013. This episode was filmed in 2006, when von der Leyen was the Minister of Family Affairs and Youth. We apologize for the temporal anomaly.

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