Flirting, Israeli Style


Like your craziest high-school friend, the TV show Coupling will try anything once. This British sitcom is actually a love story, a fictionalized version of the romance between writer Steven Moffat (currently the showrunner of Doctor Who and Sherlock) and his wife/producer Sue Vertue. It’s anything but romanticized–in the first episode, Sue and Steve’s first date is interrupted by both of their exes, both with new dates, and then Sue ends up flashing the entire company.

In one episode (watch it here), the character Jeff–the most socially dysfunctional character on the show by far–sees a beautiful girl sitting in their local bar. He hits on her, of course, and she responds in kind. However, the girl is Israeli, and can’t understand a word of English. Their conversation is surprisingly eloquent, even though there are no subtitles, and Jeff (and, presumably, most of the audience) have no idea what she’s saying.

Then, the Coupling producers pull their magic. They rewind the scene (in the video, it’s at 4:20), and it’s played again–only, this time, our Israeli speaks English, and Jeff speaks a made-up language. The resulting conversation is risqué and hilarious. If you speak some Hebrew, it’s a great way to test your linguistic skills. And if you don’t, it’s just good fun.

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