Tourist Tip #168 / Television in English for Kids

If you're kids are pooped from sightseeing and just want to kick back and watch TV, there are varied offerings, assuming your hotel has a 'children's TV package.'

Here you are in the Holy Land. The tickets cost you a fortune and the hotel, well, let's just say there are government initiatives in the process to lower prices. You spent the morning touring but the kids have had it. Their little feet hurt and they just want to kick back and watch TV.

Can they? Rather, can they in English? They can – if you let them, if your hotel room has a TV and if the hotel has subscribed to a cable service (which it probably has).

Israel has two "cable" television providers, Yes and HOT. It doesn't really matter which of these the hotel subscribes to, but you may want to make sure the subscription includes "children's TV" packages with designated channels for the kiddies, which cost extra.

Shows suitable for babies to, say, the 4- to 5-year-old set, are often dubbed into Hebrew (as children in that age range generally can't read subtitles). Examples of typically dubbed shows include "Dora the Explorer" and "Bob the Builder."

However, when it comes to shows for second-graders and up, a number of channels broadcast them in the original English with subtitles for Israeli viewers; the same goes for programs catering to somewhat older children. If your kids want a break from Nickelodeon, Disney and other standard fare, they can tune into the National Geographic and Discovery channels if, of course, they are part of your hotel's cable package.

HOT and Yes both offer video-on-demand services, but few hotels enable them. As for television in English for parents, there's plenty: Anything shot in English stays in English. The working assumption is that Israeli adults can read the Hebrew subtitles.
 

Ilya Melnikov
AP