More on Enjoying the Olympics in Hong Kong

Enjoying more of the Olympics coverage from Pearl (one of the free local television channels) and utilizing a little of the dual language mode coverage.  In Hong Kong, many channels will actually provide dubbing of many English/other language programs, and you can access that with a press of a button on your remote.  I don’t know how they get so much Cantonese-dubbed programming (they have it for all kinds of stuff — National Geographic, Jamie Oliver, America’s Next Top Model, etc.).  I normally don’t use the function, since I obviously prefer watching my programming in the original English, but for the Olympics the button has been in more usage since the primary overlay has been Cantonese.

I’ve left it on Canto a few times for some time, forgetting about the button I usually don’t use, but once I switch to English broadcast, I notice that Western commentators (for the women’s team gymnastics I think they took the broadcast from the US, so the commentators were American; but for those events being covered especially for Hong Kong’s coverage – e.g., table tennis, judo, badminton, the commentators have tended to be Australian or British) speak a lot LESS than the Cantonese ones!

The Canto commentators sound familiar to me because it seems these same two guys comment on just about every sport on HK television.  They tend to run a constant dialogue, which can be quite distracting.  They spend a whole lot more time explaining the sports.  I once recall watching an MLB game on local tv with thee familiar voices, and the commentator inaccurately suggested that softball was for women and baseball for men!  So, I don’t think the HK sports commentators necessarily know all too much about hte sports they speak on (though I don’t doubt that their general sports knowledge is broader than most of us).

I have to admit I much prefer some silence with limited commenting when I watch sports.  I like learning interesting tidbits, and assistance understanding a sport I’m not familiar with, but not a constant soundtrack!  I like it when the Western commentators are seemingly whispering or talking low, as if they are right there in the room, and we all need to stay quiet to allow the athletes some concentration.  In contrast, the Cantonese ones never do that (they’re not screaming or anything, but Cantonese is not really the most “quiet” language).



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