Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Watching the Olympics auf Deutsch

For the past few days we have watched a few hours of the Olympics. At first, I was really excited about watching the Games, but my enthusiasm is dwindling due to having to watch it in German and not being able to follow the US teams. The opening ceremonies were great, the best I have ever seen. After about a half hour, I tuned out all the German and just enjoyed the spectacle. But what really has been driving me crazy are the interviews with athletes. The athletes are usually speaking in English, and for about 10 seconds it’s wonderful. Then the German translator overpowers them and I find myself not trying to understand the German, but straining to hear the English they’ve covered up instead. The German translator is the same voice and it prattles on and on no matter who is speaking, man or woman. It gets a bit monotonous after awhile.

Also, it’s a bit strange the way they title all the programming, like “Mission to Beijing.” They are all titled in English, but said with a German accent so by the time I’m through watching the Games, I fear that any English I do have left will be seriously compromised. What do you mean Beijing? The Olympics were in Peking. (This is what it’s called in German).

It’s too bad the programming can’t be interactive somehow, where you get to choose what teams to follow. I try, but I just don’t really care if the German team wins a medal or not. And so far in my watching, I’ve gotten to see about one American compete. Watching the Olympics without being able to cheer for your country kind of defeats the point. Oh well.


Susan May said...

I'm watching Euro-sport (in English) and it's not so bad. Back in the U.S., NBC really over-does some of the back-story stuff. This is a nice change.

Brian Barker said...

This seems to be an argument for a common international language, like Esperanto.

Interestingly the Beijing Olympics has appointed an Esperanto translator, and CRI have begun broadcasting in Esperanto. You can see this at http://esperanto.cri.cn/

As far as the real Esperanto is concerned you might like to see http://esperanto.net

Chantal said...

Yeah, I think if I could watch Eurosport in English it would be nice. And I'll check out Esperanto!


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