Thursday, August 21, 2008

Los Juegos Olimpicos

I'm watching the Olympics on Telemundo via DVR. This is so that recording the Olympics doesn't interfere with recording anything on the SciFi channel, but it's also provided the unintentional benefit of improving my Spanish ear. While I can't understand a single thing said on La Raza's radio station, Telemundo's announcers speak so clearly and slowly that I can follow a lot of what's being said, if I want to. I never want to listen to the comments about athletes' performances, and this way I don't have to. I just turn off my Spanish ear.

I chuckle when the text on the screen says "baloncesto" or "balonmano" and in a blur of words from Jessi Losada I hear "basketball" or "handball." The same is true of the athlete's names, which make me wonder if the announcers just really practice the sounds. The interview with the proprietress of a roast duck restaurant was conducted in English and Spanish, with English being the common language between Leti Coo and the Chinese. I watched NBC prerecorded interviews with Michael Phelps and with Dara Torres in which their words were muffled, but not totally blocked out, by the Spanish translation. This made it easier for me to understand the Spanish. The interviews with the Spanish-speaking athletes I mostly can't understand as the athletes speak "regular" Spanish.

I also got a kick out of the Canadian synchro diving team member hwo counted off, "Une, deaux, trois, GO!"

On Telemundo, they're pronouncing "Beijing" properly, with a hard "J" as in "juice" and not the "zh" as in "leisure" that's being said on NBC.

Finally, I've had two dreams in Spanish. In the dreams my Spanish is perfect.

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