Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Hockey Thoughts Lead to Language Thoughts

Following game one of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night, I read for the first time about something I found really cool, which is that Hockey Night in Canada has a Punjabi edition. Isn't that wild? The announcer's call of what turned out to be the game-winning goal is amazing for its enthusiasm, and makes me want to listen to the coverage even though I wouldn't understand it.

Also, in case you wonder, the goal scorer himself loves it, too.

The play-by-play guy was interviewed on NPR before that game, and I was fascinated by their discussion of how he has to come up with words Punjabi doesn't have, to describe hockey terms. (The link has the transcript, but you can also listen to the interview, which I recommend.) The word-nerd in me keeps thinking about that concept, that there just isn't a word for something:
if you're explaining what a puck is to someone who hasn't seen one before
for example, as penalty box, we call it the box of punishment

Isn't language something?

Off to watch at least the beginning of game two; I don't care enough to stay up late for it, but I hope to see San Jose come out better than they did in the first game. Go Sharks! (Lose, Penguins...)


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