Watch TV or listen to radio from Teochew on your smartphone? - Now You Can (Part 1)

For those of us who have visited the Teochew region, one of the most exhilarating moment must be when we have the radio tuned in to news read out in fluent Teochew, or even better, the television switched on to a half-hour sitcom with its conversations spoken entirely in the language we otherwise hear only at home.

Alas, many of us can only be in Teochew for short holidays. But good news to all - there are now two free mobile apps that allow us to watch TV and listen to radio from Teochew just about anytime, anywhere. This week we introduce 汕头橄榄台 from Swatow.


汕头橄榄台 (literally "Swatow Olive Channel") is an app produced by the Shantou Radio and Television Station (STRTV, 汕头市广播电视台). It serves as a platform to access local news on official announcements, current affairs, food and other activities.

Both iOS and Android versions of this app can be downloaded for free from its official site Apple users also have the option of doing so at the iTunes store

After downloading, installing and opening the app, you will find at the bottom of its interface a menu with a 视听 (video/audio) option.

Tapping on this button, you will be brought to a 直播 ("direct broadcast") selection page, where you can choose to watch/listen "live" any of STRTV's three television channels (sttv 1, sttv 2 and sttv 3) or FM radio stations (FM99.3, FM 102.5, FM107.2). 

A good proportion of STRTV's television and radio programmes are actually in Mandarin, which of course is the official language of mainland China. For this reason, you may prefer to go to the 点播 ("on demand") page by pressing its button that is found near the top of the interface, right beside 直播.

On this page, you have the choice of watching various episodes of locally-produced television programmes. If your intention is to improve your Teochew-listening skills and learning about the Swatow people and society, we recommend the following:

("Neighbours Next Door") - a popular dinner-time sitcom featuring stories around several families in a Swatow middle-class neighbourhood. Some complain the acting to be exaggerated, but the long-running series remains well-liked for its depiction of the lives of the typical Swatow urban-folk.

美食潮 ("Teochew good food") - you guessed it, a programme introducing your favourite Teochew and other Chinese food. The hosts not only bring you in search of the origin of the different ingredients, but also invite leading chefs to teach you how to prepare them into salivating dishes.

今日视线("Today in News") - a staple television programme for many in Swatow focusing on local news and current affairs. Useful in giving insights into the lives of the common people in Swatow. The newcasters are widely said to speak in the "standard" Swatow-variant of Teochew.

我来激笑 ("Come let me laugh") - a comedy cross-talk competition involving the whole Teochew region. Exhibits excellently the quick-wit of the Teochew people. But be warned - the contestants speak real fast!

    The app has many more features and its media contents are constantly being updated.  Not matter your age, 汕头橄榄台 is ideal for keeping you in touch with the sounds and sights of our people. Next week we feature a second app by Chaozhou Broadcast Television (潮州广播电视台).

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