Most people know what "et le but" means, even if they aren't fluent in French. Ever wondered how it's said in Punjabi? ((Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press))

If you're a Montreal Canadiens fan, there's a good chance you've watched a Habs game in French, even if you don't speak the language.

Despite not understanding everything being said, you can pick up enough words.  The call of a goal in French, "et le but," has become so commonplace that many English sportscasters will recite the famous line at least once while reading Habs' highlights.   

Surprisingly, you may find some similarities watching Hockey Night in Canada in Punjabi. Two games are available every Saturday on cable service providers Rogers, Bell and Shaw. The doubleheaders are also streamed live on Cbcsports.ca. The languages are different, but not as much as you may think.

The British influence is one reason why you might pick up similarities. Punjabi is mainly spoken in the Commonwealth countries of Pakistan and India.

"The British were in the area for close to 100 years," said Parminder Singh, Hockey Night in Canada play-by-play commentator for the Punjabi feed. "As a result, Punjabi is interspersed with many English words such as hospital and bus."

His broadcast booth colleague, Harnarayan Singh, says the popularity of field hockey in Pakistan and India has made it easier for people who don't speak Punjabi to understand some of the words spoken during the course of an NHL game. 

"Words like shot and penalty overlap," he said. "Also there really isn't a translation for the word puck. So someone who doesn't speak Punjabi is at least hearing some familiar words."

The names of players and cities are also the same in both languages. For example, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby remains the same in Punjabi.    

The rise in popularity of the East Indian movie industry has also reduced the barrier between the two languages. 

"There's the influence of Bollywood, which uses a lot of English words," said Dr. Kanwal Singh Neel, program coordinator in the faculty of education at Simon Fraser University. "Those words have now become part of the Punjabi vocabulary. An example in hockey would be the word goal."

So tune in some Saturday evening, and see which words you can pick out.

You don't even have to be a Montreal Canadiens fan.