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Translating Sage Kotsenburg

US snowboarder Sage Kotsenburg walked away with a gold medal in the Olympic slopestyle competition over the weekend. His big win was naturally enough followed by press conferences and interviews…during which he left a trail of confused interpreters in his wake.

The problem for interpreters was two-fold- specialized snowboarding jargon and snowboarder slang, much of which would not sound out of place on an old episode of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

The technical lingo includes phrases like “cab double cork 1260 holy crail, frontside 1080 off the toes rocket air and 1620 Japan,”  all of which needed to be translated to 7 different languages for reporters from different  countries. Say what now?

Al-Jazeera America interviewed two Russian interpreters, Andrey Lesokhin and  Oxana Yakimenko,  to find out how they handled the situation.   Read more