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Translation boosting international fan engagement

How Translation is Boosting Global Sports Engagement with Social Media

Many sports teams and organisations are now actively employing social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, to engage their fans. The typically informal nature of social media allows fans to feel closer to their heroes by giving the impression of, or even directly enabiling them to have a personal conversation with them. Sports organisations can leverage social media sites to handle queries, offer giveaways, spread information, research fans’ likes and dislikes, and grow their fanbase.

A great benefit of the internet is that content can be viewed instantly, all over the world, so sports fans in other countries can get in on the action at the same time as domestic followers. Although a large number of international fans will be able to read and speak English, teams who provide a separate, targeted feed for a region or country, in their own language, are much more likely to engage successfully with fans on a local level and in far greater numbers. Read more

7  Fun Facts About Translation at the Olympics In 2018

Since the birth of the modern Olympic Games in 1894, the event has grown from a mere 24 countries to over 200. As you might have guessed, the linguistic challenges involved are tremendous. Preparations are underway for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. To celebrate, here are seven fun facts and interesting stories about translation at the Olympics.  Enjoy!

The 2018 Games Have 3 Official Languages: English, French and Korean

The Olympics always have two official languages: English and French. The others are assigned based on the languages spoken in the host country. This time around, that’s Korean.

Korean is the official language of both North and South Korea.   It is spoken by 80 million people around the world, making it the 17th most common native language in the world. Korean is either a language isolate or a member of the small Koreanic language family. It all depends on whether you consider the Jeju language, a local language spoken on the Korean island of Jeju, to be a language of its own or a dialect of Korean.

Much of the 2018 Winter Olympics branding was inspired by the Korean alphabet

Korean is written in the Hangul script, and the shapes of the Korean alphabet inspired many of the visual branding elements for the 2018 Winter Games.

For example, the emblem for the Games is a stylized version of the hangul letters ㅍ (p) and ㅊ (ch), for the initial sounds in “PyeonChang.”

Even better, the left symbol represents heaven, earth, and humanity and the right symbol represents ice.  It’s a great example of the opportunities (and potential pitfalls) that come with translating into a non-Western script, where letters may carry additional meanings beyond just sound.

Need help translating your marketing materials? We can help! 

This Year, As Always, the French Are Watching

Pity the Francophiles! Unless the Olympic Games are being held in a French-speaking nation, the French language seems to get the short end of the stick when compared to English and the language of the host country. Every year, the International Organization of la Francophonie observes the games to make sure that French gets its due. They also appoint a language watchdog called le Grand Témoin, which translates to “the Great Witness.”

This year, le Grand Témoin is Fleur Pellerin, former French Minister of Culture and Communications. Pictured at left, she was born in South Korea but raised in France.

It’s PyeongChang, Not Pyongyang

South Korea would like to remind you that the 2018 Winter Olympics are being held in Pyeongchang, not Pyongyang. Pyongyang is the capital of North Korea. And yes, one person has already gotten the two cities confused.  In October 2014, a Kenyan man attending a UN conference in Pyeongchang accidentally booked a ticket to Pyongyang instead.

According to NBC News, the indigenous people’s rights advocate was “held in North Korea for more than four hours, forced to pay about $500 for a plane ticket out of the country and ordered to sign a pledge saying he would never return to North Korea without a visa.”

Harsh! And given the current level of tension between North Korea and almost everywhere else, it would probably be for the best if this didn’t happen again.

To that end, Pyeongchang is changing its name to PyeongChang for the Winter Olympics.

South Korea Sought Out 2,100 Volunteers for Translation at the Olympics

Although the winter Olympics are smaller than the summer Olympics, translation remains a top concern. This year is no different. In preparation for the 2018 Olympic Games, South Korea sought out 2,100 volunteers with language skills to act as interpreters and translators for athletes, delegates, and the press.

Of course, let’s not forget the professional translators and interpreters who worked hard behind the scenes, without the benefit of press coverage!  Read more

Translation & Interpreting in Sports

Translating sport into global success

Translation and interpreting have long played a role in the global sporting industry. The international nature of a great many sporting competitions brings together athletes, trainers, coaches, judges, sponsors, fans and more from all corners of the globe. All of those participating need to understand the rules of the competition, local regulations, safety announcements and a myriad of other details. Meanwhile, those attending the event as spectators need to be able to understand the practical details of the venue (where to find exits, toilets, food and so forth) as well as associated information such as the event schedule etc.

Translation in sport is key to facilitating international competitions such as the Olympics and the FIFA World Cup. However, that is far from the only role of applied translation when it comes to the sporting industry. Read more

international sporting rivalries

9 International Sporting Rivalries to get Pulses Racing

The Chicago-based writer Sydney J. Harris once explained the difference between patriotism and nationalism as being the difference between being proud of what you country has done, and being proud of your country no matter what it does. As a mindset (and, indeed, as a world view), the latter description sounds a difficult person to be stuck chatting to at a party. In sport, though, all rules of polite society go out of the window, and virtually every fan of an international event – team or individual – can become a jingoistic nationalist while spectating.

And, aside from those silly flags people insist on attaching to their wing mirrors during football World Cups, why not? Many sporting events bring to the fore rivalries which diplomacy otherwise keeps under wraps, and (usually) harmlessly enough. Many of the great rivalries between sporting nations are indicative of historical, cultural or political differences, and while geographical proximity is usually the root of rivalries between domestic teams (English football is the home of local derbies, what with Arsenal and Spurs playing in nearby parts of north London, and Liverpool and Everton’s grounds virtually opposite one another), when global politics is added into the mix, international meetings can come down to more than simple petty one-upmanship: it becomes matter of national pride. Or embarrassment.

Strong rivalries add to the excitement of sports and, as a fan, there can be nothing more satisfying than gaining success over your most hated betes noires. Presented here nine of the fiercest and deepest-rooted international sporting rivalries. Read more