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7  Fun Facts About Translation at the Olympics In 2016

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. The Games are in full swing in Rio de Janeiro right now. To celebrate, here are 7 fun facts and interesting stories about translation at the 2016 Olympics.  Enjoy!

The 2016 Games Have 3 Official Languages: English, French and Portuguese

The Olympics always have two official languages: English and French. Other official languages are assigned based on the languages spoken in the host country. This year, that’s Portuguese, a Romance language with 215 million native speakers and the only official language of Brazil.

This Year, As Always, the French Are Watching

Manu_dibango1Pity 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 the French language  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 jazz musician Manu Dibango of Cameroon, pictured at left.

Rio De Janeiro Sought Out 8,000 Volunteers for Translation at the Olympics

Translation at the Olympics is always a huge concern, and this year was no different. In preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro sought out 8,000 volunteers with language skills to act as interpreters and translators for athletes, delegates and the press.  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

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