Dear language friend,translation
This June will see one of the world’s biggest sporting events take place in France, as teams from 24 nations come together to compete in the UEFA Euro 2016, to determine Europe’s top soccer nation. France will not only be host to 24 different teams, but also to soccer fans from all over Europe. They will come to cheer for their teams in the stadiums, celebrate together in pubs, and share a wonderful experience with locals and other fans from across the continent.
Languages of the UEFA
As one of the biggest sports organizations in the world, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has a staff of over 500 people from over 30 different countries, working in the administration, as coaches, media specialists – and of course, as translators.
The UEFA has three official languages: French, English, and German. However, the UEFA represents national soccer associations from 55 countries, where not only Romance and Germanic languages are spoken, but also Slavic languages (Russian, Polish, Czech, etc.), and Baltic languages (Latvian, Lithuanian). Even Hebrew is part of the UEFA, as the Israel Football Association joined in the 1990’s.
Besides larger language communities like, German, English, French, and Russian, the UEFA also has members from smaller language communities, such as, Albanian and Estonian, to name a few. At this year’s tournament, countries with relatively small language families, like Iceland, Hungary, and Slovakia will compete. For those smaller members and competitors, translation plays a vital role in their participation within the organization. It also allows them to express their interests. If it wasn’t for translators and interpreters their involvement would be highly difficult, if not impossible
A Global Event
The Euro 2016 kicks off in Paris, on June 10th, with France playing against Romania. This will be celebrated not only by the fans, who will travel to France to support their teams, but across Europe and the world over. Broadcasters from around the planet will provide live coverage of all matches, as well as fans in Australia, Asia, or North America, will be able to follow their favourite teams.
All this would not be possible without translators and interpreters working directly in the stadiums. They assist journalists during post-match interviews and provide language services at press conferences. This is a highly demanding job. There is not much time to prepare, and coaches and players can get very emotional. However, working as translators or interpreters in soccer can prove to be very funny and varied.
One example of this is Liverpool’s German manager Jürgen Klopp, whose knowledge of English is not very extensive. He often uses German proverbs, translating them literally into English, which more often than not leaves journalist baffled.
Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbuz2vG94P4 for a funny press conference with Jürgen Klopp!
No Soccer without Translation
A Soccer game does not begin at the referee’s whistle, nor does it end when the players leave the pitch. As mentioned above, there is more to it, even though not every player or coach likes it. But for fans, press conferences and interviews belong to soccer, just like exchanging jerseys is a part of the game for the players. In recent years the media has widened its coverage of the sport. This not only includes match coverage, but pre and post-match press conferences, and post-match interviews.
For the upcoming tournament 51 matches will be played. This means that 102 pre-match conferences, 102 post-match press conferences, and 51 sets of post-match interviews will be held. With up to three matches per game day, translators and interpreters will be working continuously to make this tournament not only a global event, but a global success.
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