The ability to connect with these fans or engage a global audience of customers has become necessary to successfully run international sporting events, grow businesses and expand online sports retail stores.
And there’s no better way to connect with people than by speaking their own language.
Why it’s important to translate your sporting materials:
Translation also makes practical sense. The language used in exercise guides or instructions needs to be clear so people understand how to exercise correctly and don’t injure themselves! Including video demos or diagrams will also make instructions more universal.
What to consider when translating your sporting materials:
- Translating word for word isn’t a good idea
When translating sporting terminology, be wary of using automated services like Google Translate. They often translate words or phrases literally, which can make sentences lose their sense or suggest words that are too formal, or not commonly used.
For example, in Italian a goal scorer is l’autore del gol. Translated literally into English, this would mean ‘author of the goal’. As this phrase sounds clunky, you would need a professional translator, who knows how the locals speak, to adapt the phrase appropriately.
One distinctive style of penalty kick in football has many different names across the world. Some countries call it a Panenka, but in Italy it’s known as Il Cucchiaio and Cavadinha in Brazil. Again, a professional human translator would know which phrase the locals would understand.
- The vocabulary of a sport is often from the country it originated in
Sporting terminology is often in the language of the country where it was created, so many terms don’t have direct counterparts in other languages. A translator would need to find a similar phrase in the local language that conveys the same meaning.
This is particularly true of common idiomatic sporting expressions like drop the ball, the gloves are off, get the ball rolling, par for the course, throwing in the towel and game set and match. These idioms are widely used and understood in England but may not have a direct equivalent in another language.
Similarly, in Italy, footballer Mario Balotelli is famous for his outlandish behaviour. So much so, a new Italian word has been created to describe gestures or behaviour similar to his: balotellata.
On the flip side of this, some sporting terms are adopted into other languages, so certain English words will also be used in Italian. A sports translator familiar with both languages will know which words to translate and which to leave as they are.
- New sporting terminology is constantly being created
When new sports, exercises or fitness crazes are created, new terminology also needs to be created in multiple languages. Similarly, new sporting references are coined regularly and become popular worldwide. A famous example is the ‘Mobot’, the name for Mo Farah’s victory pose that he debuted during the 2012 Olympics.
Due to the ever-changing nature of sports, it’s important to use a translator who keeps up with sporting culture, language and rules to ensure you ace your sports translation!
I’ll adapt your materials from English into Italian to ensure any specialist terms and phrases are understood locally.
I’ve translated exercise manuals for large sports brands, such as Nike, and I write regular blog posts about running. I’m a huge sports fan and am particularly passionate about basketball, yoga, swimming, tennis, football and the gym.
Get in touch for a free quote today.