The summer Olympics are almost at a close now and it’s been a brilliant few weeks for Team GB with plenty of medals, some great sporting moments and fantastic personal achievements. But what do these games have to do with translations?
Quite a lot if you think about it. Right from the beginning translation services were used for promotional materials such as posters, flyers, or Internet blogs. To ensure the athletes were aware of the rules and the schedules they had to be translated into multiple languages.
The Olympics always have two or three official languages. The first two always stay the same. Traditionally they are English and French, the third one depends on the host country. Seeing as not everyone knows Japanese or the other two languages, participants would have had to either bring their own interpreters or rely on the organisers to provide this service.
During the games, interpreters are on hand to help ensure athletes are in the right place at the right time, that any queries are efficiently dealt with and that any problems are handled as quickly as possible. Interpreters are also needed to help with international broadcasting, interviewing winners and losers alike to find out their views and reactions so that audiences can share their highs and lows.
Whenever people from across the world gather to enjoy a common event, languages will play a key role in making sure that everything runs smoothly, everyone stays safe, and the event is a success. We look forward to the Paralympics beginning on 24 August 2021 where interpreters and translators (including sign language interpreters) will be busy once again, and we wish everyone the very best of luck.