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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Arabic speaking friends about wheelchair basketball

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This article is a series of language learning posts by ParaSport News.  The goal is to provide sport fans some very basic sport and Paralympic vocabulary so you can talk with the world about disability sport at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio.


Depending on how you count, Arabic has between 290 and 420 million speakers in and outside the traditional boundaries of the Arab speaking world.  Some variations are less mutually intelligible than others, which is why that point of discussion is worth mentioning.  The Arab region in the past few cycles has been pushing a bit hard to develop their Paralympic programs, with Dubai and Tunisia hosting some major IPC sanctioned events in the past two years.  The language is spoken in a whole bunch people in a number of countries including Israel, Eritrea, Mali, Niger, Kenya, Chad, Senegal, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Iran, Turkey, Madagascar, Tanzania, Mozambique, India, Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.  Chances are you will run across at least one person who speaks the language.

General disability words:

  • توتر عضلي – Hypertonia
  • رنح – Ataxia
  • عمى – blindness
  • شلل دماغي – Cerebral palsy
  •   الإعاقة – Disability
  • تصلب متعدد- Multiple sclerosis
  • ضمور عضلي – Muscular dystrophy
  • ضعف البصر – Visual impairment
  • كرسي_متحرك – wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • رياضات ذوي الاحتياجات الخاصة – Disability sport
  •  رجال – Men
  •  البارالمبية – Paralympic
  • اللجنة البارلمبية – Paralympic Committee
  • ألعاب بارالمبية – Paralympic Games
  • الألعاب البارلمبية الصيفية – Summer Paralympic Games
  • رياضي  – Sports
  •  لفريق – Team
  • مؤقت – Timer
  • المخيم التدريبي – Training camp

Wheelchair basketball specific words:

  • كرة – Ball
  • كرة السلة على الكراسي المتحركة – Wheelchair basketball
  • كرة السلة – Basketball
  • ملعب كرة السلة – Basketball court
  • وقت إضافي  – Overtime
  • حكم  – Referee
Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2569 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees. She has a PhD in Communications from the University of Canberra.

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