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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Catalan speaking friends about athletics

sharing the world with language learning Sharing the world with language learning. Image credit: Everaldo Coelho and YellowIcon. License: This library is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU Lesser General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation.

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.



If you want to know a few words of one of the most spoken European languages that is not an official language of the European Union, then knowing a few words of Catalan might be helpful.  There are 4.1 million native speakers of the language found in Spain, Andorra, France and Italy.  It is a Romance language, and knowing a few words can help you also recognize a few French words.  Interesting on the Paralympic level, a few times Catalan teams have played the Spanish national team and other international sides at team sports including wheelchair basketball.

General disability words:

  • invidents – blind
  •  Disminuïts Psíquics – Intellectual disability
  • deficients visuals – visual impairment
  • Cadira de rodes – wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • atletes – Athletes
  • Federació  – Federation
  • Esports – Sports
  •  esport d’equip – team sport

Useful words to know when discussing sport:

  • femení – Female
  • masculí – Male

Country specific words:

  • Austràlia – Australia
  • Xina – China
  • Nigèria – Nigeria
  • Aràbia Saudita – Saudi Arabia
  • Sud-àfrica – South Africa
  • Estats Units – United States

Athletics specific words:

  • l’atletisme – athletics
  • Mitja marató – Half marathon
  • tanques – hurdles
  • Salt de llargada – Long jump
  • Marató – Marathon
  • Triple salt – triple jump
  • boira – fog
  • el vent –  the wind
  • el sol – the sun


Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2533 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.

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