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

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.


Dutch is spoken by 22 million speakers, and an additional 6 million people have basic understanding of the language.  It is spoken in a number of countries including the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname, Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten and France. France ranks fourth all time in total medals, while the Netherlands is tenth. The language is similar enough to English that it should be easy enough to pick up a few words from your new Dutch speaking friends despite not being familiar with the language.

General disability words:

  • amputatie – amputee
  • Ataxie – Ataxia
  • Athetose – Athetosis
  • Blindheid – Blindness
  • Hersenverlamming – Cerebral palsy
  • Ooglapje – Eyepatch
  • intellectuele beperking – intellectual disability
  • Musculaire dystrofie – Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple sclerose – Multiple sclerosis
  • lichamelijke handicap – Physical disability
  • visuele beperking – visual impairment
  • Visuele handicap – Visual impairment
  • Rolstoel – Wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • Belgian Paralympic Committee – Belgian Paralympic Committee
  • bronzen medaille – Bronze medal
  • Gehandicaptensport – disability sport
  • Europees Paralympisch Comité – European Paralympic Committee
  • Internationaal Paralympisch Comité – International Paralympic Committee
  • Paralympisch – Paralympic
  • gekwalificeerd – qualified

Country specific words:

  • Canada – Canada
  •  Suriname –  Suriname

Wheelchair basketball specific words:

  • Bal – Ball
  • Basketbal – Basketball
  • Jersey – Jersey
  • Verlenging – Overtime
  • Scheidsrechter – Referee
  • Schotklok – Shot clock
  • tijdswaarnemer – timekeeper
  • Rolstoelbasketbal – Wheelchair basketball
  • Persoonlijke fout – Personal foul
  • Point-guard – Point guard
  • Shooting-guard – Shooting guard
  • Center – Center
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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