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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Esperanto speaking friends about football

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.


Yeah, Esperanto is a constructed language but lots of people have learned it.  There are something like 2 million speakers from around the globe.  If you cannot talk in English with a new Slovak or Czech or Arabic speaking friend, you might want to give Esperanto a go.

General disability words:

  • blindiĝis – blind
  • Blindeco – Blindness
  • Multloka sklerozo – Multiple sclerosis
  • Parta vida malkapablo – visual impairment

Sport specific words:

  • minutoj – minutes
  • Paralimpiko – Paralympic Games
  • sporta  – sport
  • monda rekordo – world record

Country specific words:

  • Sud-Koreio – South Korea

Football specific words:

  • Pilko – ball
  • Okulkovro – Blindfold
  • Golulo – Goalkeeper
  • Futbalo – Football
  • Futbalpilko – soccer ball
  • Golejo – Goal
  • goloj – goals
  • Ora golo – Golden goal
  • matĉo – match, game
  • teamoj – teams
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.

3 Comments on Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Esperanto speaking friends about football

  1. Thank you for this, Laura. I hope you’ll allow me to add some information. Esperanto speakers are highly organised. There is a Jarlibro (Yearbook) published annually giving access to a network of local representatives. These people scattered all over the world and act as ‘consuls’, providing help and information, and passing on the visitor from another country to his/her contacts. When I’m travelling for work or on a family holiday, I usually contact a local representative in advance, to arrange a meeting. In Trieste I was invited to the local Esperanto society, and then to stay at a family home (where no English is spoken) in the hills outside the town. There is an Esperanto badge (when I remember to wear it) which gives unplanned contacts. I don’t think I’ve had more than half a dozen such chance encounters, where I see a badge or someone sees mine. For example, I have come across Esperanto speakers on the metro in Paris and the London underground, and I remember meeting a Norwegian at Vienna airport, when both of us had time on our hands.

  2. Elizabeth Stanley // September 17, 2015 at 2:21 pm // Reply

    Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, would be so thrilled if he could know his language was being used to help promote sport amongst disabled people. He was an oculist who did a great deal for visually impaired people; there are many blind Esperantists today and the World Esperanto Congresses were including blind and wheelchair-bound delegates long before disabled access became mainstream. The Internet has made learning Esperanto even easier: try .

  3. You can start using Esperanto after less than 20 hours of learning time.

    Twenty reasons to learn and use Esperanto

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