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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Finnish 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.


Finnish only has 5.4 million speakers, most of whom live in Finland, Russia, Estonia, Sweden, and Norway.  The language is from the Uralic family, and uses the Latin script.  Finland does pretty well at both the Summer and Winter Paralympic Games, so it may be useful to have a few words to mumble to yourself as you watch a Finnish competitor make a run for the podium.

General disability words:

  • Ataksia – Ataxia
  • Sokeus – Blindness
  • CP-vamma – Cerebral palsy
  • Silmälappu – Eyepatch
  • Lihastaudit – Muscular dystrophy
  • MS-tauti – Multiple sclerosis
  • Näkövamma – visual impairment
  • pyörätuoli  – wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • Vammaisurheilu – Disability sport
  • Paralympialaiset – Paralympic Games

Wheelchair basketball specific words:

  • Koripallo – Basketball
  • Jatkoaika – Overtime
  • Erotuomari – Referee
  • Pyörätuolikoripallo – Wheelchair basketball
  • Pelintekijä – Point guard
  • Heittävä takamies – Shooting guard
  • Sentteri – 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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