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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new French speaking friends about boccia

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.


France is a traditional Paralympic power, ranking fourth all time in total medals.  Canada, which has its own sizable French speaking population, ranks right behind them at fifth.  Having a few words of French will serve you well in Rio as a sport fan.  In addition, there are 77 million native speakers world wide, and an additional 140 million people have some degree of fluency with the language. French speakers are everywhere, including Albania, Algergia, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Côte d’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Egypt, Gabon, Finland, Guinea, Germany, Guinea-Bissau, Italy, Luxembourg, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mauritius, Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Romania, Switzerland, Togo, Vanuatu.  If you want to practice your French, you should easily be able to find some one to speak with in Rio.

General disability words:

  • Infirmité motrice cérébrale – Cerebral palsy
  • Cache-œil – Eyepatch
  • Malvoyant – Low vision
  • Déficience visuelle – Vision loss
  • Trouble de la vision – visual impairment

Sport specific words:

  • entraîneurs – Coaches
  • Disqualifié – disqualified
  • Handisport – Disability sport
  • Coupe d’Europe – European Cup
  • match – Game
  • l’or – Gold
  • Jeux paralympiques – Paralympic Games
  • blessées – Injured
  • Photo-finish – Photo finish
  • résultats  – Results
  • Équipe – Team

General useful phrases:

  • félicitations – Congraulations
  • Fréquence cardiaque – heart rate

Country specific words:

  • Danemark – Denmark
  • Italie – Italy
  • Mexico – Mexico
  • Portugal – Portugal
  • Espagne – Spain


Boccia specific words:

  • Boccia – Boccia
  • Ballon – ball
  • Boulodrome – Boccia pitch
  • Pile ou face – Coin toss
  • Rouge – red


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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