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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new German speaking friends about Taekwondo

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.


German is an official language in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Italy. It’s a recognized minority language in Namibia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, and Poland. There are small native language communities in a number of countries including South Africa, United States and Brazil. IPC offices are also in based in Germany. You’re almost certain to run across a German speaker in Brazil.

General disability words:

  • Ataxie – Ataxia
  • Athetose – Athetosis
  • Blindheit – Blindness
  • Infantile Zerebralparese – Cerebral palsy
  •  Handicap – Disability
  • Augenklappe – Eyepatch
  • Hypertonie – Hypertonia
  • Muskeldystrophie – Muscular dystrophy
  • Multiple Sklerose – Multiple sclerosis
  • Rollstuhl – wheelchair
  • Sehbehinderung – visual impairment

Sport specific words:

  • Para-Asienspiele – Asian Para Games
  • Glocke – Bell
  • Körpergewicht – body weight
  • Trainer – Coach
  • Behindertensport – Disability sport
  • Europacup  – European Cup
  • Weibliche Klassen – Female classes
  • Männliche Klassen – Male classes
  • Medaillengewinnerinnen  – Medalist
  • paralympische Sportart – Paralympic sport
  • Paralympische Spiele – Paralympic Games
  • Spieler – Players
  • Podestplatz  – Podium
  • Silber – Silver
  • Behindertensport – sport for the disabled
  • Periodisierung des sportlichen Trainings – Sports periodization
  • Mannschaft – Team
  • Zeitschaltuhr – Timer
  • Musculus triceps brachii – Triceps brachii muscle
  • Schiedsrichtier – Umpire, Referee

Sport related adjectives:

  • Perfekte – Perfect
  • sportlich – athletic
  • groß – big, large
  • vorsichtig – careful
  • heiter – clear
  • tödlich – deadly
  • früh – early
  • frisch – fresh
  • halb – half


  • Dänemark – Denmark
  • England – England
  • Estland – Estonia
  • Faroer Inseln – Faroe Islands
  • Italien – Italy
  • Niederlanden – Netherlands
  • Norwegen – Norway
  • Slowakei – Slovakia


Taekwondo specific words:

While Taekwondo is not on the Paralympic program until 2020, preparation is always useful because you might run across Spanish speakers who have Taekwondo as a second sport or are potential hopefuls for Tokyo.

  • World Taekwondo Federation – World Taekwondo Federation
  • Dōjō – Dojo
  • Wurftechnik – Throw
  • Tritttechnik – Kick
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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