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


Latvian is the native language of only 1.75 million people.  Latvia as a country though shoots above its weight though as it has 11 total Paralympic medals, including 2 won at the Winter Paralympics.  While there may not be huge use for it, you may find a few words helpful to make friends with a group that has few native speakers.

General disability words:

  • Aklums – blindness
  • Bērnu cerebrālā trieka – Cerebral palsy
  • Izkaisītā skleroze – Multiple sclerosis

Sport specific words:

  • godalgas – Gold medal
  • metrus  – meters
  • Paralimpieši – Paralympians
  • Paraolimpiskās spēles – Paralympic Games

General useful phrases:

  • Apsveicam – Congratulations

Wheelchair basketball specific words:

  • Bumba – Ball
  • Basketbola bumba – basketball ball
  • Basketbola laukums – Basketball court
  • Basketbols – Basketball
  • Saspēles vadītājs – Point guard
  • Uzbrūkošais aizsargs – Shooting guard
  • Centrs – 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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