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


If you’re going to the 2016 Summer Paralympics, you might want to have an idea of the sporting lingo in other languages to better understand what people are saying.  In the case of Portuguese, it is spoken by the host country, and by athletes from countries that include Brazil, Portugal, Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, and São Tomé and Príncipe.

General disability words:

  • amputação – amputee
  • Ataxia – Ataxia
  • Atetose – Athetosis
  • Cegos – Blind
  • Cegueira – Blindness
  • Paralisia cerebral – Cerebral palsy
  • Tapa-olho – Eyepatch
  • Hipertonia – Hypertonia
  • Baixa visão – low vision
  • Distrofia muscular – Muscular dystrophy
  • Esclerose múltipla – Multiple sclerosis
  • Cadeira de Rodas – Wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • Jogos Para-Asiáticos – Asian Para Games
  • Desporto para pessoas com deficiência – Disability sport
  • disputa – Event/race/competition
  • Federação – Federation
  • Federação Internacional dos Desportos para Cegos – International Blind Sports Federation
  • Masculinos   – Men
  • Jogos Paraolímpicos – Paralympic Games
  • Quartos de final – Quarter finals
  • Meias finais – Semi finals
  • Desporto – Sport
  • Tríceps braquial – Triceps brachii muscle
  • Femininos – Women
  • à direita – right
  • à esquerda – left
  • sempre em frente – straight ahead

Country specific words:

  • Espanha – Spain
  • Brasil‬ – Brazil
  • Portugal – Portugal
  • Estados Unidos – United States
  • Rússia – Russia
  • Coréia do Norte – North Korea

Wheelchair basketball specific words:

  • Bola – Ball
  • Prorrogação – Overtime
  • Árbitro – Referee
  • Coeficiente de restituição – Coefficient of restitution
  • Basquetebol em cadeira de rodas – Wheelchair basketball
  • Federação Internacional de Basquetebol em Cadeira de Rodas – International Wheelchair Basketball Federation
  • Basquetebol – Basketball
  • Armador – Point guard
  • Ala-armador – Shooting guard
  • Pivô – 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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