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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Russian speaking friends about goalball

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.


Russian is spoken by 150 million native speakers, and an additional 260 million speakers with some level of fluency.  Most of the speakers live in Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Moldova, Romania, Finland, Ukraine, Israel, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the United States.  Russian is an East Slavic language that uses the Cyrillic alphabet, so reading it is a challenge for most English speakers.  On the Paralympic level, Russia just finished hosting the Winter Paralympic Games and ranks fifteenth all time in terms of total medals.  As the language is spoken in a number of former members of the Soviet Union, some knowledge may go a long way to making friends from a region that has been in the news a lot recently.

General disability words:

  • Слепота – blindness
  • Детский церебральный паралич – Cerebral palsy
  • Нарушения зрения – Visual impairment
  • Потеря зрения – Vision loss
  • Инвалидная коляска – Wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • Национального паралимпийского комитета Азербайджана – National Paralympic Committee of Azerbaijan
  •  Национальная сборная  – National team
  • паралимпийцы – Paralympic
  • Паралимпийские игры – Paralympic Games
  • мировом турнире – World Championship

Goalball specific words:

  • Мяч – Ball
  • Колокол – Bell
  • Маска для сна – Blindfold
  • Голбол – Goalball
  • Золотой гол – Golden goal
  • Судья – Referee
  • Таймер – Timer




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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