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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Serbo-Croatian speaking friends about triathlon

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.


Serbo-Croatian has several names including Serbo-Croat, Serbo-Croat-Bosnian, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian.  The language is spoke by around 19 million people in Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Austria, Hungary, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Czech Republic and the Republic of Macedonia. The language is native to Serbia.  The country of Serbia won 5 medals at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, including 2 golds and 3 silvers.  The medals came in athletics and table tennis.  The country also had competitors in cycling and shooting.

General disability words:

  • Ataksija – Ataxia
  • Sljepilo – Blindness
  • Multipla skleroza – Multiple sclerosis

Sport specific words:

  • Paraolimpijske igre – Paralympic Games
  • Troglavi nadlaktični mišić – Triceps brachii muscle


Triathlon specific words:

This sport makes its debut at the 2016 Summer Paralympics.  With words from swimming, athletics and cycling, knowing a few terms here can take you a long way with other sports.

  • Biciklizam – Cycling
  • Plivanje – Swimming
  • Maraton – Marathon
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.

1 Comment on Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Serbo-Croatian speaking friends about triathlon

  1. This has fired me up to revisit the Serbo-Croat I studied many years ago. My sport is Rugby League and I have a dream that, one day, it will have paralympic status.

    This is a wonderful initiative. My experience is that, by sharing language, so much of the world is opened up for me.

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