Latest News

Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Spanish speaking friends about athletics

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.


Spanish is spoken 470 million native speakers world wide.  As an official or default language in 20 different countries, you are almost certain to run across people who speak it.  The language is almost completely phonetic and easier for English speakers to learn than Portuguese.  If you speak it slowly, most Portuguese speakers will be able to understand you.  Spoken in  Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Spain, Uruguay, Venezuela, United States, Puerto Rico,  Andorra, Belize, Gibraltar, Philippines, United States, and Western Sahara, some of these countries also have deep Paralympic traditions and knowing it will help you keep up with a lot of medalists.  Spain is 8th all time on the Paralympic medal table.  Mexico is 24th.  Argentina is 29th.

General disability words:

    • parálisis cerebral – Cerebral palsy
    • sordo – Deaf
    • discapacidades – Disabilities
    • pies – Feet
    • manos – Hands
    • Síndrome de Rett – Rett Syndrome
    • silla de ruedas – Wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  •  deporte paralímpico – Paralympic sport
  • deportistas de alto rendimiento – High performance athlete
  • Hombres – men
  • masculino – Men
  • Paralímpica – Paralympic (feminine)
  • femenino – Women
  • Mujeres – women


  • Austria – Austria
  • Brasil – Brazil
  • China – China
  • Alemania- Germany
  • Italia – Italy
  •  Panamá – Panama
  • España – Spain
  • Reino Unido – United Kingdom

Athletics specific words:

  • atletismo – athletics
  • atleta – athlete
  • Pruebas combinadas – Combined track and field events
  • Lanzamiento de disco – discus throw
  • Lanzamiento de martillo – hammer throw
  • Salto de altura – high jump
  • Lanzamiento de jabalina – javelin throw
  • Carrera de larga distancia – long distance running
  • salto de longitud – long jump
  • salto largo – long jump
  • Pentatlón -Pentathlon
  • Salto con pértiga – pole vault
  • Lanzamiento de peso – shot put
  • Técnica – technique
  • Triple salto – triple jump
Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2533 Articles)
<p>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.</p>

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


%d bloggers like this: