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


Tamil is spoken by 70 million people in India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Réunion, Mauritius, Burma, Malaysia, England, Mauritius, Canada, South Africa, Fiji, Germany, Philippines, United States, Netherlands, Indonesia, Réunion and France.  It is a Dravidian language native to India.  India has had some issues in the Paralympic movement, including their NPC being suspended in 2015, and two other times in its history.  The chances of running into Indians in Rio thus is pretty low. The country sent 10 competitors to London, all men, with Girisha Nagarajegowda picking up the country’s only medal, a silver in the Men’s High Jump F42.

General disability words:

  • குருட்டுத் தன்மை – blindness
  • பெருமூளை வாதம் – Cerebral palsy
  • தண்டுவட மரப்பு நோய் – Multiple sclerosis
  • தசைவளக்கேடு – Muscular dystrophy
  • சக்கர நாற்காலி – Wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • மாற்றுத் திறனாளர் ஒலிம்பிக் விளையாட்டுக்கள் – Paralympic Games

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.

  • நெடுமுப்போட்டி – Triathlon
  • நீச்சல் – Swimming
  • மாரத்தான் – 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.

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