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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new Tibetan speaking friends about gymnastics

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.


Realistically, your chances of going to Rio and running across native Tibetan speakers seem low, but you never know. China has led the medal count at the past three Summer Paralympic Games.  In London, they had an impressive medal haul of 231, with 95 golds among them.  Tibetan only has around 2 million native speakers though, found mostly in China, Nepal and India.  And yeah, these word lists are more about reading than speaking, but a little language learning never hurt anyone. Okay,  we do admit that gymnastics is not on the Paralympic program, but the sport is part of the Special Olympics and there are a number of people with disabilities worldwide who are involved in this sport.


Sport specific words:

  • བྱ་སྒྲོ་སྤོ་ལོ། – Badminton
  • དྲ་ཕས་སྤོ་ལོ། – Basketball
  • རི་འཛེག་ལུས་རྩལ། – Climbing
  • འབྲུག་གྲུ། – Dragon boat
  • གྲི་རྩེད། – Fencing
  • གདུགས་མཆོང་ལུས་རྩེད། – Parachuting
  • མཆོངས་རྒྱུག – Parkour
  • རྐང་རྩེད་སྤོ་ལོ། – Soccer
  • ལུས་རྩལ། – Sport
  • ལུས་རྩལ་སྐོར། – Sports
  • རྫོང་གྲུག – Squash
  • ཕིན་ཕང་སྤོ་ལོ། – Table tennis
  • ཏན་ནེ་སི་སྤོ་ལོ། – Tennis
  • ཐག་འགྲོས། – Tightrope walking
  • ཕའི་ཆིའུ་སྤོ་ལོ། – Volleyball

Country specific words:

Athletics specific words:

  • སྦུབས་མཆོངས། – High jump
  • མགོམས་མཆོངས། – Long jump
  • མ་ལ་སུང་རྒྱུགས་འགྲན། – Marathon
  • མཐུད་རྒྱུགས། – Relay race

Canoe specific words:

Football specific words:

Martial arts and combat sport specific words:

  • འབོལ་འཇུ། – Judo
  • ཐའེ་ཅི་ཆོན། – Tai chi
  • དྲག་རྩལ། – Wushu
  • སྦེ་ག – Wrestling
  • ཧྲའོ་ལིན་དྲག་རྩལ། – Shaolin Kung Fu
  • དྲག་རྩལ། – Chinese martial arts
  • སུ་མོ་སྦེ་ག – Sumo
  • སུམ་སྦྲེལ་སྐོར་དབྱུག – Three-section staff

Gymnastics specific words:

  • ཆིག་རྡང་། – Horizontal bar (gymnastics)
  • ཉིས་རྡང་། – Parallel bars (gymnastics)
  • མཆོངས་རྒྱུག – Parkour
  • ཐག་འགྲོས། – Tightrope walking
  • མཐོ་དམན་གདང་། – Uneven bars (gymnastics)

Wheelchair rugby specific words:

Winter sport specific words:


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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