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Talking the lingo in Rio: Chatting with your new West Frisian 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.


West Frisian is mostly spoken in the Friesland region of the Netherlands.   The Wet Germanic language has about 470,000 speaker.  Given that the Netherlands has had large delegations at the Paralympic Games, including 91 athletes competing in 11 sports in London, you might have a chance at using a few words.  The Netherlands picked up 39 medals in London, including 10 golds.

General disability words:

  • Rolstoel – Wheelchair

Sport specific words:

  • balsport – Ball sport
  • Paralympyske Spullen  – Paralympic Games
  • programma – program


  • Austraalje – Australia
  • Brazylje- Brazil
  • Sina – China

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.

  • Hurdrinnen – Running
  • Swimmen – Swimming
  • Maraton – Marathon
  • Hânfyts – Handcycle
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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