The first Olympics may have only included 14 countries, but it has continued to grow to over 200 different countries who participate world-wide. There are countries participating from every continent, with many different languages and cultures. Hosting these events means countries must build stadiums and courses for the events that can accommodate thousands of people who come to watch the games. It costs billions of dollars to build and preparation starts at least two years in advance.

There are a couple different ways the Olympics handles the language obstacles at the games. First, they have thousands of translators that come for the sole reason to accompany the athletes and coaches of the games to be able to have communication and understanding with the judges, media, and meeting with fans and other athlete interaction. It is also a necessity for the Olympic games to declare a couple official languages of the games. Usually, it is the majority languages of those who will be attending or watching the games. All documents that are used or created are required to be translated in those particular languages.

The cities hosting the games also go to great lengths to try to break language barriers. Almost all street signs are changed to be translated in multiple languages, to try to avoid traffic accidents or confusion. Almost all restaurants have multiple translated menus as well, to try to make it easier for customers to order.

In February 2018, South Korea will host the XXIII Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. While it is common for the games to have only two official languages, English and French, Korea has added Korean to their official languages. In recent years, the Olympics have been using apps to try to help translation become more accessible among countries. Korea has worked hard to include several different significant improvements.

The app, Genie Talk, is an app that is accessible for iPhones and Androids. It was first introduced in 2012, and was used for the 2012 Asian games. Since then, it has been significantly improved to include more languages than ever before. It will be available for use in nine different languages: English, Mandarin, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Russian, Korean, and Arabic. It is used through the microphone or the keyboard to write what you want to say in your language and it will translate it for you in the language you are trying to communicate with. They also have created a USB device that can be used when internet usage is not available.  

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The Olympics work hard to ensure that there is a common understanding and that everyone is able to communicate. Doing so, not only takes the burden off all attending, but encourages the socialization between different cultures, languages, and people in order to bring together the world.

These games have hit incredible records for the largest number of viewers for any sports event of all time. It is divided into Summer and Winter categories to accommodate the vast range of athletics. It consists of 35 sports, 30 disciplines, and over 400 events. Olympic titles are highly coveted from all athletes around the world, and is considered an honor to participate in. Athletes work their whole lives to even have the chance to compete.

The Olympics began in 1896, with 14 different countries participating. It was based off of the Olympic Games that occured in Olympus, Greece for about 12 centuries. It was considered to be a very religious event, in honour of King Zeus and King Pelops. It eventually did get banned, but sparked the idea for a world-wide iconic event that would become a tradition for years to come.

If you liked this article and would like to learn about how to solve your top translation problems, check out our e-Book, “Solutions to the Top Translation Problems that Affect You

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