The Olympics are headed to Korea!
In South Korea, Gangwon province, the city of PyeongChang, masses of people are gathering to celebrate and compete in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The snowy air is charged with excitement, and a murmur of voices swells to the sky amid cold breezes.
The competition begins on Thursday, February 8th, with curling and ski jumping, but the opening ceremonies will be held the next day, Friday, February 9th, culminating in the closing ceremonies Sunday, February 25th. Over one hundred medals will be won, spread out over fifteen sporting divisions, including luge, snowboarding, ice hockey, and figure skating. A few new sports will be presented at the Olympics for the first time, including big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, and mixed team alpine skiing.
PyeongChang: where heaven meets earth
The Olympic festival is one steeped in history and culture from every corner of the world. Unsurprisingly, a variety of languages is an inseparable part of this, with hundreds of people exchanging vital communications at all times- athletes and their coaches and trainers with local people, announcers, press teams, security personnel, and the thousands of fans who come in person and watch from their home nations as the events are televised and live-streamed. Much will be written and broadcast, with translation services being necessary to bring accurate, suitable content to each target audience. On-site interpretation services, from professional interpreters to smartphone apps, are available to meet the needs of the multilingual participants and public.
The languages of the 2018 Winter Olympics
There are three official languages of the Olympic games: English and French usually make up the first two, with the third depending on where the games are taking place. The Korean language will be the third official language this time around. Over eighty million people speak Korean worldwide, and the historic Hangul script will be used in writing, to be translated to dozens of languages and cultures. Major social media accounts associated with the Games use translation and interpretation services in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean.
The mascot of the 2018 Winter Olympics is a white cartoon tiger named Soohorang. “Sooho” comes from the Korean word for “protection,” while “rang” originates from “Ho-rang-I,” for “tiger.” The cultural mythology of Korea portrays the tiger as a guardian and symbol of strength and trust.
When cultures come together as they do in the Olympics, it is crucial that no idea is missed or misrepresented. Translation and interpretation services will always play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of the competitors and public, making sure the events proceed without disruption, and in preserving the unifying principles of good sportsmanship and the boldness of the human spirit in action.