UEFA have three official languages, English, French and German.
With 16 finalists and only three official languages, Euro2012 is going to be a test of communication, more so off the pitch than on.
The language of football
Although language diversity is rife amongst the teams, in football and primarily on the pitch there is rarely a need for translation. Football is considered a global language that players, fans and referee’s alike understand.
But off the pitch it’s a different story; in order for the supporters to get around Poland and Ukraine without great difficulty it’s essential they grasp a basic understanding of the local language.
A project has been set up to overcome this problem and ensure that the communication hurdle is tackled (no pun intended).
Who: EuroLang is built on the basis of the project team which is made up of local businesses and education centres including: Warsaw Academy of Computer Science, Management and Administration, Hasselt University, The European Centre for Education and Training and a number of companies specialising in communication, advertising and marketing.
What: This project is an aid in assistance to learning basic, practical language skills for participants, visitors and football fans or anyone involved in the European Football Championship.
The projects team are distributing materials linked to the Polish and Ukrainian languages and cultures, setting up online courses, and providing guides to their specific features.
All of which are available in all 22 official languages of the European Union as well as Russian.
When: Up to and during the Euro 2012 tournament
Where: Online, where else!!
Why: EuroLang is operating In hope of helping everyone involved to participate and move around the hosting countries without facing communication barriers.
Project EuroLang want to emphasise less well-known languages as well as their local Polish and Ukrainian tongues in a bid to promote the value of linguistic diversity.
Promoting the host countries
The project offers the public’s a guide to the histories, culture, general information, the people and an in-depth how-to language guide which provides pronunciation and spelling tips and an expression guide which will help not only the visitors but the local businesses when dealing with customers.
Praise for the project
What a fantastic idea! Not only does this project benefit the involved publics by helping them get around during the tournament, it helps people recognise the importance of basic language skills and how the simple ability to circulate, in this occasion the Euro2012 tournament, with ease benefits your experience.
The basic understanding of asking for directions, ordering food, greetings, communicating with locals can ultimately make your time a lot more enjoyable, knowledgeable and worthwhile.