Sports as an Area of Expertise for Translators

As students of translation and even as professionals in the field, we often wonder what our next business step will be. Therefore, in this article we will take a look at a niche in the industry– Sports. Translation, as an area of ​​study and work, is increasingly present in various areas of both everyday and professional life. Doors are increasingly being opened to translators regarding areas of knowledge and professional opportunities. As we constantly hear, one of the advantages of living in a globalized world is that certain tasks have become necessary everywhere and across all languages. One of the fields in which we don’t always realize that translation can play a role, such as in the areas of technology or science, international politics or academia, is sports.

It is common for athletes to compete around the world, and players of certain sports, such as baseball and soccer, often spend much of their careers playing in countries where their native language is not spoken. This raises a need for communication for athletes or the team and organization in the areas of Human Resources and Legal aspects of recruitment, as well as good communication with coaches and teammates.

Recently, events which occurred in the U.S. after a baseball game finally allowed the industry to realize the need to more actively involve translators in helping players to communicate. The particular player in this case, who was of Dominican origin, was expelled for using a pine tar that is banned by the League. When he had to respond the reporters’ incessant questions, in a language which he did not quite speak fluently, the need for teams to have translators available for such eventualities was made clear. This has even been acknowledged by the commissioner of Major League Baseball and the Executive Director of the Players’ Association, and has caused so much commotion that it’s even being evaluated to be discussed during the next association agreement in 2016.

We looked at baseball as an example, but this issue is relevant in soccer and other sports in which there are teams on which foreigners play. Regarding baseball in particular, there are just over 200 Latin American players in the league, thus there is a clear and immediate need for translators. So, if you are looking for a new job opportunity in the area of translation, being part of the permanent staff of a baseball, football or basketball team can now be a reality. There is no shortage of areas in which we translators can work.