With most football fans hoping (and some at the foot of the table praying) for a busy January transfer window from their football club, few spare a thought for the poor manager who has to learn a new player’s name and take into account their preferred position and style of play. But, did you know that some football managers go to the extreme length of learning a new language so that they can communicate effectively with their new players, as well as taking into account their culture to ensure they settle into their new environment?
Most football fans would fail to consider this as an issue with me included, but it’s still no excuse for Arsène Wenger who speaks an impressive 5 languages (English, German, Spanish, Italian and Japanese) and has played and managed in quite a few different leagues in countries around the world.
So how do most Premier League clubs help new signings who don’t speak English?
Interpretation can help facilitate conversation between a player and manager who don’t speak the same language. Professionally trained interpreters are often hired by football clubs to listen to conversation in one language and communicate it into another so that the player can focus on the upcoming January fixture list rather than having to study for a language exam before stepping foot on the pitch. On the occasion that an interpreter is not available, other players who speak the language step in to help. That’s why having an Austrian (4 official languages) Swiss (4 official languages) or Belgian (3 official languages) player in your squad is often useful.
When a football player is transferred from one league and country to another, it’s important for them to be able to listen and communicate with the manager. Tactics, formations and ideas are often too important to be lost in translation or the noise of a 60,000 seater stadium when trying to communicate mid-match, especially with the pressure of winning and consequences of losing involved with each Premier League match.
The same pressure of winning and consequences of losing can be applied to a marketing campaign or technical document. When trying to communicate your company’s message effectively across a language divide, it’s important to use a local in-country translator to make sure your message is understood.
So, for those that take football way too seriously, we have developed this fun interactive quiz that will demonstrate how difficult it is to communicate with your desired audience and the steps to take to improve your chances of making your message ‘shout’ across a language divide, be it new football tactic or a marketing campaign.
Can you guess which translation fits each football scenario? Play now and challenge your friends!