The 2019 NBA playoffs will start on April 13. What does basketball and translation have in common, you ask? Nothing much, but…
Imagine for a moment that your company works in the international market and requires marketing, newsletter and product translations on a regular basis into several languages and is working directly with the individual translators. People from other countries come to visit the U.S. office and since your department received tickets to an NBA playoff game, you are inviting the visitors to attend. Imagine further that this turns out to be such a special event, that your next newsletter contains pictures and an article about the game.
The article is written and sent to the translator. But the translator has never attended a basketball game, nor does he understand the rules. The article for the newspaper is full of basketball terms that do not make any sense to him. What to do? If he goes back to the client and confesses that he cannot handle this subject matter, will he lose all other translation work? He cannot take that chance, so he spends hours on the internet trying to understand the game.
The Oxford Dictionary contains several basketball terms that without an explanation, would not make sense to anybody who has never seen a basketball game.
Here are three basketball terms and their explanation taken from the Oxford Dictionary: https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2014/11/26/14-basketball-terms-know/
Alley-Oop: By far the most amusing basketball term to say out loud, the alley-oop refers to a high pass near the rim of the basket that another player dunks or tips in. The word ultimately comes from a French exclamation “allez-hop!”, used to encourage or draw attention to an athletic feat such as a leap or lift upwards.
Cherry-picking: Although it is tempting to somehow ascribe this strategy to the tallest player on the court, cherry-picking actually describes the strategy of a player who does little defensively and instead waits around the opponent’s basket for scoring opportunities. A controversial tactic, cherry-picking is often a violation in amateur leagues and results in a penalty.
When a player takes a shot before the end of quarter buzzer, but it goes into the basket after the buzzer has gone off, you would refer to that shot as a buzzer beater.
Specialty subjects require a translator who is familiar with the subject matter. Hardly anybody can handle all subjects equally well. You would not give a medical text to an accountant for translation, the same way you would not give an accountant a medical project. Translation agencies, however, should be familiar with each translator’s specialty field of expertise and should assign a translator who is familiar with your topic. You can definitively trust World Translation Center to select the perfect translator for your project every time.