When a foreign-speaking major-league baseball player is interviewed, usually a male interpreter is by the player’s side to translate the language to English.
The skills of multilinguists amaze me, mainly because I live in Mississippi, where slow-talking guys say things like “Ole Miss ya win ya gawn,” one of the most misunderstood lines among tourists unaccustomed to a Southern accent. Get the tourists an interpreter.
Hell, even I need an interpreter for that line, even though I know Southern accents from living in the Biloxi-Gulfport area since 1960. Maybe one of the undrawling translators at the FIFA World Cup in Russia could help me after the games are over.
World Cup press conferences are translated in as many as nine languages through a remote center in Moscow and live postgame interviews on Fox are also translated.
Last month, I heard a woman translating for a World Cup player in an interview on Fox in the early rounds of the tournament. The face and the voice didn’t match. Why was the guy talking like a girl? That was my lame joke, but to avoid the appearance of gender discrimination, I did some hard studying and found a 2017 story that says women make better translators than men.
The story comes from Day Translations and the writer, Christina Comben, makes the case that “translation, and especially interpreting, require excellent interpersonal skills. Oftentimes, women are more emotionally intuitive and able to pick up on emotional cues than men. They may also be more equipped to deal with sensitive situations and defuse tense issues.”
Because of Comben, I’m on board with the World Cup female translators as the tournament gets closer to the end, though I doubt soccer fans care for sense and sensitivity.
Many Twitter people watching the telecasts seem to get their kicks from knocking translators, but most of the top tweets don’t mention gender.
One that specifies gender is the most clever of them all.
Anyone else get EXTREMELY blindsided when the language translators for the #worldcup players are of the different gender? Just watched a #Mexico footballer do a press conference in the voice of what sounded like Stevie Nicks.
If you watch Belgium and England play for third place on Saturday in Saint Petersburg or Croatia and France play for the championship on Sunday in Moscow, don’t think of Stevie Nicks. Think of the translators.
Send them nice tweets with the hash tags #translators and #worldcup.
I might try this message in Russian: Молодец!
Featured image caption and credit: Kylian Mbappe, the 19-year-old star for France, appears at a postgame press conference June 30 at which a woman translated his answers to English. FIFATV ON YOUTUBE