With less than 200 days to go before the 2012 London Olympics opens with a star-studded ceremony, many of the preparations for the athletes and the organising committees are now into the final stages. Over 205 different nations from across the globe will be represented by athletes at the Games, as well as a large flotilla of coaches, nutritionists and support teams taking part in the Games.
This year isn’t just one of the biggest in the lives of the Athletes and Londoners – it is set to be a massive year for linguists and language service providers (ALS link) of all disciplines, as they communicate the greatest show on Earth to a watching audience.
It is predicted that 3.5 billion people are set to watch the games on television during the month of August, with an estimated 350,000 people visiting London to see events unfold at the Olympic park, on the London Docklands.
With the event providing such a high level of international interest, the demand for top quality linguists is huge. In Beijing in 2008, every official document, rulebook, and instruction was produced in over 55 languages . Not to mention the amount of interviews with athletes, coaches and VIPs that need to be interpreted for transmission to the watching global audience.
While all the eyes in the UK will be on the growing hopes of a talented Team GB, UK-based linguists could be the unsung heroes of the games.
Following the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the Chinese State honoured more than 1,700 linguists for their work and ‘outstanding contributions’ during the games. The following passage demonstrates what a fantastic opportunity it is for a Linguist to become established in the industry, gaining a valuable once-in-a-lifetime experience.
“A team of more than 1,700 translators and interpreters, including 400 professionals and 1,300 volunteers, provided simultaneous interpretation, consecutive interpretation and written translation for some 2,000 international conferences and press conferences in up to 44 languages during the games, said Zhao Huimin, an official with the committee.
“They helped more than 11,000 athletes and some 25,000 registered media workers from some 200 nations and regions, he said.”
In addition, besides the events at Olympic Park, there is also the Festival of Britain with over 300 cultural events running alongside the main attractions, while British tourism experts are expecting a further influx of tourists to see the Queen’s jubilee in before the Olympics in June 2012.
Although it may not feel like it on these gloomy mornings in January, for UK-based linguists there is much to look forward to in the summer of 2012.