Brazil 2014: Fast Facts on Language Issues Presented by the World Cup

May 9, 2014

World CupFrom June 12th to July 13th 2014 Brazil will host the 20th FIFA World Cup. The mission behind this major event for soccer fans is to unite people through a mutual love of the sport and to foster understanding between cultures. Teams from 32 countries will participate in the month of tournaments. With them come their fans and other die-hard soccer lovers all of whom bring with them their own idioms and customs. The language of soccer may be universal but language service providers will be there to help tourists navigate the diverse terrain of Brazil as they follow their teams to one of 12 cities that will host tournaments. Take a look at our list of the unique language issues presented by this year’s World Cup celebrations.

  • Brazil is the only country that has participated in all of the World Cup tournaments and their team has won more World Cup titles than any other. Brazil is a country of soccer fanatics and their fervor for the sport is contagious, generating a thrilling atmosphere for any match. A total of 600,000 visitors are expected to travel to the country for the events, transforming Brazil for one month into the most linguistically diverse country on the planet.
  • Within twenty-four hours of the opening of ticket sales for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, 2.3 million tickets had been requested. Brazil tops the list of ticket holders, followed by Argentina, Chile, and Columbia; other spectators will flock to the country from all corners of the world.
  • With the upcoming World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games both being held in Brazil, the country is gearing up for the huge influx of tourists. Major investments have been made in roads, stadiums, airports and other infrastructure. The language services industry is also booming as translators and interpreters see unique and exciting job opportunities against the backdrop of these historic events.
  • The main language of Brazil is Portuguese and English is the most widely spoken foreign language in the country. While professional interpreters will be on hand offer language services across many idioms, English will be the most common language in which FIFA volunteers will assist tourists.
  • The FIFA volunteer program for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil saw a record number of volunteers, all eager to offer their language services to tourists. This year’s matches will count on the support of 152,000 volunteers. That’s double the number of volunteers for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and triple the volunteer turn out for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
  • Most applications for volunteers came from within Brazil and a large number of these applicants live outside the 12 cities that will host matches. This shows that the whole country wants to do their part to make the 2014 World Cup a success.
  • Foreign volunteers from 137 countries have applied to lend their language services as well. The countries with the highest number of volunteers are Columbia, 1,427; the US, 772; Spain, 760; Mexico, 742; Argentina, 731; Poland, 495;  Peru, 481; Germany, 352, China, 335; and Russia, with 314 volunteers.
  • The FIFA Volunteer Program aimed to attract volunteers over the age of 60 and they achieved this goal with a 100% increase in volunteers over 60 in the second round of applications last year. The total number of volunteers over age 60 is 2,750.
  • Females outnumber males in the younger set of volunteers and young adults have shown the most interest in volunteering their language services for the World Cup tournaments. A total of 72,242 volunteers aged 25 or under have applied; 56,307 aged 26 to 40, and there were 20,802 volunteer applicants between ages 41 and 60.

 

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