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Tag: Sport

Running on Empty: The Irish Language Lesson from #LocWorld31

Language Industry News and Events

Another Localization World Dublin has come and gone. Again, running featured as an (unofficial) activity  for participants. Again, the expressed interest in doing so paled in terms of actual turnout. At least there is a pattern, a turnout of around 20% or so.

We did have a couple of good runs though.

Localization World 31 10k Dublin running crew taking in some culture en route (the ladies ran the next day)

Localization World 31 10k Dublin running crew take in some culture en route (the ladies ran the next day). Image: Ultan Ó Broin.

This made me wonder about claims made about how much the Irish language is spoken in Ireland. Official Irish census figures bear no testament to the frequency with which Irish is actually heard on the street (1.77 million people out of a population of 4.5 million speak Irish? Are you kidding me?).

Irish is far from dead sure, but varying levels of fluency and the emergence of an urban “pidgin” Irish (savvy, modern vocabulary, zilch grammar) and an official “State Broadcaster” Irish (all grammar, accent, and antediluvian terminology) means that Irish speakers often cannot even communicate with each other when boundaries get crossed.

Irish, or Gaeilge, in official terms, is endangered.

Of course, everyone says they have the capacity and the will to speak irish. Except when the rubber hits the road, they don’t.

A bit like running.

And, just like running, the excuse is often that there are more important things to do.

Running seems like a good idea. A bit like Irish.

To the real runners out there: Rith ar nós na gaoithe #keeponrunning.

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.

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Sport and Localization: I'll Run With That

Localization Culture

I’ve just completed the Florence Marathon 2014, or La Maratona Di Firenze, if you prefer. A fairly respectable time for my little legs. It’s not my first marathon, but it was my first in Italy.

The after the Florence Marathon

Hasta la pasta. The after the Florence Marathon. Pic: Author.

Again, moving around the world as I do, a personal event offered me some nice insights into how local culture reshapes the familiar. Of course, marathons are associated with pasta parties and “carbing up” beforehand, but in Italy it was the touches during the race itself that mattered to me. None of your Gatorade here, thank you!

I was delighted to see the Italian flair for food come to fore on the feeding stations along the race route. It was hot sweetened  (tea), biscotti, dolci, frutta (fruit), and other local delicacies, along with sali (salts) replacement drinks, of course. No cappuccino, sorry. After the race there were the same kind of offerings. Of course, product globalization aside, there was the presence of Nutella (now commemorated as a postage stamp in Italy) for hungry runners, too.

Now, we don’t see, read, or hear enough about the role of culture, or localization, in sport, professional or otherwise. Perhaps someone can present on that topic at a conference or write about it in 2015.

Come on, there are even runs organized for attendees at Localization World these days. How about some insights and observations that relate  running, or other sporting activities, to the business of localization?

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Ultan Ó Broin (@localization), is an independent UX consultant. With three decades of UX and L10n experience and outreach, he specializes in helping people ensure their global digital transformation makes sense culturally and also reflects how users behave locally.

Any views expressed are his own. Especially the ones you agree with.