Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Not Speaking Their Language at Cup

Remember, South Africa 2010 is different. Like no World Cup before it.

Another indication:

The country has 11 "official" languages. But the World Cup will be broadcast, on TV, in "only" five of them.

Which is an issue for some South Africa politicians, as this Johannesburg Times story indicates.

Here are the languages the World Cup will be televised in, in South Africa:

English, Tswana, Xhosa, Sotho and Zulu.

What the story doesn't indicate is the six languages which will get the World Cup only on radio.

And they are ... Afrikaans, IsiNdebele, Sepedi, Setswana, SiSwati, Xitsonga. A dollar to everyone who knew that.

Not many countries in the world, aside perhaps from India ... where 11 "official" languages exist.

Be interesting to see if the South African broadcasters suddenly come up with six more TV crews. Really, though, we can see how it would be a burden on a broadcaster to generate 11 broadcast teams, one per official language ... That's a lot of crew.

Let's guess and say most South Africans have some knowledge of one of the four languages that will be on TV, and they can muddle through.

Failing that, they can do what Los Angeles Dodgers fans do when someone other than the official broadcaster is going the TV: Watch the video feed and turn down the sound and listen to Vin Scully on radio. Or the Sepedi radio broadcast.

The politicians are agitated, but let's assume the viewers/listeners will figure it out.
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