World Cup

The words FIFA World Cup usher in a number of different emotions for football/soccer fans around the world, but most of them never stop to think about what it takes to plan, organize and successfully run the world’s biggest and most popular sporting event.

Nearly 15,000 volunteers have been called upon to staff the 2014 World Cup. These volunteers, most of which are undoubtedly lifelong World Cup fans, are divided into the following two categories:
General Staff
While general staff members tend to be the face of the World Cup, by helping to run the day-to-day operations of the tournament, the specialists, who work in fields such as the media, medical departments, or language services, are the ones who make the magic happen behind the scenes.
Language service volunteers are comprised of translators from all over the world, who are helping to bring World Cup action to their home countries in their native languages. Some of these translators are even Fluency users, which makes us feel particularly proud!

A Fluency user, freelance translator Alexandra de Vries, is helping with the FIFA World Cup by working with companies who work directly with FIFA World Cup services.
De Vries has done this sort of work for about 3-4 years, generally focusing her translation efforts on items like airport signs, sponsor manuals, media guides, and tourism boards. In addition to her translation role, she has also been interpreting for a Brazilian sports channel during the Holland games.

“I think it’s important to provide good, well written information in other languages, no matter what.” explains De Vries, “There are plenty of horrible Google-translate examples out there. It just comes across as unprofessional and sloppy.”

The World Cup, which began in 1930, has been running every four years ever since. The only exception being the 1942 and 1946 tournaments, which were canceled due to World War II. The next World Cup is scheduled to take place in in Russia in 2018. Following that, it will be held in Qatar in 2022.

In addition to the entertainment provided to its countless fans over the years, the World Cup has also delivered a tremendous amount of assistance to the world, especially in poverty-stricken countries. The World Cup helps by promoting public health, education, creates resources for extra development communities, and football. For example, FIFA launched a campaign in 2010 to help disadvantaged communities in Africa.

De Vries’ approach to the World Cup seems ideal for any translator looking to step their game up.
Translators and interpreters interested in helping out with the next World Cup can follow FIFA’s official World Cup 2018 page for more information as it comes down the pipeline. (


FIFA’s motto, “For the Game. For the World.”, may have been the inception of their own organization, but it can’t be carried forth without the help of humble translators and interpreters the world over.

For more information about the history of the World Cup, please visit


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