The 2016 Rio Olympics has now come and gone. While it lasted, Genii Games and YorubaName.com ensured Yoruba language was not left out. Together, we ran a 16-day campaign from August 6 to 21 where we shared digital postcards containing sport-related words in English, Portuguese and the corresponding translation in Yoruba language on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Given the interesting conversations, insights and lessons it generated, we have published an eBook along with audio files containing about 24 sport related words and translation. You can download them for free by clicking the links below
- Download the Yorùbá keywords for the 2016 Rio Olympics eBook
- Download the Yorùbá keywords for the 2016 Rio Olympics Audio files
It’s interesting to note that one of the issues surrounding African languages is that its vocabulary has remained static in relation to our changing world. While this is not limited to African languages, it speaks to the need to consciously evaluate native African languages with respect to societal trends across various industries. Thus, it can be argued that the relevance of African languages today and foreseeable future hinges on how well they adapt to our dynamic world in corresponding vocabulary.
Armed with the foregoing background, the just concluded campaign provided an interesting medium to examine Yoruba language within the context of Sports.
Our goal was to drive conversations around the Olympics towards arriving at the appropriate terms in pronunciation and spellings while promoting the enrichment of Yorùbá language, and enlightening sports enthusiasts.
Without constant reinforcement, language becomes obsolete. The 16-day campaign provided interesting engagement, notably around pronunciation, spelling and even alternative translations, and served as a good learning experience for all. It also shows how much more work needs to be done to fully be able to express a rich experience of the world in Yorùbá.
- Kola Túbọ̀sún and Laila Le Guen
The e-book captures the exercise along with insights drawn from the process. There were a few sport events that were not featured in the campaign but were part of this year’s Olympics. We have included them as well to offer as complete a picture as possible. We also included alternative translations that some of our observant social media followers suggested, and which made sense as proper translations for those words.
Some of the notable lessons we took away from the exercise include some insights on language dynamism, the presence of a group of people online who are passionate about the language online, and the need for a complete online dictionary of Yorùbá to codify the full lexicon of the language, accessible to all.
There’s more! We have included a complementary audio kit so you can hear the pronunciation of each word.
This is by no means a final piece as we seek to further drive conversations. Thus, as with the 16-day campaign, this e-book serves to ignite further engagement around sports vocabulary in Yorùbá.
We encourage you to read, share and submit suggestions for spellings and terms where you find them.