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This week’s In The News is all about football, the FIFA fotball World Cup 2014 in Brazil and language. Sport can transcend all borders and cultures, but nothing can enhance your World Cup viewing experience more than watching it with full commentary—in your own language. There are several services out there that can make the games more enjoyable to you, whether you’re in Brazil and in need of language help or you simply want to read tweets from football fans around the world.

  • Free Translation Service for Football Fans in Brazil

Say you’re in Brazil to watch the World Cup and you find yourself lost and unable to communicate with the locals. No need to panic because a Korean nonprofit company called Before Babel Brigade has a solution: A phone number where foreigners can get real time language assistance in seven languages—English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Korean. The service was developed during the 2002 World Cup hosted by South Korea and Japan as a way of helping foreigners find their bearings in unfamiliar territories. A server automatically connects them to a volunteer translator. The service, known in Brazil as Rio Amigo, will be available 24 hour a day for the duration of the World Cup. (The Sentinel)

  • Twitter for iOS Adds Bing Translation Service

Dubbed to be the only truly global sport in the world, football or soccer—whatever you want to call it— brings the whole world together. And to avoid getting lost in translation, Twitter recently announced that it has added Bing Translate to its iOS apps for Apple’s iPad and iPhone. The translation option isn’t visible in the standard scrolling list of tweets, but when you tap on an individual tweet to open it you’re presented with a small globe icon and the offer to “Translate from …” the language that Bing detects. (The Register)

  • FIFA Makes Games Accessible for Disabled
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To make football accessible to all, FIFA has developed a series of specially designed services for disabled fans and viewers, enabling them to enjoy the full 2014 FIFA World Cup experience. In order to enhance the experience of attending matches for partially-sighted and blind fans, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are providing a pioneering audio match commentary service in four stadiums. The commentary will be similar to radio commentary, only with a greater emphasis on describing the atmosphere within the stadium. All articles on its official website can also be listened to by clicking on the sign on the top left-hand side of the article. In addition, video reports from all 64 matches will be broadcast in International Sign Language on FIFA.com, enabling hard of hearing and deaf people across the globe to receive the same, up-to-date information. (FIFA.com)

  • Brazilian Church Offer Masses in Multiple Languages

Catholic churches in cities hosting the World Cup have scheduled Masses in different languages to better welcome international fans and players. In Sao Paulo, for example, church officials have announced that some churches around the city will be offering Masses in English, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, French and German during the World Cup. Before the kickoff of the World Cup, Pope Frances called on fans to celebrate the event as an opportunity to promote dialogue, respect and peace. “The World Cup overcomes linguistic, cultural and national barriers,” said the pope, a lifelong soccer fan who actively supports the San Lorenzo team in his native Buenos Aires, Argentina. “My hope is that, beyond just a celebration of sport, this World Cup can turn into a celebration of solidarity among peoples.” (The Catholic Sun)

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