The Winter Olympics have officially kicked off, and PyeongChang, South Korea is hosting nearly 3,000 athletes from 206 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) worldwide. The Olympics are known for being an event that unifies individuals from all over the world, and this unity could not exist without translative communication.
The unity between athletes can be easily seen throughout the games: participants from competing nations smile for photos and celebrate together during the opening and closing ceremonies; many athletes, including U.S swimmer Michael Phelps, are known to congratulate fellow competitors after an event. Having a shared love for athletics helps individuals from different nationalities better understand and connect to one another.
Nonverbal communication, such as body language, is helpful for athletes to understand when they are competing in the games. Relying solely on verbal language can be a challenge for athletes since there are hundreds of languages used among the participants in the Olympics. However, although nonverbal cues can slightly differ around the world, the facial expressions of happiness, sadness, anger, surprise, fear, and disgust are universal across cultures. Other nonverbal cues that can help athletes understand each other include the timing, pace, pitch, and tone of their voices.
Understanding facial expressions and vocal cues lead to a greater understanding of emotional intelligence. By developing emotional awareness, an individual can accurately interpret another’s emotions and the unspoken messages they are sending. Participants from all nations can communicate with each other in ways that demonstrate that they understand and care, and trust is gradually built between competitors.
PyeongChang’s opening ceremony was an excellent example of how translative communication is able to connect people from around the world by transcending language barriers.
inWhatLanguage is excited about the Winter Olympics because it’s an opportunity to see people from all cultures and backgrounds come together for a common purpose. Our team is dedicated to breaking down language and cultural barriers to help unify diverse communities and improve lives around the world. Major global events like the Olympics just highlight the importance of worldwide communication.