Você fala português? Translation apps at the Olympic Games Rio 2016

The Olympic Games Rio 2016 are fast approaching, the warm weather has caught up with the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, and summer is officially here! Despite the urge to stroll down to the sea for a swim or to take the next flight to Rio, here at Intrawelt we are still hard at work! But we have been wondering how smoothly the Olympic Games 2016 will run in terms of the language barrier in Brazil?

The Olympic Games 2016 have featured heavily in the press with one article stating that “only a small fraction of its 200 million people have a basic proficiency [in English]” and that “fluency is also rare for other languages”; so, with an estimated 480,000 tourists expected at the Olympic Games 2016, how will everyone communicate?

In our 25 years experience at Intrawelt we have learned many ways to overcome language barriers and facilitate international communication. We’ve compiled our top 3 strategies for cross-cultural communication:

  1. Do your research – although hundreds of thousands of people are attending the Olympic Games this summer, only a small percentage will have visited Brazil before. We suggest researching behaviours and attitudes of the host country as this can save time, surprises and much embarrassment!
  1. Be creative – one example of communication we found was drawing what you are trying to communicate, or perhaps write it down. We often understand more when we have a visual aid, as comprehension can be difficult assisted solely by oral communication due to accents or pronunciation. Be creative and resourceful with your surroundings!
  1. Be patient and empathetic – this is perhaps one of the most important aspects when trying to overcome a language barrier. Making an effort to understand or to be understood is always reassuring to the other participant in any communication. So, however frustrating cross-cultural communication may become, at the Olympic Games or elsewhere, relax and have fun!

In addition to our tips, travellers have been advised to take a translation app to the Olympic Games. By translation apps, in this context, we mean ones available on your phone, either for a small price or free. We’ve done some research and found 3 translation apps that cover most aspects of communication a traveller may need:



 Google Translate (Available on iPhone and Android)


Average rating*: 4/5

An all-rounder, Google Translate offers the user a variety of 103 languages whilst the app is online and just over half of these whilst the app is offline; making it incredibly useful to have in most situations. After some improvements throughout the years, the app offers features such as instant camera translation, speech translation and handwriting translation.

  No. of languages available
Text translation (online) 103
Text translation (offline) 52
Instant camera translation 29
Camera mode 37
Speech translation 32
Other features: handwriting translation



iTranslate Pro (Available on iPhone, Android, and Windows)


Average rating*: 4.3/5

There is a free version of this app, but to reap all the excellent benefits it has on offer it is best to go straight in with the Pro version, which includes offline translation, website translation, verb conjugations for consolidation of learning, and much more. Although £14.99 may seem a bit steep for an app, it is a onetime purchase, can be used in a variety of situations, and could potentially save you a lot of time and frustration.

  No. of languages available
Text translation (online) 90
Text translation (offline) 9
Instant camera translation
Camera mode
Speech translation 44
Other features: website translation (iPhone only), verb conjugations, dialect recognition, transliteration



Microsoft Translator (Available on iPhone, Android, and Windows)


Average rating*: 4/5

Although Microsoft Translator may not appear to have as many features as other translation apps, its simple interface means it is great for basic use. The best feature of this app is perhaps the fact you can download all the languages it works with for use offline, allowing you to have a compact dictionary at your fingertips.

  No. of languages available
Text translation (online) 52
Text translation (offline) 52
Instant camera translation
Camera mode 22
Speech translation 18



Whilst downloading translations apps to your phone can be useful for travel or for enriching your basic knowledge of a language, there is nothing more effective than an actual translation agency, an interpreter, a friend or a local that can help you, or ‘simply’ learning the language yourself!


Sources: Prengaman, Peter, ‘Tourists to brazil Olympics should bring translation Apps’, The Associated Press, 19 July 2016;  itunes.apple.com; play.google.com; itranslate.com; microsoft.com

*  Average rating calculated based on rating from each app store.



We are hiring!

We want you - Project manager

The position we offeris for our headquarters in central Italy and serves as the regular contact person between our clients and our network of linguists.

The Project Manager is responsible for communicating specific detailed instructions to translators and proofreadersand managing workflows and processes. He/she is accountable for the final quality assurance of translation activities.


• Review the jobs assigned and assess needs for additional information, e.g. compilation of glossaries, previously translated similar documents, list of acronyms, technical terminology, and translation memories.

• Coordinate translators and/or teams of translators to ensure compliance with Intrawelt production workflows and to guarantee that quality and turn-around standards are met.

• Select translators and/or teams of translators, assign them jobs, negotiate rates and deadlines and coordinate production with translators, proofreaders andclients’ reviewers.

• Keep project admin up-to-date at all times and maintain accurate records in Intrawelt’s proprietary management system.

• Check projects costs for accuracy and send purchase orders to translators and proofreaders, as well order confirmations to customers.

• Exercise sound judgment in keeping supervisor informed of potential difficulties.

• Inform supervisor of all issues affecting cost, quality and turn-around.

• Check accuracy of translation prior to sending it to client.


• College degree or degree in Translation and/or interpretation or equivalent experience

• Fluent in Italian and/or English plus one, ideally two additional languages.

• Strong computer skills (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Acrobat, html, xml).

• Familiarity with desktop publishing software (Indesign, QuarkXPress, Framemaker).

• Language skills to include ability to create glossaries, as well as to assess quality and completeness of translations

• Advanced translation memory experience (e.g. SDL TRADOS) management.

• Preferably 1-2 years previous project management experience in translation services.

• Ability to prioritize while handling multiple projects simultaneously in a hectic, time-sensitive environment

• Ability to communicate accurately detailed instructions to vendors.

• Detail and service oriented.

• Clear sense of accountability.


• Flexible team player

• Superior interpersonal skills

• Can mix and relate well to all levels

• Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure and unsupervised

• Flexibility to work overtime required

• Professional demeanour

• Focused on goals and the overall team and company objectives

• Self-motivated and proactive

• Can improvise and innovate

If you are interested in joining us, please send your cv to both anasini@intrawelt.it and sonia@intrawelt.it.

It is possible that due to the large number of applicants, only successful candidates will be informed.

Please only apply if you are interested in the IN-HOUSE position offered for our headquarters in Porto Sant’Elpidio (FM), Marche, Italy.

It’s another funny old game

The Rugby World Cup has just kicked off in New Zealand and I’m hoping to see many hours of the game. Whilst my hopes are with the English, the All Blacks at home are going to be one tough cookie to crack.

And I’ve been thinking. There are some terms in rugby that must be a littly tricky to translate: try, scrum, ruck, maul, up-and-under, drop-kick and conversion. And the names of some positions (hooker, prop, scrum-half, fly-half) must have interesting names in other languages.

[see more rugby terms at Wikipedia]

Although ruggers has some thorny terms, perhaps it’s that other favourite, cricket, which wins the prize. How do you translate silly mid-on, silly mid-off, silly mid-wicket and silly point? Then there are  gulley, slip, leg break, leg bye, let cutter, leg glance, leg side, leg slip, leg spin, leg theory and leg before wicket? (not to mention the other hundreds of cricketing terms)?

[see even more cricket terms at Wikipedia]

Well, whatever the sport and wherever it’s played, there’s sure to be  a term to descibe it. My hope is that the term is equally daft and as unique as the English term. It is, after all, a funny old game.