In June 2014, the FIFA World Cup will be held in Brazil, for the first time since 1950. Two years later the Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. These events mark Brazil’s resounding entrance to the international scene as booming BRIC economy, host and organiser as well as a protagonist famed for the athleticism, grace, rhythm and exoticism of its performers. How will the rest of the world understand the games being played and the images being displayed, viewed on their televisions, mobile devices, tracked online or commented upon on their radios? How will commentators, interpreters, producers, journalists and academics translate Brazil for foreign audiences? How will the athletes and players interpret Brazil – and how will this affect their performances? This project will draw on the expertise of historians, translators and social scientists to examine this new set of research questions that have previously been neglected by scholars. We will also curate a series of research and public engagement events to orchestrate input from across Bristol, the UK and the world on a variety of levels. How is sport translated across cultures? Does sport – particularly global football – in fact transcend translation because of its hybrid nature and its global origins in histories of migration? In sum: would the England team be more successful at Brazil 2014 if they employed as many translators and interpreters as nutritionists and coaches?
This blog relates to the University of Bristol research project 'Sport and Translation', supported by a grant from the University Research Strategy Fund for 2013-14. We will be organising a range of events during the year as we aim to answer some of the questions above, and to build upon public interest in the wider social and historical context of sport in the year of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. We would hope that any views expressed on this site do not reflect the views of the Univerity of Bristol.
The project team consists of nine colleagues from across the Faculties of Arts and Social Science at the University of Bristol: Matthew Brown, Jonah Bury, John Foot, David Goldblatt, Gloria Lanci, Mike O'Mahony, David Perkins, Aris da Silva and Ana Suarez Vidal. As we get closer to our events we will announce them here: you can also follow some of us on twitter: @mateobrown, @jonahbury, @footymac.