The NFL Releases a Multi-Language Tutorial on the Rules of American Football

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Just in time for the Super Bowl, Entraineur Stilo Demystifies Football American for International Audiences

The National Football League is reaching out to international audiences with the release of multi-lingual versions of its successful online tutorial “Coach Stilo.” The coach, self-described as “impatient, difficult to please and prone to outbursts” presents a three-hour, eighteen-chapter interactive tutorial on football that combines online seminars, situation comedy, and film in order to impart a basic understanding of the game to newcomers. “Coach Stilo – The Experience” is already receiving accolades in England for its ability to demystify a complicated game and may prove itself as a vital step towards building interest in American football throughout Europe and Asia.

The experience is currently online in English, Spanish, French and Mandarin at coachstilo.nfl.com and will soon be available in Japanese. The New York-based Accredited Language Services (ALS) (http://www.alsintl.com) has worked closely with the NFL in translating the tutorial into French and Japanese and in preparing and producing voiceovers in French, Japanese and Spanish.

However, as difficult as explaining football’s rules to any newcomer can be, accurately translating its nuances for foreign newcomers is even trickier. As the NFL tackled the challenge of explaining the game to unfamiliar audiences, ALS addressed the difficulty of translating football colloquialisms into the new languages.

“Translating colloquial terms is never easy, but it can be particularly difficult when the other language has no equivalent,” said Victor Hertz, president of Accredited Language Services. “For example, the word ‘touchdown’ cannot be translated literally into French, and our translators had to decide if the English word was recognizable enough to native speakers or if the French word for ‘goal,’ ‘point,’ or ‘score’ must be substituted for ‘touchdown.’”

In translating the “experience” into Japanese, terms common to Americans and Europeans provide even further challenges. Coach Stilo’s references to the game of chess are an example of these challenges, as chess is rarely played in Japan. Consequently, the Japanese game shogi, extremely similar to chess, was substituted in the Japanese translation.

Hertz notes that these challenges are precisely where good translators excel. “Computer translation cannot hope to match the nuance and accuracy of human translation,” he said. “At the end of the day, translation is more of an art than a science.”

With luck, the fun and interactive Coach Stilo experience can help to expand international interest in American football.

About Accredited Language Services:

Accredited Language Services has provided translation, transcription, interpreting, and conference and multimedia services for more than 25 years. Fortune 500 companies, technology firms, advertising agencies, government offices, hospitals, banks, law firms and private individuals rely on professional language solutions from ALS in 150+ languages and dialects.

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Jessica Hertz
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