It amazes me that whatever I am doing, I often get lost in language related thoughts. This week, I participated in my first half marathon and it was an amazing experience, if not painful! The event commentator was speaking in the native language (Welsh) as well as English and whilst stretching out in the starting line up of 19,000 runners, I couldn’t help but overhear international runners comment on how strange the Welsh language sounds, and that they didn’t realise it was still used so commonly. They then started translating some vocabulary they had picked up on their time in Wales.

After completing the race, to my horror those finishing around me immediately began talking about their next mission, a few of which mentioned the Paris and Barcelona marathons. Sitting at my desk still a little sore a few days later, I can hand on my heart say that I don’t think I have the will power to train for either of these! Marathons attract runners from all over the world and I pondered on thoughts of what a marathon in another country would be like and what the translation would be, or perhaps what sort of expressions spectators may say to race goers.

And so for all of you who are thinking about entering any international half or full marathons soon, here is a list of some useful translations that might settle your nerves a little bit!

English
On your marks, get ready, go!
to run
a mile
the start
the finish
to train
trainers
to register/enroll
achievement
a charity (charitable organization)

French
A vos marques ! Prêts ! Partez !
courir
un mile
la ligne d’arrivée
la ligne de départ
entraîner
les baskets
s’inscrire
la réussite
l’ œuvre de bien faisance

Spanish
Preparados, listos… Ya!”
correr
una milla
la salida
la llegada / meta
entrenar
las zapatillas de deporte
inscribirse
el logro
l’organización benéfica

German
Auf die Plätze, fertig, los!
laufen
die Meile
der Start
das Ziel
trainieren
die Laufschuhe
sich anmelden zu
die Leistung

Like marathon runners, translators need to be trained and well prepared to take on a lengthy project. You wouldn’t run a marathon without good quality running trainers otherwise your feet might get damaged, so translate your company website using low quality translators and you might damage your company’s reputation!