(L-r) Juan Fuentes Fernández, Ramón Gil-Casares, Ashraf Sobhy, Raquel Caleya, Carmen Pastor and Javier Ruiz Sierra (photo by Reham El-Adawi)
Cervantes Institute, La Liga, and the Spanish Embassy in Egypt launched in Cairo the first Spanish-Arabic football dictionary to promote the study of Spanish in various MENA countries through the power of football, the ‘king of sports’, and Spain’s most famous teams and players.
In a sunny day at the garden of the Spanish Ambassador to Cairo’s residence in Zamalek, a press conference took place, on 21 February to present the first Spanish-Arabic football dictionary.
Present were the Egyptian Minister of Youth and Sports Ashraf Sobhy, Spanish Ambassador to Egypt Ramón Gil-Casares, La Liga’s Global Network Delegate in Egypt Juan Fuentes Fernández, Director of Cervantes Institutes in Egypt Javier Ruiz Sierra, as well as other Latin-American Ambassadors, education officials, and experts from the world of football.
The dictionary contains descriptions and information about clubs, players, stadiums, competitions, other football terminology, and other useful travel and tourism phrases and expressions, with the Spanish and Arabic text presented side by side and in a colourful and engaging manner. It was translated by the team of Cervantes Institute in Cairo.
It contains 59 pages with expressions and illustrations where both Arabic and Spanish speakers will be able to easily understand and learn useful expressions in both languages.
Interestingly, the translation into contemporary standard Arabic gives the opportunity to Arabic speakers from many countries in the region to comprehend the words and terms.
The Spanish Embassy in Egypt played a significant role in the promotion of this Spanish-Arabic dictionary. The dictionary will be distributed to students of the Spanish Language, as it will be sent out to universities, to public institutions, and to libraries across Egypt.
It can also be downloaded online for free in the following link: https://elcairo.cervantes.es/imagenes/File/diccionario futbol_espanol_arabe_instituto_cervantes_laliga.pdf
Ambassador Gil-Casares explained, “Language, culture, and sports are important factors that bring nations together. This project is an important step for Spain, not only in Egypt, but in the Middle East as a whole, as we are bringing Arabic speakers closer to Spain and it’s working the other way round too.”
On his part, Minister of Sports Ashraf Sohby has encouraged people to learn more values through sports and culture such as tolerance and peace. He also declared that he will meet the Spanish ambassador in the coming few days to discuss a joint project between the Ministry of Sports, the Spanish Foreign Ministry, and the Spanish embassy serving youth and children.
During the presentation of the dictionary, the Academic Director and the Cultural Director of the Cervantes Institute in Spain, Carmen Pastor and Raquel Caleya respectively, also spoke.
Pastor declared “the Cervantes Institute is proudly aligning synergies with La Liga in order to provide Egyptians with a very innovative and interesting dictionary to learn Spanish, using our football to grab interest.”
Meanwhile, Caleya said “Spain and Egypt are big fans of football and the football glossary is a manifestation of a language and culture that transmits sports value such as courage and integration. Football is a great gateway to a deeper knowledge of Spanish speaking countries.”
The Spanish-Arabic dictionary is the third publication of this joint project that, as defined by La Liga’s Global Network Delegate in Egypt Juan Fuentes Fernández, “clearly brings institutions together for Arabic speakers to learn more about our language, our culture, and our football. It’s another great example of collaboration between La Liga and public organisations such as the Cervantes Institute and the Embassy of Spain.”
Notably, the Cervantes Institute and La Liga have already partnered to produce similar football dictionaries in the Chinese and Indonesian languages. This is in addition to organising football and language learning courses in countries such as Morocco and Japan.