Dueling Pitchers, Swapped Interpreters


By Katharine Allen & Barry S. Olsen

Published: 03 July 2013


From the New York Times...


Article excerpt: On the surface, Tuesday night’s matchup at Yankee Stadium between the two best Japanese pitchers in baseball was intriguing. Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish, the proven veteran and the flashy newcomer, reprised their duel from last season when the Rangers and Darvish, then a rookie, won, 2-0, at Texas.


But there was also a behind-the-scenes matchup that was equally intriguing. During that game, which was Darvish’s fourth in the majors, each pitcher had an interpreter working for him. They helped the athletes communicate with their pitching coaches, managers, teammates and reporters.


Link to the full news story here.


InterpretAmerica's take: It's almost the 4th of July, the day the United States celebrates its national independence. And nothing is more quintessentially American than baseball. Yet even at the symbolic heart of a nation, the decreasing relevance of nationals borders, coupled with the need to overcome language barriers when nationalities mix, is clearly evident in our national past time. This news article, depicting the complex nature of cross-cultural communication for two Japanese pitchers playing on separate US baseball teams and the interpreters who make it possible for them to live and work here, is a fascinating example of how our profession is more relevant than ever, and in areas we often don't think of as hotbeds of multilingual communication.

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