Casa Árabe, LaLiga and the Cervantes Institute presented this Thursday in Madrid, the "Spanish-Arabic football dictionary", an illustrated volume that provides a complete football vocabulary in both languages to boost the creation of content and the social interaction of fans, as well as curious facts related to the Arab sporting world.
This illustrated dictionary includes information about the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs and their home cities, the different sporting milestones and titles achieved, their players, on-field vocabulary and game actions, and a wide range of football concepts. It also provides additional vocabulary for social interaction, such as general conversation guidelines for introducing oneself, talking about the weather, how to get to a place, how to get around a restaurant, hotel or means of transport, among other things.
The event was attended by the director general of Casa Árabe, Irene Lozano Domingo; Luis García Montero, director of the Cervantes Institute; and Marco de Santis, manager of LaLiga's MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.
"The Arabic language, and especially the teaching of Arabic as a foreign language, is a central line of work at Casa Árabe as a way of directly approaching the Arab and Islamic world, its societies and cultures," said the Director General of Casa Árabe, Irene Lozano, at the presentation. "This event brings together the three most widely spoken languages in the world: Spanish, Arabic and the universal language of football, to bring cultures closer together and promote mutual understanding".
For his part, the director of the Cervantes Institute, Luis García Montero, recalled that the centre he directs "was created to universally promote the teaching, study and use of Spanish", and that the Arab region is one of those with the greatest presence of the Cervantes Institute: Morocco is the country with the second largest number of centres, a total of six (Casablanca, Fez, Marrakech, Rabat, Tangiers and Tetouan), behind only Brazil.
To conclude, Marco de Santis, LaLiga's MENA region manager, said: "The launch of the dictionary crystallises LaLiga's commitment to the MENA region. Our language and football are two of our best ambassadors abroad, and the alliance of both is key to our strategy in this area. LaLiga has a presence in many Arab countries: Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, was the first of our offices abroad, and we also have delegations in countries such as Morocco, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Moreover, it is a project that puts the fan at the centre, offering them new tools to enjoy football".
LaLiga has put the spotlight on the region this month: in addition to the upcoming celebration of the clubs meeting in Dubai, an immersion that seeks to facilitate the internationalisation of clubs in these countries and help them get closer to local fans, the organisation has opened a LaLiga TwentyNine's restaurant in Doha (Qatar) together with Dani García and Grupo Alfardan. In addition, in 2022 it has reached a record number of 1,000 students at its permanent grassroots football academy LaLiga Academy UAE (United Arab Emirates).
The publication of the dictionary is part of the Football for Hope project, an initiative in which these organisations collaborate to promote football as a tool for social transformation and which consists of different cultural and sporting activities. This month, moreover, the initiative coincides with the celebration of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, the first to be held in an Arab country, and with the International Day of the Arabic Language, which is celebrated on 18 December.
LaLiga has launched a competition on its social networks to promote the dictionary, which is open to participation. The organisation will raffle this season's PUMA ball among the participants.
José Antonio Sierra, Hispanismo adviser.