The Language of Football does it really. Make the English Language easier to learn? Do foreign players/managers get off lightly when it comes to learning English for media interviews?
Ever hear foreign players on match interviews? Is it just me, or can you also hear the differences in the way they speak compared to us, fluent English speakers? When speaking to the media, can you tell that they are just using the bare essentials of English to get by?
They don't try and use complex sentence structure or anything of the sort, they think tacitly, only using what they've either heard to seen by other players to make sure that they get everything right. In recent interviews that contained various individuals from various premiership teams which were compared to my investigation that I carried out, I found that there was an uncanny similarity between what I had investigated upon and how foreign players acted in interviews.
Seeing from their interviews, it's comfortable to mention that they compensate for their lack of English by learning phrases that frequently come up in football and sports as a whole. They tend to use more idioms compared to players of home teams.
To be in relevance of this article, idioms like 'counter-strike' and 'through-ball' are perfect examples of what types of idioms that might be used. This is not their fault, there are
many facts to be taking into account for this, for example, they might have arrived, and as it's a new country, they respectably will have a minimum amount of words and sentences to go on, so using simple idioms whatever possible to help with speech could be a necessity.
What the case according to research David Hastings who is a former sports researcher at Lancaster University says that foreign players suffer from understanding and adapting to the rules of the English Language and therefore, using idioms to help and other simple words. One example of this case of not understanding the English Language is that, for most foreign players is that they tend to not use grammatical rules correctly, and use rules where they should be. To help back-up my point, there are many examples of these errors in speech from foreign players; I'm not saying that English Language speakers are perfect at their language, who is? Everybody messes up once in a while but I would say is that the basic foundation of tenses and sentence structure is correctly used by mostly everyone, without these fundamental foundations it would be hard to understand what a person is trying to say.
One point I would make is that, when foreign players use idioms and football-based concepts in their speeches which they haven't come across before, they tend to mess it up and use it in wrong sentence structures. For example, in one case, when a foreign player was interviewed, he was dumbfounded by what the interview was asking him, when a frequent user of the English Language speaks to a person that's just learnt the basic concept of the language, thing will be misinterpreted frequently, using concepts such as 'astounding' and 'fluency' will be new to them and wouldn't have been used very often by other players so they wouldn't completely understand what the interview was saying. In contrast, home players are much more comfortable with using complex idioms and lexis in their speech, as they understand the language, they are able to use complex words in their sentence to help describe what they are saying and enhance what they are saying, words like 'fortify' which have other words that are less complex that could be used, but the home players are comfortable with these words and are more than happy to use them in speech.
Throughout this investigation, I have been very critical when investigation foreign players, it's not their fault that they aren't as good as the language as say, me and you are, to be fair, the English Language is a very complex language, filled with hundreds of rules that you must be compliant with to help make any sense when speaking, I believe that the consistent usage of the language when in the media will gradually help them improve and gradually become more and more frequent in the language, but for the time now, the media have no complaints and these little utterances of mistakes from the players are more than happily allowed, as time passes and they have more and more interviews, their understanding of our linguistic rules will be far more complex. But for now they will have to keep to their short, dull and slightly in-comprehendible interviews.