We all know how vital interpreters are in almost every walk of life. Not understanding another language means things can get lost in translation, whether you’re trying to buy an ice-cream on the beach in Spain or doing business with a potential client in China.

One area where you might assume interpretation services are vital is football. After all, the sport is also a multi-million pound industry employing players from across the globe, many of whom do not speak the mother tongue of the club they have been bought by. In addition to the players, the club owners, managers and coaches may all speak different languages to each other. In a game where communication is everything you would think an interpreter was one of the most important people in the team’s dressing room.

However, it would appear that Roberto Mancini disagrees. The Mirror reports that the manager has built a “largely Italian backroom staff” at Manchester City, including Angelo Gregucci who was Mancini’s assistant at ACF Fiorentina. Gregucci was recruited in August and started to work with the players at the end of last week, with Mancini acting as interpreter, according to the Sunday Mirror Sport.

“Angelo has only just started to work with the defenders. He doesn’t speak English, but that is not a problem. I also work with the defenders,” Mancini explained. However, some might argue that getting a professional interpreter would be a more reliable way of ensuring the players and coaches are able to communicate with each other than relying on their manager’s English skills.

This summer as Roy Hodgson took on the role of manager following Fabio Capello’s resignation, Wayne Rooney said the England team felt relaxed in the lead-up to Euro 2012, in comparison to the 2010 World Cup. Ahead of the tournament Rooney revealed: “It helps all the coaching staff being English and [that] no words are lost in translation.” He added that all of the players understood what the manager wanted.

At Transcription Global, we believe that interpreters should be expert linguists with an excellent grasp of both the source and target language. Interpreting is a specialist skill that should only be attempted by a professional or it’s all too common for the message to get lost. If the interpreter also has knowledge of the industry they are working in then so much the better.

The importance of interpreters in football goes to show the potential career opportunities awaiting anyone who decides to specialise in languages. You could be watching your team play on TV one year and interpreting for one of the players the next!