Popular Sports in English

If you are a dedicated athlete, an amateur player, or a sport geek, than you surely are familiar with the sport language. And if you overlap your hobby and learning English, then you can be curious what do you call these sport terms in English. This would help to read the world sport news in the original without difficulty, communicate with your foreign peers, and understand English-speaking sports commentators.

It is easy to remember the names of principal athletic disciplines in English. The most of the words adopted by the Russian language in their original phonetic form represent a linguistic calque. For example, football, basketball, volleyball, tennis. There are, however, certain linguistic features in the names of plays or areas that are specific to the spoken language of Brits, Canadians, Americans, Australians, and people of other English-speaking countries.

The popularity of a particular discipline and its name variant also depend on the country (there are exclusively British and American sports). In the US, football is mostly called soccer, while in the UK the name is football. The sports that are loved in the UK are handball (гандбол), fencing (фехтование), cricket (крикет), chess (шахматы), rowing (гребля), golf (гольф), etc. Let us learn what are the names of various sports in English and their translation.

Summer Sports in English

The summer sports combine various special areas like extreme and water sports, athletics, weightlifting, different wrestling styles, and equestrian sport. Let us learn the primary names of plays and individual sports.

  • archery - стрельба из лука
  • boxing - бокс
  • diving - прыжки в воду
  • rugby - регби
  • swimming - плавание
  • shooting - стрельба
  • badminton - бадминтон
  • gymnastics artistic - спортивная гимнастика
  • gymnastics rhythmic - художественная гимнастика   
  • cycling - велогонки
  • hockey - хоккей на траве
  • saling - парусный спорт
  • trampoline - прыжки на батуте
  • triathlone - триатлон
  • modern pentathlon - современное пятиборье

Certain kinds of summer sports have a common core name with an attributive descriptor. For example, cycling: cycling road, cycling track, cycling mountain bike, and cycling ВМХ. In the equestrian sport, the common term is equestrian, and its kinds are dressage (выездка), eventing (троеборье), jumping (конкур). Wrestling: wrestling freestyle (вольная борьба), wrestling Greco-Roman (греко-римская борьба), taekwondo (тхэквондо), and judo (дзюдо).

The same discipline can be called in different ways. For example, sailing is sometimes called yachting. Canoe slalom can also be called canoeing.

Winter Sports in English

The most popular winter sports of the Brits are bobsleigh (бобслей), ice hockey (хоккей на льду), speed skating (конькобежный спорт), and biathlon (биатлон). The bobsleigh name comes from the English word bob which means to move from side to side or up and down. This is the name of a sleigh of a specific shape In British English, hockey means the summer variant of the sport played on grass. And they use the descriptor ice (лёд) for the winter variant . Speed skating can be literally translated into Russian as скоростной бег на коньках (speedtranslated as скорость). Russian athletes call this kind of sports короткая дорожка.

Other winter sports in the UK:

  • figure skating - фигурное катание
  • cross-country skiing - лыжные гонки
  • alpine skiing - горнолыжный спорт
  • curling - керлинг
  • luge - санный спорт
  • slalom - слалом
  • ski jumping - прыжки с трамплина
  • Nordic combined - лыжное двоеборье
  • short track speed skating - шорт-трек
  • snowboard - сноуборд

The names of some popular sports in English are ending with –ing which indicates an action and the verbs like skiing are commonly used in combination with go: go skiing. Frequently exercising people would tell about themselves, "I go skiing tomorrow."

Athletic Sports Terms

Athletic sports in English are called athletics or track-and-field. Let us familiarize with some English words in this word family.

Javelin throw stands for метание копья and discus throw stands for метание диска.

Cross country race stands for «кросс по пересеченной местности», hurdle race — «бег с препятствиями», jogging — «бег трусцой», long distance race — «бег на длинные дистанции», marathon race — «марафонский бег».

Different kinds of jumps include long jump, high jump, and pole vaulting.

Water Sports in English

The general name of water sports is aquatics. Some words include a root or a separate word water (such as in water polo or waterskiing). For boating, there are boating and regatta (also called yacht racing). Other frequently used names:

  • synchronized swimming - синхронное плавание
  • kayaking - каякинг
  • freestyle - вольный стиль
  • surfing - серфинг
  • windsurfing - виндсерфинг
  • canoe sprint - каноэ спринт
  • beach volleyball - пляжный волейбол

Useful Sport Vocabulary

To understand a sport article or the comments of a TV presenter in English without difficulty, it is helpful to know the following words:

  • lap - этап дистанции
  • championship - первенство
  • coach - тренер
  • national team - сборная страны
  • draw - ничья
  • defense - защита
  • competition - соревнование
  • baton - эстафетная палочка

Now, as you have familiarized with the primary sports terms, you can make exercises to remember them and have more practice. If you want to learn the English language in depth with fun and communicate on various specific topics, CIS International School can help you with that.

Call us 8-800-775-42-70 and learn more about the application procedure, programs offered by the School, and the prospects of success that the students of the School would have in life. British CIS representative offices and School campuses are based in Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and Tashkent.

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