Bulgarian rules translation demonstrates the international reach of Touch

May 31, 2021 @ 0:00 UTC

Bulgaria Touch has completed the arduous task of translating the Fit Rule book to Bulgarian as part of its plans to fast-track the NTA's expansion goals in the southeastern European nation.

Bulgaria Touch is among the newest members of the Federation of International Touch. Yet, the enthusiasm of the fledging NTA knows no bounds, with its latest venture the not insignificant task of translating FIT's Playing Rules from English into Bulgarian. 

Led by chief translator Hristo Yakimov, the epic project aims to promote and expand Touch in the southeastern European country where football (soccer), skiing, basketball, volleyball, wrestling and weight lifting dominate. Rugby union is also a minor sport in Bulgaria. 

Hristo says, "In our opinion having the rules translated will make it far easier for us to spread the message about Touch in Bulgaria, especially for those playing rugby union and for others who are interested in the game.”

According to Hristo, many Bulgarians don’t understand the difference between high collision sports such as rugby union and rugby league and Touch. This causes some Bulgarians to steer away from Touch for fear of major injuries. 

"We find that not everybody is aware that Touch is a low contact sport or are happy to play it. Yet we feel there is a big circle of people who can play this game in Bulgaria.

“Once they realise Touch is low contact, we are finding that more people are happy to give the game a go.

"As such, having the rules translated will help us answer questions about the game and make it easier to promote Touch in Bulgaria."

A labour of love

The rule book took Hristo around five days to translate into Bulgarian. "To be honest, it was looking like it would take longer, but then our President Stefan Doychev gave me a deadline to get the translation finished, and that helped me get it completed."

Once he finished the first draft, Hristo shared the document with some of his Bulgaria Touch colleagues for feedback. "My first draft was a literal translation, and by using the four-eyes principle, some of my colleagues provided suggestions to make the document sound better and more readable.”

Translating drop off into Bulgarian 

Hristo addressed terms such as "drop off", roll ball”, "touchdown" and other Touch lingo by sticking solid with the international words. He explained, "Touch in Bulgarian is Touch. The literal translation for Touch just sounds too awkward." 

The grammar police, Georgi Markov, who is part of the Bulgaria Touch team, was assigned to interrogate the copy. Fortuitously, in his day job, Georgi is employed as an editor of scientific magazines in Bulgaria. "Now, when we present the rule book, we won't have to contend with any jokes about our grammar or how it was written," Hristo chuckled. 

What's in store for Touch in Bulgaria?

Since launching in 2019, Touch in Bulgaria has made plenty of advances under the watchful eye of Stefan Doychev and the team at Bulgaria Touch. In its earliest days, there were just two clubs in the entire country. There are multiple clubs now, more tournaments, and even a first-ever Beach Touch Tournament was played in August last year. Luckily Touch in Bulgaria wasn't as affected by the pandemic as other parts of the world, which has enabled some growth. 

"We plan to do the beach competition again this summer and held tournaments in winter that attracted teams for the first time from traditional rugby clubs in Bulgaria," Hristo continued,” says Hristo. 

"We are working hard to include more kids in our sport and are in talks with the Sofia municipality about getting more fields dedicated to Touch for junior players. A focus on youth will also help us expand.

"Our ultimate goal is to have a competitive national team, but for now, the main aim is to spread the word about how much fun it is playing Touch."

Apart from a lively website, Bulgaria Touch has a consistently active social media strategy that involves engaging participants and possible players on Facebook. "Social media is crucial to expanding the game.

Hristo concludes, "Our biggest challenge right now is more players, and the new rule book will be invaluable in attracting more players to Touch in Bulgaria."

To find out more about Touch in Bulgaria go to www.bulgariatouch.org/