Clubs and fan representatives from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are set to work together to create an online basic-language dictionary for football. Borussia Dortmund are among the clubs participating in the ''Leicht Kicken'' (easy kicking) project.
Click here for the press release in basic German, a video in sign language can be found below.
On the one hand, the online dictionary is meant to encourage football institutions (clubs, associations, fan clubs and sports media) to expand their communication in basic language. On the other, the nationwide online resource should help to improve the overall inclusiveness of communication in the sport. The project is coordinated by the Bundesbehindertenfanarbeitsgemeinschaft (BBAG - the National Association of Fans with Disabilities) and its counselling centre KickIn!
What is basic language?
Leichte Sprace (basic language) is a simplified version of the German language. There is an equivalent version for English, called basic English. Key features of this language variant are the use of short sentences, simple and well-known words as well as images to help reinforce the meaning of the text. Basic language is particularly helpful for people with learning difficulties, functional illiterates and deaf people with learning difficulties. Basic language also aids understanding for people with limited knowledge of German, migrants, people with brain injuries and older people whose reading comprehension has declined.
Who is taking part in the online dictionary for over 5.8 million football fans?
The central partners of the BBAG project "Leicht Kicken" include six football clubs from the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 that are already active in the field of accessible language: Borussia Dortmund, FC Schalke 04, FC St. Pauli, Hamburger SV, Hertha BSC and SV Werder Bremen. Also on board are the German Football League (DFL) and the DFB's Sepp Herberger Foundation. The "Alles Klar für Alle" (everything clear for everyone) office for basic language of the Diakon Foundation Ummeln is assisting with the technical implementation. "We are pleased that we have been able to gain so many project partners for the 'Leicht Kicken' project! We hope to create a sustainable resource for the whole of football that can improve barrier-free access to information in football for all fans in the future," says Alexandra Lüdecke (deputy chairperson of BBAG e.V.).
What happens now after the kick-off meeting?
The first meeting between representatives of the participating clubs, associations, initiatives and organisations was held remotely because of the ongoing Corona pandemic. After an overarching project group - in which decisions will be made regarding the further development of the project - has been established, work will begin on compiling football terms in basic language. Clubs and fans will jointly fill the dictionary with relevant terms from football and fan culture. During this process, special attention will be paid to ensure the sustained involvement of people with learning difficulties. The publication of the online dictionary for basic language in football is planned for March 2023.