Contestants from forty countries descended upon Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas for the World Championship of Monopoly on October 21st & 22nd. American Language Services was on hand with fifteen interpreters to help contestants pass go and collect two hundred dollars.

The two-day, twenty-hour tournament, which is held about every five years or so, was the last in a long line of grueling local and country-wide competitions for each contestant. Each player made it through the rigorous competitions to arrive in Las Vegas to compete for $20,580—the total amount of money in a Monopoly game—and the coveted title of World Champion. Although these players are highly skilled at the game and its negotiations, many of them had only played the game in their native tongue and required an interpreter to play the game in English for the World Championship tournament.

American Language Services provided interpreters for thirteen different languages (three different dialects of Spanish, Brazilian-Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese Chinese, Japanese, Hungarian, Portuguese, Czech, German, French, Lithuanian, Russian, and Italian) and sixteen contestants from: Brazil, Chile, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Portugal, Spain, and Taiwan.

For the game, the interpreters utilized consecutive and chutocage styles of interpretation to help facilitate the players’ participation in the games—including reading the game cards, and game pieces, and assisting with negotiations with other players. To prepare for this momentous occasion, the interpreters studied banking, real estate, business, and negotiation techniques as well as the rigorous rules of the championship-level competition to ensure that they could offer optimal support for their contestants.

Adorned with special Monopoly Interpreter polo shirts, each interpreter joined his or her contestant at the game table for the televised event. Dodging lights, cameras, and boom microphones, each interpreter skillfully assisted in “waves” and “rounds” of game play, without offering advice or strategy help to the players. Each timed round lasted seventy-five minutes and qualified or disqualified players to move on to the semifinals. After an intense, twelve-hour, first day of round-robin play, the interpreters geared up for a second day of semifinal play of the intense competition.

The second day of competition, though shorter in length, proved to be just as intense as the player pool got smaller and smaller, until the final four who would play for the title of World Champion were announced. Though none of the interpreter-assisted players made the final four for the finale game, their interpreters assisted them and escorted the players and their families around Vegas to see the sights. For many of the players, and almost all of the interpreter-assisted players, it was their first time to the United States, so they utilized every opportunity to take in the plush Vegas scenery. The American Language Services Interpreters then joined their players for the crowing of the new World Champion, and then a nice dinner at the Paris hotel.

The two-day event was intense, electric, exciting and entertaining for each and every participant—whether contestant, interpreter, or spectator…and each and every participant, interpreter, and spectator clamors for the chance to be on board again!

The staff and interpreters of American Language Services are always on board for your interpreting needs—whatever they may be—Making the World a Little Smaller…and, making the World Championships of Monopoly a little easier.


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