The Indianapolis-based Language Training Center has expanded its relationship with the LPGA and is now translating the letters of the professional golf association’s commissioner into multiple languages and providing live, “UN-style” interpretation at association meetings.
Language Training Center started working with the LPGA last year to help teach its players—who hail from 29 countries—various foreign languages. As IBJ reported in December, the LPGA signed up for LTC’s services for the next two years.
LTC’s staff of 15 and subcontractor team of 85 can collectively speak more than 100 languages. President Martin George and some of his staff taught languages to 30 players last year, traveling with them on the tour and conferencing with them over Skype.
LPGA officials want golfers on the circuit to mix with sponsors and the media and to speak as much English as possible. Also, some native English-speakers on the tour might open up international sponsorship opportunities by learning to speak other languages.
The LPGA will play tournaments in 13 nations this year.
“Our organizations both share the belief that understanding and embracing cultures and languages is an essential attribute for individuals working and competing in the global community,” said David Higdon, chief communications officer of the LPGA, in a prepared statement. “LPGA players and staff have responded positively to the LTC programs, and we see substantial growth ahead in this partnership.”
LTC helped American player Vicky Hurst learn Korean and helped Spanish rookie Beatriz Recari learn Japanese. Under the extended partnership, the Language Training Center will also conduct cross-cultural seminars for LPGA players and staff
“This may feel like an LPGA [initiative], but it’s really a business [initiative],” LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan told IBJ in December. “I don’t really consider it a language program. I consider it a cross-culture program.”