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5 Ways That “黑科技 (Hēi Kējì) Black Technology” Is Being Used in the 2018 World Cup

Jun. 29, 2018

HSK 3 quiz

Since 1930, football (or “soccer”) fans around the world have gathered to watch the “FIFA World Cup” every four years. The 2018 World Cup is being held for the first time in Russia. While there are no major changes to the rules of the game, there are some ways that technology is changing the way the game is managed, viewed and organized. In fact, many of these technological advances are new and mysterious, defying real world common sense.

In Mandarin Chinese, we call these recent developments in technology “黑科技 (hēi kējì).” Just like the “black market” is the underground, mysterious market for goods and services, “黑科技 (hēi kējì) black technology” is unseen and secretive. Viewers of the 2018 World Cup may be enjoying the advancements of “黑科技 (hēi kējì) black technology” without really even knowing it’s there!

黑 (Hēi) = an adjective, meaning “black.”

“黑 (Hēi)” is also used to describe things that are underground or unseen. For example, dark words created by synonyms, or dark matter, means that these things cannot be observed and cannot be fully understood.

科技 (Kējì) = a noun, meaning science and technology.

The application of scientific knowledge to the practical aims of human life.

黑科技 (Hēi kējì) = black technology.

Technological advancements that are changing the ways we live and see the world, yet we are unaware of them.

Now that we know what “黑科技 (hēi kējì) black technology” is, let’s get back to the 2018 World Cup! Here are five ways that “黑科技 (hēi kējì) black technology” is being applied to the World Cup in Russia:

1. 视频助理裁判 (Shìpín zhùlǐ cáipàn) Video assistant referee

HSK 3 quiz

“裁判 (Cáipàn)” means “referee” (those often-hated officials in football games) in Mandarin Chinese. Video assistant referee (VAR) is a technology which allows the referees to get a closer look at critical plays. After studying the technology for two years, FIFA officials voted to use in Russia for the World Cup. The VAR technology is said to make play-calling six times more accurate, nearly eliminating referee mistakes. VAR provides the officials with 3D, clear, multi-angle reviews that allow referees to make accurate calls, slowing the game down, but providing fans with far fewer frustrations regarding points and penalties!

2. 智能球 (Zhìnéng qiú) Smart ball

HSK 3 quiz

The World Cup football “Telstar 18″, designed by Adidas, has a built-in “near field communication” (NFC) computer chip, which can be used for data transmission with smart phones. Each use ball has a unique tag. The user can unlock exclusive data information, and can also view the ball’s trajectory and the shooting skills of the “球员 (qiúyuán) player.”

3. 人工智能 (Réngōng zhìnéng) Artificial intelligence

Goldman Sachs used AI calculations to predict which team will most likely be the winners of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The “观众 (guānzhòng) audience” can make their own predictions and follow along to see if they are as precise as the AI!

4. 虚拟现实 (Xūnǐ xiànshí) Virtual reality

HSK 3 quiz

Fox Sports has developed a unique fan experience that will guide fans into virtual suites where they can create customized avatars and watch virtual reality (VR) live streaming with friends and other viewers. Users will be able to contact friends via Facebook or find other fans to share activities. It only requires a smartphone to get the basic experience. Users can view the game from strategic 180 degree angles, giving fans an intense vantage point for the 2018 World Cup.

5. 5G网络 (Wǎngluò) 5G network

The 2018 World Cup is an excellent chance for Russia to test its 5G development. The 5G network introduced during the games will cover famous stadiums, public spaces and transportation hubs, as well as Moscow’s iconic Red Square, and other famous landmarks.

Dialogue about “黑科技 (hēi Kējì) black technologies” at the 2018 World Cup:

Shìjièbēi shǐyòng le xǔduō hēi kējì.
世 界杯  使   用   了 许 多   黑 科技。
The World Cup uses many black technologies.

Guānzhòng zài zúqiú chǎng kěyǐ shǐyòng 5G wǎngluò.
观        众    在  足球    场    可以  使  用   5G    网   络。
The audience can use the 5G network at the football field.

Réngōng zhìnéng kěyǐ bāngzhù wǒmen yùcè bǐsài de jiéguǒ.
人     工    智  能   可以  帮   助    我 们    预测 比赛 的  结 果。
Artificial intelligence can help us predict the outcome of the game.

Quiz:
1. Which of the following Mandarin Chinese terms cannot be used by fans viewing the 2018 World Cup in Russia?

A. 点球 (Diǎnqiú)

B. 扣篮 (Kòulán)

C. 头球 (Tóuqiú)

See Answer Analysis

―Written by Elena Trevino―
She is a Mandarin Chinese student in Beijing studying the language to get a head start in international trade. She is most interested in seeing how Mandarin is affecting the fashion industry throughout the world as Chinese shoppers are now such a large factor. She is frequently attending fashion industry events in Beijing and throughout China.

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