When a friend asked the Norwegian hockey team about the potential use of a translator during a game, he said, “I know who it’s for.”
But when he looked into the program’s origins, the answer turned out to be an obscure bit of Norse translation law that has been around since the 14th century.
The law allows anyone to make translations, even if they aren’t native speakers, and is used for everything from translation in foreign languages to translating documents in English, said Dan Hagen, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
It has never been applied to English.
But the law has recently been used to make the case that English is the lingua franca of hockey, and it could be the perfect tool for the game, Hagen said.
Hagen, who is an avid fan of hockey and the Norse religion, has written a book on the subject titled Norse: A Journey Through the Norse Mythology and Folklore.
He recently took a trip to Norway to investigate the laws behind translation.
He said he is now trying to get the program used by the NHL.
It could be an important tool to make sure teams have a team that’s culturally and linguistically inclusive of all genders, he wrote in an email.
“I know that the use of translation in hockey has become a bit of a controversial topic,” Hagen wrote.
“As a native English speaker myself, I think this program has potential to have a huge impact on the game.”
But he cautioned that translation is still a relatively new practice, and there are many questions about its use, including whether the law is actually applicable to the game.
Hag said the program, dubbed the Binary Translation Program, was started by a group of former players of the NHL who were concerned about the language barrier.
He has since collected data about the program from the National Hockey League, the U.S. National Hockey Players’ Association and other organizations.
He has already started using the program for a few games, including the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, but has not yet made it into the NHL’s regular season.
The program would allow teams to hire translators to do translations for players, as long as they are not native speakers of English, Hagan said.
He also has been working with some teams in the Western Conference to hire some of their native-speakers translators, he added.
The program is in its infancy, but Hagen has received requests from some of the teams already.
One of them, the Winnipeg Jets, hired a translator from Norway, said Mike Johnston, a spokesman for the team.
The league’s website has an interesting disclaimer about the project: “The NHL is not responsible for the actions or results of anyone who chooses to participate in this program.”
Johnston said that team has been asked to hire a translator but has declined.
“We are not allowed to comment on this matter,” Johnston said.