Little Leaguers connect with Translate, Fortnite, Facebook

The Australia Region Champion Little League team from Gold Coast, Queensland, participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Midwest Region Champion Little League team from Des Moines, Iowa, participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series baseball tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Japan Region Champion Little League team from Kawaguchi participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series baseball tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Asia-Pacific Region Champion Little League team from Seoul, South Korea, participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Southwest Region Champion Little League team from Houston, Texas, participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series baseball tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The Latin America Region Champion Little League team from Arraijan, Panama, participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series baseball tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The New England Region Champion Little League team from Coventry, R.I., participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series baseball tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The 16 Little League teams competing in the 2018 Little League World Series baseball tournament line the field at Volunteer Stadium during the opening ceremony in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
In this photo provided by Georgianna DeCarmine, Georgia shortstop Tai Peete, left, uses Google Translate on his phone to communicate with Panama outfielder Rolando Rodriguez during an interview at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018. (Georgianna DeCarmine via AP)
The Great Lakes Region Champion Little League team from Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, participates in the opening ceremony of the 2018 Little League World Series baseball tournament in South Williamsport, Pa., Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018,. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. — Outfielder Rolando Rodriguez from Panama heard a reporter's question, but doesn't speak English. So Georgia shortstop Tai Peete helped him out, pecking the words into Google Translate to ask about how young baseball players are sharing technology during the Little League World Series.

"It was easier than expected," Rodriguez said of the language barrier, speaking through an interpreter.

So goes life in the International Grove, the dorms where 16 teams all are staying during the double-elimination tournament in pursuit of a world title. Apps and even video games are making it easier for the boys to communicate and get to know each other — making smartphones a key part rather than a distraction during their moment of a lifetime. Eight teams are from U.S. states while the other teams represent various countries around the world and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.

Players are using Translate to input questions in their native languages and let other players read or hear them in one of more than 100 languages.

That's changing some of the tournament's traditions. For example, each team has pins that they are given to trade with other teams. While body language used to go a long way in this process, players are using the tech to directly ask for trades.

No words actually need to be spoken aloud but the kids still are helping fellow baseball players pronounce the words, learning a little bit of a new language in the process.

"I talked to the Mexico team," Peete said. "I was talking about Little League and they couldn't pronounce it, so I was helping them."

Even with better technology, language and cultural barriers still exist.

"It was harsh", said Lee Jae-hyeok of South Korea, who noted through a human interpreter that players also were using Facebook to connect. "A lot harder than I thought."

The days leading up to the start of the series on Thursday consisted of practices, interviews and hanging out in the players village. For the duration of the tournament, each team from the U.S. bracket shares a dorm with one of the international teams. The rooms have bunkbeds and TVs, but no wifi.

They do have a game room, however, which allows them to get their video game fix in a more social way.

The space has arcade games including bowling and motorcycle simulators, but also activities like table tennis. Peete taught the tailgate favorite cornhole to the Australian club.

One common thread for most of the boys: Fortnite, the massively popular, multiplayer shootout video game. They don't have their consoles but they can still play on their phone and try to impress each other with renditions of the famous dances done by the game's characters.

Soon, their trips will boil down to the diamond.

"Can we play a (baseball) game?" Peete asked a volunteer at the Little League complex before the tournament started, suggesting that maybe the whole world series could be moved up.

"There's nothing else to do," he said.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Must Read

Australia says Vietnam cancels commemoration of...

Aug 17, 2016

Australia is making top-level appeals to Vietnam to lift a sudden ban on veterans commemorating the...

Israel-EU tension up over rise in West Bank home...

Aug 17, 2016

The Palestinian government has brought foreign diplomats to a school in the West Bank to highlight...

Anti-imperialism schooling now a must for...

Aug 17, 2016

Bolivia's president inaugurates new 'anti-Imperialist' academy for military officers, where...

'Mr. Robot' mobile game launches as phony...

Aug 17, 2016

A fake messaging app inspired by the USA Network hacker 'Mr. Robot' was released Tuesday for mobile...

Wal-Mart raises annual profit outlook, reports...

Aug 18, 2016

Wal-Mart is raising its annual profit outlook after reporting strong quarterly sales and profit

About Us

Started in 2015, Science Of The World offers in-depth news about the latest scientific discoveries. If you’re looking for a reliable source, Science Of The World is the one for you.

Contact us: sales[at]scienceoftheworld.com

Subscribe Now!