olympics

Tokyo Olympics: Japanese, English — but where’s the French?

27 Comments
By STEPHEN WADE

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IMO this modern Olympics has become way to costly for many countries. Dissolution of the IOC modern Olympics and go back to what worked for over 200yrs. The old Olympics held in Greece. Let the games begin.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Don't quite understand why the big deal about this, other than possibly pride?

Last time I was in France and attempted to use my rudimentary French I got looked at like I was an alien, and was not so politely "requested" to NOT butcher the language and to use English!

13 ( +13 / -0 )

to be fair, the organizing committee could barely afford to put up signs in the local Portuguese, or English — much less French.

I think this is the much bigger issue. The cost of the games have grown so much out of hand that affording something like this has become too costly.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

French is a pretty-sounding tongue with rich literature. But sadly it slipped from the status of a global language right after WW2 and the nearest Francophone countries are thousands of miles away. So what are they making all the fuss about?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

There are good smartphone apps which can translate Japanese signs into whatever language needed. More French can read the English than English who can read French.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

There are good smartphone apps which can translate Japanese signs into whatever language needed.

That’s what I was thinking and what I’ve used in the past when traveling.

I think this is more a question of pride. Give it a rest.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

what french got to do with olympics in the first place? Chinese or Russian would be much more sensible option to add. Besides French does anyone want to hear french language anyways?

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

There are also smartphone apps for going to a location maps including the transits and the costs of the rides. I use that all the time so I arrive on time even with a long trip.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Chinese or Russian would be much more sensible option to add.

French is understood by more people than Russian around the world.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sacre bleu mes amis. Mae oui.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I remember Loony Ishihara criticizing the French language because of the way they count. That was rich, considering his ancestors had to borrow the names of the numbers from the Chinese.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

French is not popular in Japan because most schools do not teach it. but can see french words in streets.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

English is the international language.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm French and I couldn't care less. Why no Russian, or Chinese or even Spanish is more questionable !

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Besides French does anyone want to hear french language anyways?

Many regard it as the most beautiful of all languages. It certainly has a flair to it. I love the sound of Italian and Italians were very complimentary of my undoubtedly crap attempts at it speaking it when I visited Italy.

French and Italian have a flamboyance I like. I speak Japanese to a reasonable extent and Chinese badly and I like both languages, but they don’t have the oomph of French and Italian.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

what french got to do with olympics in the first place?

As stated in the article:

Article 23 of the Olympic Charter specifies that French and English are the official languages of the games. In fact, the charter suggests French has standing over English. This is the legacy of Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympics.

Baron de Coubertin (a French person) founded the IOC and is regarded the father of the modern Olympics. That is, it owes its existence to him. Whether that's a good thing is debatable. The Games have slipped a long way from the ideals of both de Coubertin and of the ancient Greeks.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Alex Einz: "Besides French does anyone want to hear french language anyways?"

Once again showing how little you know. It's the third highest in terms of national languages of countries world-wide, my friend. So, MANY more people than just the French would welcome hearing it. Now, I agree with your point that in terms of practicality, taking into account it's the most spoken language in the world, that Chinese would be a good choice for translation. As for Russian, though. No. If they went by proximity alone then Korean would have to be the first choice, and Taiwanese, but we know you'd be flat out against the former.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Not even French people are complaining, so how is this a question of pride? The article is trying to stir something, but there’s nothing in the bowl.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The allocated budget for French signage went to the Beaujolais Nouveau celebrations. Will have to wait for the 2020 budget. In the meantime, say Azabu-juban quickly 10 times.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@ Einz, a bit of knowledges never hurts:

French is an official language in Belgium, Benin, Burkina, Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central, African, Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte, d'Ivoire, Democratic, Republic, of, the, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial, Guinea, France, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic, of, the, Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@smith

If you’re going strictly by proximity, Russian beats Korean by about four miles....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

French is an official language in Belgium, Benin, Burkina, Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Central, African, Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte, d'Ivoire, Democratic, Republic, of, the, Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial, Guinea, France, Guinea, Haiti, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Mali, Monaco, Niger, Republic, of, the, Congo, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Switzerland, Togo, and Vanuatu.

Don’t forget New Caledonia. It was hard work even asking where the bog was when I was there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

English has replaced French as the world's "lingua franca."

1 ( +1 / -0 )

YubaruNov. 23  08:14 am JST

Don't quite understand why the big deal about this, other than possibly pride?

Last time I was in France and attempted to use my rudimentary French I got looked at like I was an alien, and was not so politely "requested" to NOT butcher the language and to use English!

That experience sounds about right for France. The only country that I was ever treated with contempt whilst trying my best to communicate with them in their language (Never experienced that in South Korea, Germany, Finland etc where I would be kindly asked if English is better)

Like my Grandfather used to. France is a beautiful country. It's just a shame about the people who live there!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Last time I was in France and attempted to use my rudimentary French I got looked at like I was an alien, and was not so politely "requested" to NOT butcher the language and to use English!

I never experienced that in France. It was more like a sneer than anything else. My wife reacted badly but I just saw it as French people being French.

New Caledonia was interesting. The level of English was appalling but I didn’t see the same kind of sneering when I tried to use my phrasebook French.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

In Quebec, I was waiting in line for an ATM. A girl in line said something in French to which I replied, in French, that I don’t speak French. She said in English ‘but you say that so well’. It ended in a date.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It's wonderful that the Olympics will be held in Tokyo this time. However, it is one fact that there are various problems like this. But I think this language problem is till a small problem. First of all, I think English can be the only Language. Because English is already recognized as a common language in the world. I think it's natural that I can speak and understand English, so I felt it wasn't a problem. So there are many other problems that need to be solved. The venue facilities should not be fully equipped yet. I felt that should be the first priority.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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