Friday, July 27, 2012

SUMMER OLYMPICS 2012: A Multilingual World Unites In London

London Olympics 2012 Official Logo

It is that time of the year again when the whole world becomes alive as everybody gives way to the Summer Olympics, which is currently being held in London. Participants from all over the world are all geared up, ready to make their country proud as the grand opening ceremony, which is called the “Isle of Wonder,” has now been officially inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

Cultural Awareness
The Flame arrives at City Hall
Amber Charles stands underneath the giant Olympic Rings on the edge of the River Thames outside
City Hall during Day 70 of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay.

With 204 countries competing, the Olympic Games can certainly increase and heighten everyone’s awareness regarding their respective cultures. After all, nobody thinks about their culture not until you find someone to compare it to. That is why these seasonable games are special. It can make us proud of who we are, where we come from, and what we can offer.

Each athlete is a representation of his country, fighting hard to shine among others, hoping to win the torch that signifies the milestones and achievements that his nation has earned. This event is not only about the games. It is about uniting the whole world in one single event, displaying all their strengths while maintaining a healthy camaraderie and respect among each other.

English and Other Languages
English, being known as the universal language, is often mixed with other dialects just so each participant can relate and connect with each other. This is how they explore each other’s culture as they try to reach out by exchanging words in different languages, with English as their common ground.

Καλώς Ορίσατε (Greek), Salve (Latin), Bienvenidos (Spanish), Bienvenue (French), and many other languages are heard and exchanged, representing one single word in English, which is welcome!

This single word may be short but it represents a lot of things that are unsaid but clearly understood. All conflicts that have happened in the past, may it be political or social, are all but momentarily forgotten, replacing it with warm tentative smiles as they greet each with their native tongue. It is rather fascinating how this one incredible event can create a harmonious relationship among nations.

The Languages of the Olympics
There are two official languages of the Olympics. These are English and French. Although English is spoken among the majority of the commonwealth nations, we have the French to thank for the modern day Olympics.

Of course, let us not forget the Greek who has founded the games however, ancient Olympics has long been gone and after a century of dormant activity, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, a French professor, is the one responsible for bringing the Olympics back. To honor its founding fathers, the first modern Olympic Games were aptly located in Athens, Greece.

London 2012: All About French
Today, July 27, 2012, marks the first day of this influential event and you can already feel the excitement in the air as the participants start to compete with their fellow athletes, all of which are considered as the best in their respective countries.

“Bienvenue à Jeux Olympiques d'été!”

Welcome to Summer Olympics! It has been unanimously decided that the official language to be used is French, taking precedence over English particularly on the main ceremonies, billboards, and ads. However, there is nothing to worry about if you can’t understand a single “mot.” Rest assured that everything would also be translated in English.

Most Common Games in French
Since the Summer Olympic Games will be labeled en français, it would be fun if you try to learn the most common Olympic events in the said language.

Athlétisme – Track or Athletics
Base-ball – Baseball
Basket-ball – Basketball
Boxe – Boxing
Canoë-kayak – Canoe or Kayak
Cyclisme – Cycling
Escrime – Fencing
Football – Soccer
Gymnastique – Gymnastics
Lutte – Wrestling
Natation – Swimming
Sports équestres – Equestrian
Tennis de Table – Table Tennis
Tir à l’arc – Archery
Volley-ball de plage – Beach Volleyball

Knowing the Language
Langue française, with all of its gloriously seductive qualities, can be extremely difficult to read and pronounce due to its missing vowels and silent consonants. Touche, oui?

Photo Credits:

1 comment:

Stephina Suzzane said...

The biggest kick I get is to communicate with those who are exiled from the game - in hospitals, homes, prisons - those who have seldom seen a game, who can't travel to a game, those who are blind.

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