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Cheers - AE

Friday, 10 December 2010

Bonjour et bienvenue aux Jeux Olympiques 2012 de Londres.

Via Captain Ranty I see the 2012 Olympic Games - you know, the Games that Paris lost out on to London - are going to be held in French.
French is the first language of the International Olympic Committee and as such that means that it must take precedence at all Olympic ceremonies including when medals are being handed out.
The presentations will also take place in English but any statement in English "should be read after the French".
All "billboards and pageantry" must also be in French, with English relegated to a second language for the duration of the Games.
They're fucking smart, the French, aren't they? Not having to pay a red cent towards the insane cost of hosting the event and they still get their language given preference.

Now in fairness to the International Olympic C... er, what does the C stand for anyway? Probably not the first thing that sprung to my mind. Anyway, in fairness thinking back to the Beijing Games I do seem to recall that everything was said in French first and then a Chinese language, presumably Mandarin, afterwards. Doesn't make any sense since there are more Chinese speakers than speakers of anything else, and it seems to me that geographically both Spanish and English have a better claim to, ah, lingua franca status than French does these days. And if it's an Olympic tradition surely Greek should take precedence, even though there are only about 12 million people in Greece and half of them may need to eat their TVs before 2012.
The Union Jack should only be flown fifth in precedence behind the Olympic flag, the London 2012 symbol, the United Nations flag and the flag of Greece.
See? The Greek flag comes before the Union Jack Flag (note to the media, please look up the fucking difference), and because of the history of the Games in ancient times I don't have a huge issue with that. Certainly not compared to the UN and EU rags being even high up the pecking order.

Anyhow, French first is clearly what the London bid team signed everyone up for, presumably as a nod to the French Baron Pierre de Coubertin (how come he was a baron? I thought they'd executed or exiled all their aristos decades earlier). And if that's in the contract there's probably nothing thatt can be done about it, not even my suggestion of saying:
Voici votre facture de eleventy billion fucking quid, M. Johhny Frog. Parler en francais all you please, me old china, but only once you've coughed up, eh?
But that's really by the by. As Witterings From Witney points out in the comments over at Ranty's, the real question is why it took two years of battering the bastards with the Freedom of Information Act before this came out. Or why they didn't feel able to be open about it and say this in front of all the flag waving crowds five and a half years ago when there was still a chance for Britons to demand the bid be withdrawn.

I wonder... could there have been money in it, or am I just becoming a cynical old bugger?
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