Friday, August 15, 2008

English at the Olympics

One of the debates we have had and continue to have in our country is whether or not to make English our official language. I have always been intrigued because in the past it has always been assumed by people that I have spoken to and met that English is the main language. I have never begun a conversation asking "Do you speak English?"

Now, as I watch the Beijing Olympics I am amazed to see that the Olympics has no problem with making English the official language, even in a country whose language uses a completely different alphabet. I know that technically the official languages are French, English, and Chinese but what language is posted all over the venues? Everywhere you look you read B-e-i-j-i-n-g 2-0-0-8. I don't know Chinese, but I would be willing to bet that is not written in Chinese. There is no secondary translation, no Chinese version of Beijing 2008 next to the script, just English.

Then there are the uniforms. I was especially humored to see Chinese athletes walking around in white uniforms with big red letters C-H-I-N-A. English has become the most universally accepted language. Yet, we debate that it should be the official language in our country. Athletes from numerous countries are interviewed and fluently speak English.

No comments:

Post a Comment