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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Languages at the London 2012 Summer Olympics

For complete article, click here

It’s a matter of hours until the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and 10 days until I visit London 2012 myself, so it’s probably about time Language Rich Europe got into the spirit of things!
London is a multilingual and multicultural city regardless of whether the Olympics are happening or not, but the arrival of participants and spectators from all over the world has resulted in a greater effort to recruit multilingual staff to meet and greet arrivals at airports and to produce multilingual signs. Unfortunately this hasn’t always worked as effectively as the organisers may have liked, with reports that some Arabic signs in train stations andWestfield Shopping Centre are ‘gibberish.’ But it’s a well-meaning gesture and for an Olympic Games which places so much emphasis on legacy, I will be interested to see if there will be any lasting impact on multilingualism.

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