Talkswindon

Coffee Talk & What's On => Rm 101. Misc. Odds and Ends => Topic started by: Richard Symonds on July 28, 2012, 01:51:48 AM

Title: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 28, 2012, 01:51:48 AM
I don't know if anyone shared my indignation at having to listen to spoken French before any announcements were made in English at the opening ceremony at the Olympics last night?

Had Paris won the bid I would have expected French to be the first spoken language but it is being held in London and the first language of this country is English not French.  If I were German I believe I would have been equally offended so why was French the first language we heard?

Or is this a further boo boo to add to the wrong Korean flag being hoisted on Thursday night?   :crazy2:
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Muggins on July 28, 2012, 08:40:30 AM
Thought it was odd Richard, but didn't take offence at it.  Thought that the girl announcer had rather a weedy voice for doing what she had to do there.
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Mickraker on July 28, 2012, 09:49:51 AM
Who cares I speak Scouse and understand Cockney and I try my best with Geordie  :wink:
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Mart on July 28, 2012, 10:19:51 AM
P'raps it was just an attempt to preserve a dying language.

If it was a bit of right on P.C. cobblers as we 'reach out' to the global audience this should have been the running order apparently.

Complete absence of French, which is a happy thought.

1. Mandarin Chinese - 882 million
2. Spanish - 325 million
3. English - 312-380 million
4. Arabic - 206-422 million
5. Hindi - 181 million
6. Portuguese - 178 million
7. Bengali - 173 million
8. Russian - 146 million
9. Japanese - 128 million
10. German - 96 million

Personal view is that it should be in English only, we've spent £9,000,000,000 and you would think that concession enough. I still have a little smile at the German tourist complaining that the signage at Lands End is all in English. I wanted to explain that this was because Goering's Luftwaffe failed to defeat the RAF and so made Operation Sea Lion untenable but my German is limited to asking where the station is (then failing to understand the reply) ordering beer and 'No Overtaking Except for Tractors'.

Anyway, the list of language popularity demonstrates that logically no useful purpose was served by assaulting our ears with French, it was probably the decision of an 'advisor' called Ken who has a beard and wears socks with sandals.
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Bassettina on July 28, 2012, 02:04:03 PM
I think French is the official language of the Olympics.
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Muggins on July 28, 2012, 03:47:49 PM
Ah, very likely and an acceptable reason.  French bloke re-invented them didn't he?
Title: Has Norman French been a primacy Language in England for centuries?
Post by: Steve Wakefield on July 28, 2012, 05:00:25 PM
A law or bill cannot be given Royal Assent in England until the following Norman French Law words are used La Reyne le veult (the Queen wills it).

French is the international  language of Diplomacy and English Law has far more centuries under its belt as  (Norman French Law) than some would admit to. Norman- French words such as Attorney, Mortgage, Plaintiff, Culprit, Defendant, Bailiff and Chattel are but a few we use. As you can see today Anglo-Norman French is still present in England.

I am not certain, but I believe it was Cromwell who promoted English as the first Language over Latin in the medical and sciences and Norman Law French in the courts? (I read somewhere, but cant recall where.) That towards  the end of the 18th Century about half the people living in the British Isles spoke English as a first language. The number of English speakers increased rapidly during the 19th Century as Railways coupled with industrialisation,  caused a population explosion and education became available to the poor.
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: I Could Do That on July 28, 2012, 09:01:20 PM
France has also technically become the international time zone.

Since 1972 airlines have been coordinated to operate under the french system of UTC which translates to "universal time coordinated"

The cosolation to this is that it is identical in all but name to Greenwich Mean Time.

I guess they figured they can't move the meridian line
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 29, 2012, 09:08:30 AM
All the above are valid comments, but English is still the language of the United Kingdom and as such should have taken precedence at the London 2012 Olympics. 

If French is the language of the Olympic movement, fair enough, but it should have followed English not preceded it!
Title: Re: French is now our First Language!!
Post by: Richard Symonds on July 29, 2012, 09:18:06 AM
This business about language reminds me of an experience I learnt way back in 1984.

Now people familiar with electronics may remember that GEC teamed up with Hitachi who became the dominant partner and they had a television factory in Hiwaun at the Heads of the Valleys in South Wales.

The Welsh workforce slighly resented what they saw as a takeover of their company by the Japanese and so communicated in Welsh as they knew the Japanese could not understand it.  This even extended to the written word between Welsh people visiting Japan and Hirwaun.

So how did this situation resolve itself?

The Japanese Managing Director called the whole company together and told them that from that time onwards communication was not to be made in either Japanese or Welsh as the language of the company was English.

No wonder the Japanese are so successful in Wales!