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Official languages - which version can be used?


Mercator

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I think this was brought up ages and ages ago, but I'll recycle it anyhow...

I'm a linguist by trade and I am also ordinarily interested in languages, so this is a question that interests me from a personal and professional point of view:

So... when the Olympic Games are in London, the buildings/venues/events are officially known by their local names in British English, in Sydney Australian English, Vancouver in Canadian English, all pretty similar indeed together I'll call them Commonwealth English.

e.g.

Aquatic Centre

500 Metres Breaststroke

In the USA, it's naturally in their local patois:

e.g.

Aquatic Center

50 Meters Breaststroke

So when the Games have been held elsewhere outside the Anglosphere, it's normally officially titled in Commonwealth English, to my knowledge. But when I looked on Rio's website, their names are in US English. Sochi the same. Is this through geographical reasons, or is it just due to the preference of the OC or website designer? Will this change when the time gets nearer, or can the OC choose the version of English it uses? Are there rules as to which spelling/vocabulary can be used?

Is my question comprehensible?! :o:lol:

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Names in English in Rio website???

In the Portuguese version of the site, the official names of the venues like "Estádio do Maracanã" or "Parque do Flamengo" are in Portuguese.

I might understand you are talking about which English they use in translations...

And, in Brazil, at least, we mostly use US English for translations (Or "globish" sometimes).

At least, most people does not even know there is some "Commonwealth English".

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Bigger question is...for the Paralympics...what language do they use in the Braille signs? French? English? Greek? Portuguese?

How about for the Sochi Paras? Is there a Cyrillic Braille version?

And when they 'sign' the speeches? Will they also be using Cyrillic sign language?

Mercator, you have to tell us these things. Inquiring minds are dying to know!!

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And, of course, for Portuguese, we use the Brazilian variant of the language.

Also, this is what is agreed with Portugal and the other Portuguese-speaking countries since there are two official variants of the language:

Brazilian Portuguese (pt-BR): regulated by Brazilian Academy of Letters and spoken in Brazil

European Portuguese (pt-PT): regulated by Lisbon Sciences Academy and spoken in the other Portuguese-speaking countries.

:)

Bigger question is...for the Paralympics...what language do they use in the Braille signs? French? English? Greek? Portuguese?

How about for the Sochi Paras? Is there a Cyrillic Braille version?

And when they 'sign' the speeches? Will they also be using Cyrillic sign language?

Mercator, you have to tell us these things. Inquiring minds are dying to know!!

Congress on Work for the Blind, held in Paris, proposed an international braille standard, where braille codes for different languages and scripts would be based, not on the order of a particular alphabet, but on phonetic correspondence and transliteration to Latin.

This unified braille has been applied to the languages of India and Africa, Arabic, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Russian, and Armenian, as well as nearly all Latin-script languages. Greek, for example, gamma is written as Latin g, despite the fact that it has the alphabetic position of c; Hebrew bet, the second letter of the alphabet and cognate with the Latin letter b, is sometimes pronounced /b/ and sometimes /v/, and is written b or v accordingly; Russian ts is written as c, which is the usual letter for /ts/ in those Slavic languages that use the Latin alphabet; and Arabic f is written as f, despite being historically p, and occurring in that part of the Arabic alphabet (between historic o and q).

Source: Wikipedia

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Names in English in Rio website???

In the Portuguese version of the site, the official names of the venues like "Estádio do Maracanã" or "Parque do Flamengo" are in Portuguese.

I might understand you are talking about which English they use in translations...

And, in Brazil, at least, we mostly use US English for translations (Or "globish" sometimes).

At least, most people does not even know there is some "Commonwealth English".

Names in English in Rio website???

In the Portuguese version of the site, the official names of the venues like "Estádio do Maracanã" or "Parque do Flamengo" are in Portuguese.

I might understand you are talking about which English they use in translations...

And, in Brazil, at least, we mostly use US English for translations (Or "globish" sometimes).

At least, most people does not even know there is some "Commonwealth English".

Yes, on the "English" translations. I was tired after proofreading all day... not explaining well...

I think most educated people know there are variants of English, especially if they operate something like MS Word in an office; seeing all the variants.

OK, for Commonwealth English, read British English, or International English, real English or original English, call it what you like.... I didn't want to offend the rest of the non-American world by using the term "British English"; the one used outside of the US and parts of Canada.

I would like to know who decides which spelling variant of English can be used. Vocabulary is different, of course, as there are many variants even within language regions (Spanish, Portuguese, German, Arabic), but concerning spelling, English is quite unique in this, having two spelling variants

For example, in NATO HQ, it is Commonwealth English. In the UN in New York/Geneva, it is a mix, but mainly Commonwealth English. In the European Union, it is British English. In ASEAN it is American English. Is there an official variant in the Olympic movement, or is it left up to the OC? And what about OBS television captioning, considering it's independent from the OC?

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Merci beaucoup, Monsieur Robert :)

That's half the answer - I don't suppose it has much control over chosen host cities using different variants on-site if they wanted to...?

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I'm not offended at all. ;)

In fact, for me, it doesn't matter which variant of the English they are using in Rio website... The differences between British English and US English are so subtle for non-speakers...

Differently from Brazilian/Portugal's Portuguese... Some words are really different like "screen". In Brazil: "tela", In Portugal "ecrã" and most Portuguese does not get the word when we say it to them, and the otherwise about ecrã is also valid for us Brazilians...

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I'm not offended at all. ;)

The differences between British English and US English are so subtle for non-speakers...

UK English - very rigid; very uptight. Very formal but gets very upclose and personal with inanimate things like: the Tube, the telly, the loo. And then bid you goodbye with toodle-loo...so, like just coming out of the toilette.)

US English - freer, more fluid, less formal, more laid back. Does not waste letters like an extra "u" (labour, colour, etc.) or an extra "e" (judgment, acknowledgment, etc.)

But both waste too many double letters in words like "accommodations, bookkeeping, hippopotamus, Mississippi (why not Mrs. Hipy instead?), to name a few..."

:lol:

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:lol: Paul-9-2, it's a stand-up comedy routine. U don't take it seriously. It's NOT a professorial lecture at Oxford. U gotta go w the flow, dude!!

Did you not read my light hearted yet humorous comment or just presume what you think I might have written?

If I had said this, your comment would have made sense:

OMFG, That video is such crap. We f**king invented the language and that stupid yank thinks he has the right to make fun of us?!

I hope he does in an unfortunate road accident!

Bu I didn

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UK English - very rigid; very uptight. Very formal but gets very upclose and personal with inanimate things like: the Tube, the telly, the loo. And then bid you goodbye with toodle-loo...so, like just coming out of the toilette.)

US English - freer, more fluid, less formal, more laid back. Does not waste letters like an extra "u" (labour, colour, etc.) or an extra "e" (judgment, acknowledgment, etc.)

But both waste too many double letters in words like "accommodations, bookkeeping, hippopotamus, Mississippi (why not Mrs. Hipy instead?), to name a few..."

:lol:

Oh, I see!!!

It somehow similar to "European" Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese about vocabulary.

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UK English - very rigid; very uptight. Very formal but gets very upclose and personal with inanimate things like: the Tube, the telly, the loo. And then bid you goodbye with toodle-loo...so, like just coming out of the toilette.)

US English - freer, more fluid, less formal, more laid back. Does not waste letters like an extra "u" (labour, colour, etc.) or an extra "e" (judgment, acknowledgment, etc.)

Strewth! Stone the flamin crows! We use the Pommy lingo, but I don't reckon anyone thinks we act the raw prawn and come across as toff!

Actually, on The Australian, the house style for the newspaper was to use the American spellings for things like harbor, labor, favor etc. I guess it saved space to allow you to fit more words in, more easily, in headlines.

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UK English - very rigid; very uptight. Very formal but gets very upclose and personal with inanimate things like: the Tube, the telly, the loo. And then bid you goodbye with toodle-loo...so, like just coming out of the toilette.)

US English - freer, more fluid, less formal, more laid back. Does not waste letters like an extra "u" (labour, colour, etc.) or an extra "e" (judgment, acknowledgment, etc.)

But both waste too many double letters in words like "accommodations, bookkeeping, hippopotamus, Mississippi (why not Mrs. Hipy instead?), to name a few..."

:lol:

Baron darling, you're such a wag, you know... I spelt it "wag", the American spelling for the slightly longer British variant, "smartypants"... :PB)

If American English saves letter space, why do you call a "lift" an "elevator" and a "chemist" a "drugstore"?! Methinks that Noah Webster and his fans weren't really sure what they were up to :D

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@Mercaor. Of course, wha I posed was just ongue-in-cheek.

It just occurred to me that the honour, colour, valour, etc. spellings are due to the Norman influence. Because it's pour in French but simply por in Spanish. So Poms, u still can't shed the Gallic influence, can u? ;)

Ah, the curse of the maid Joan.

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"yeah guys, of course i got the joke the first time. i was just, uh, seeing if YOU got the joke. duh. no 'Ts' right? HAHA. that's a laugh riot. ok, looks like you did get it, which so did i."

of course, baron has yet to discover that, through his obliviousness, he has become the joke, but we can't expect miracles.

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"yeah guys, of course i got the joke the first time. i was just, uh, seeing if YOU got the joke. duh. no 'Ts' right? HAHA. that's a laugh riot. ok, looks like you did get it, which so did i."

of course, baron has yet to discover that, through his obliviousness, he has become the joke, but we can't expect miracles.

Oh wow!! Ya think? Nah...u don't often do...

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@Mercaor. Of course, wha I posed was just ongue-in-cheek.

It just occurred to me that the honour, colour, valour, etc. spellings are due to the Norman influence. Because it's pour in French but simply por in Spanish. So Poms, u still can't shed the Gallic influence, can u? ;)

Ah, the curse of the maid Joan.

Yeah, me understandy Bazza, - me no stoopy stoops, hence my reply...

The second point about French, very true, but it goes for a looooot of words in English, especially the more academic words, best highlighted by the names of farm animals and their relationship to names of food:

The French were the consumers, the English (Saxons) the farmers and manual labourers, so where the Saxon Germanics had

Cow/Bull

Swine/Pig

Lamb/Sheep,

because as farmers they produced them, the French ate the stuff, so they called them

Beef (Boeuf)

Pork (Porc)

Mutton (Mouton)

so no matter which version of English you speak, we are all affected by the Norman invasion ^_^

Most things of a higher standard are from French/Latin, and most "ground floor" words are from Germanic.

House vs. Manor/Castle

Leaving vs. Departure

Right vs. Correct

Tell vs. Inform

the list goes on and on and on.... keep an eye out for them in future :)

Therefore, when someone like the Baron mentions British English as being less flexible, I think you'll find the opposite - US English has changed a lot less since the Pilgrim Fathers made that trip... the fact is, each ex-colony has more-or-less a pretty similar accent to how the English/British spoke when they colonised that territory. And British English is the one that has done the changing :lol: So the accents spoken in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and North America (especially New England and Canada), are very much like they spoke back when they were first populated. Accents, not vocabulary of course. That's another matter.

Let's be honest, the only kind of sober English is the cut-glass accent of senior royals, various aristoes and some broadcasters/politicians. The other accents are pretty charming and often contain incredibly imaginative vocabulary :) Try listening to the dialects of Cornwall, Merseyside, Glasgow, Tyneside, the East End of London, the Scottish Highlands and Islands, Wales and the West Midlands. Splendid!

Language is my job, my hobby, my passion, my greatest love, so you will excuse me waxing lyrical about it :wub:

So my original question, about versions of English used, was not out of competition, it was an honest one!

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