One of the peculiarities about the Olympics, evident to many, was the prevalence of the French language as the joint language of the Games.
On first view, this seems utterly bizarre. French is now well outside the top ten most spoken languages worldwide, regardless of how you count it. French-speaking countries hold no particular economic, political or cultural prominence in the 21st century. The world language is undoubtedly English, so why add French in London?
Interestingly, “BBC Oddities” tell us that French is in fact the first language of the IOC, based in Lausanne in French-speaking Switzerland and founded by a Frenchman. That is why French retains this apparently pecular status.
For all that, is it really appropriate for a language from a relatively small corner of Europe to retain such prominence on the world stage in the 21st century? Thoughts…?!