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Olympics Language Facts

By Memrise Blog

Who is excited about the Olympics this year?

We thought it would be cool to collect a few fun language facts about the Olympics for you to enjoy!

1. The official languages of the Olympic Games are English and French.

2. Rio 2016 has been critiqued to be the least Francophone Olympics thus far.

3. Michael Phelps reportedly said that learning Mandarin is harder than winning 8 Olympic Gold medals in the pool.

4. American TV broadcasters tried to urge the Rio Games to change the language for the opening ceremony to English instead of Portuguese, so that the American team would march in towards the end in the alphabetical order (‘United States’ instead of ‘Estados Unidos’) making American audiences watch the ceremony till the end.

5. The sign in American Sign Language for ‘Olympics’ is based on the sign for ‘chain’ which is based on the ‘connect’ sign. So ultimately it’s the sign of the Olympics.

Let the best ones win!