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The Winter Olympics Show the Value of Learning a Second Language

U.S. News

Some people connect soft diplomacy with sneaky attempts to make a country's culture and political aims more successful on the world stage, but it is also about understanding other cultures. It's an opportunity for the world to learn about a nation's cultural achievements, about the ways people from that culture might see the world, what makes them tick, what makes them proud, and what they are worried or sad about.


Rio Olympics not winning medals in broadcast coverage or sports language

Los Angeles Times

To the editor: The reason the ratings for the Olympics are down is because people are sick and tired of all the commercial interruptions on NBC. We understand that NBC has invested a lot in bringing the Olympics to television, but it's more like commercials interrupted by Olympic coverage. To the editor: What is it that you don't understand about viewer interest in watching the Olympics on any medium? The real problem is being barraged by NBC's commercials. Everything from the Olympics to Washington politics is for sale.


Japanese and English languages present in run-up to Tokyo Olympics, but where's French?

The Japan Times

The French language has been almost invisible during the drawn-out preparations for next year's Tokyo Olympics. News conferences in Tokyo are conducted in Japanese or in English -- or with English interpretation. Signs around the organizing committee offices are in Japanese and English. Printed material is largely in Japanese and English. French is seldom seen or heard.


Tokyo Olympics: Japanese, English -- but where's the French?

FOX News

A man walks past a large Tokyo 2020 banner hanging on the facade of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, in Tokyo. The French language has been almost invisible during the drawn-out preparations for next year's Tokyo Olympics.(AP The French language has been almost invisible during the drawn-out preparations for next year's Tokyo Olympics. News conferences in Tokyo are conducted in Japanese or in English -- or with English interpretation. Signs around the organizing committee offices are in Japanese and English.


In race for fluency in time for Olympics, Tokyo great-grandmother proves it's never too late to learn

The Japan Times

Great-grandmother Setsuko Takamizawa is determined to prove that it is never too late to learn as she bids to conquer the English language before the Tokyo Olympics, having been prevented from learning what was considered the "enemy language" in her youth. When Japan last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1964, Takamizawa was too busy raising a family to go to any events or pay much attention. Takamizawa will be 92 when the Olympics return to Tokyo in July next year and this time she wants to get as close to the action as possible. She is one of more than 200,000 people who have applied as volunteers at the Olympics and Paralympics, hoping to be part of the army of people needed to help organize and guide thousands of foreign visitors around the city. Although it is not a mandatory qualification, the ability to speak English is a crucial skill organizers are looking for and Takamizawa is eager to finally take the opportunity to acquire it.