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Mon Dieu! Paris snubs French and picks English slogan for 2024 Olympics bid

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Mon Dieu! Paris snubs French and picks English slogan for 2024 Olympics bid
French President Francois Hollande gives International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach an Olympic flag from the 1924 Olympics games. Photo: AFP
16:42 CET+01:00
The slogan for Paris's 2024 Olympics bid is "Made for sharing", and as you would expect, not everyone in France is impressed that it's in English.

The official slogan, which forms a part of each city's official candidacy to host the games, will be "Made for sharing", Le Parisian newspaper revealed

The choice of English was embraced by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, got in the spirit with an English tweet on Thursday using the hashtag #sharing.

"The objective is to sell the project to an international audience,” Etienne Thobois, director general of Paris 2024, told France Info.

And using English is a strategic move for Paris, as 80 percent of members of the International Olympics Committee (IOC) ask to read their documents in English.

And after all, Paris had no luck winning the games in 2012 when its slogan was "L’Amour des Jeux" (which translates to "The love of the Games"). And don't forget, Paris lost out to London that year, and its slogan of “Inspire a generation”.

However, as cunning as the English slogan may seem, it's left a bitter taste in the mouths of many French people.

Remember - the official language of the Olympics is French after all, and the modern games were indeed founded by a Frenchman (Pierre de Coubertin).

20 Minutes newspaper went with the headline: "Sorry Pierre de Coubertin, the slogan for Paris 2024 will be in English".

 

 

Indeed, the “Anglicisation” of French is a sore subject for many, not least the French “language police” at the Academie Francaise who have previously tried to ban the use of certain English words that have crept into spoken French, such as “sexting” and “binge-drinking”. 

Florian Philippot of the National Front added that he was "extremely shocked" by the slogan being in English.

"The world expects France to be France," he said. Philippot was left coughing up his croissant last month when French politician had the nerve (and the ability) to give a speech in English.

Some French Twitter users reacted to news of the English slogan with irritation. 

"The slogan for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in English? Why not Russian or Chinese, why is it always English" said the Tweeter below. 

"Paris an Anglophone city: bilingual posters and now an Olympic slogan in English? @AnneHidalgo are you ashamed of our language?" said another. 
The official Olympic bid will take place on Friday night at an event by the Eiffel Tower.
 
By Rose Trigg
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