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Why are Olympic uniforms all in English?


hjwii

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Why are country names on the Olympic uniforms in English? Especially a country like China or Russia?

And why would it be in English, and not French (French is the official Olympic language, isn't it?)

I also noticed that all the abbreviations of the countries are in English (Austria is not AUS as opposed to OST)...

Thanks...

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English and French are both official languages.

And it probably is because more languages use the roman alphabet as its base would be my guess. As to why English and not French then, I'd bet it has to do with the role of the US and Great Britain as the two superpowers way back when (think early 1900's).

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Why are country names on the Olympic uniforms in English? Especially a country like China or Russia?

And why would it be in English, and not French (French is the official Olympic language, isn't it?)

I also noticed that all the abbreviations of the countries are in English (Austria is not AUS as opposed to OST)...

Thanks...

I think the deal with abbreviations is to do with the UN. I think each country has a three letter abbreviation for general use, and the IOC has just kept to those traditionally. They are a mix of local and English/French. (Spain is ESP I think, Netherlands is NED).

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Not to mention English being the de facto global language of commerce and all.

So that explains why Japanese and Korean baseball logos are in English.

I've always wondered that too.

I realize that English is used internationally now for commerce and marketing, but I would hate to think that one day "USA" might show up in Chinese characters.

And a quick scan through the Google, it appears that in 2008 uniforms also were in English, despite the Olympics being held in Beijing (I still call it "Peking").

Thanks for the responses...

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Only country to ignore this was Germany in the 1936 Summer games. Player uniforms were produced by each country, but EVERYthing else at those games were in German.

Not really surprising considering who was in charge...

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Not all are spelled in English

Italy is spelling their apparel in Italian ........... ITALIA

Brazil is spelled in Portuguese with the 'S' .... BRASIL

Spain is spelled in Spanish ........... ESPAÑA

Ivory Coast is spelled in their native French .... CÔTE D' IVOIRE

Netherlands/ Holland is spelled in Dutch ......... NEDERLAND

and I'm pretty sure that Germany was spelled ..... DEUTSCHLAND (although I'm not 100% sure on that one)

and I'm assuming there are others

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Not all are spelled in English

Italy is spelling their apparel in Italian ........... ITALIA

Brazil is spelled in Portuguese with the 'S' .... BRASIL

Spain is spelled in Spanish ........... ESPAÑA

Ivory Coast is spelled in their native French .... CÔTE D' IVOIRE

Netherlands/ Holland is spelled in Dutch ......... NEDERLAND

and I'm pretty sure that Germany was spelled ..... DEUTSCHLAND (although I'm not 100% sure on that one)

and I'm assuming there are others

Côte D'Ivoire has been the country's official name for almost 30 years, even though the English-speaking world still calls it Ivory Coast. The Olympic Code is reflected as CIV.

Germany used to compete as two separate countries: West Germany (GER), and East Germany (DDR). The combined country is GER, but uniforms read Deutschland.

I've seen Latvia spelled as both Latvia and Latvija.

Surprised that Russia is spelled in English on all the uniforms.

Lithuania is spelled Lietuva on its uniforms.

Greece is spelled Hellas (from Hellenic Republic, the official name for the country).

Other countries will use their official name on warm-up uniforms, but the official Olympic code on in-game apparel (Norway/Norge, Hungary/Magyarorszag, for example).

I saw an Iranian wrestler today. His singlet had the design from the flag on the front, but his name spelled out in English on the back.

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Dominican Republic have Republicana Dominicana on their kit.

I think it's down to a combination of two things:

1. All text at the Olympics being in the Roman alphabet, Russia have 'Russia' because they can't have the Cyrillic version of their name etc.

2. Most countries own names for themselves aren't all that different from what they're called in English, so any potential differences are often not all that obvious

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Since it's sort of related, why do some countries have different names in English in the first place?

For example, why does the word "Germany" exist in the English language if they call it Deutschland in German? That would be like someone named "John" being called a different name in a foreign country. You'd still call him John even if you were speaking in Spanish or Chinese or French or whatever. Shouldn't the name just be "Deutschland" in all languages?

(Note, I'm not talking names like the United States which could actually be translated into, say, Los Estados Unidos, since there are words for "United" and "States" in Spanish.)

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