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25 May 2012

Agreement on the use of French during the London Olympics

<div id="agrandir" style="cursor:hand;font-size:10px;color:grey;/*margin-top:-1em;*/" onclick="popup.open('http://www.mri.gouv.qc.ca/PDF/actualites/2012-05-24_Michaelle_Jean_500.jpg')">Click to enlarge</div> <span style="font-size:10px;color:grey;/*margin-top:-1em;*/">Gilbert Felli, Michaëlle Jean and Sebastian Coe (François Nadeau ©Gouvernement du Québec) </span>

The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Grand témoin de la Francophonie for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and Sebastian Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), signed an agreement in Québec City at the 10th SportAccord Convention in Québec City on the use of French during these summer games. Gilbert Felli, IOC Executive Director for the Olympic Games, attended the signing.

Governor General of Canada from 2005 to 2010, Michaëlle Jean was mandated by the Secretary-General of La Francophonie, Abdou Diouf, to ensure that the French language would be used in accordance with the requirements specified in the host city’s contract.

French: one of two official languages

French and English are the two official languages of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Games.

The agreement sets out the measures to be taken to ensure French is used during the London Games, including:

  • Bilingual signs
  • Bilingual services for athletes, officials and members of delegations
  • Bilingual website and Olympic Village letter


LOCOG will also ensure that announcements during competitions and at the various venues are made in both languages.

Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)

OIF, its member States and governments and their ambassadors in London will provide LOCOG with 11 translators and 2 Facebook moderators. They will also promote the participation of Francophone artists in cultural events before and during the Games. These events are part of the Le français j’adore campaign launched on March 17, 2012, by Michaëlle Jean and Abdou Diouf at a concert in Trafalgar Square.

London 2012 Olympic Games
Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (in French)
Le français j’adore campaign
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