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At Tour De France, Default Language Now Is English (NY Times)

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 17 Jul 2013

Bryn Lennon/Getty Images: Chris Froome of Great Britain with the president of France, François Hollande, after the ninth stage of the Tour de France.

By JON BRAND, July 15, 2013

PARIS — Among the talents that Chris Froome has brought to Tour de France this year — climbing strength, time trial prowess, a cool head — little has grabbed the attention of his French hosts more than his skill with their language. Stage after stage, Froome, the race leader, stands in the small post-race interview area with Gérard Holtz, a tanned and well-coiffed French television reporter, and talks about, say, his recent performance in the contre-la-montre, or time trial, and wanting to garder l’avantage, or keep his lead, over rivals.

“Merci, Chris,” Holtz has said on more than one occasion, continuing in French: “Thanks for your kindness; thanks for speaking French with us.” This gratitude might once have been seen as merely perfunctory. But the French language’s protracted worldwide decline has finally come home to roost. In the 100th edition of the Tour, English has become an equal of, if not superior to, le français.>>>>>Read more>>>>>>>