Deseret Book Lets BYU Bookstore Sell &quotI Speak Pins&quot to Bilingual Population

By By U Wire

By U Wire

PROVO?Ten-thousand Olympic “I speak” pins in 43 languages will be coming to the Brigham Young University bookstore Thursday.

The pins display the 2002 Olympic logo along with the phrase, “I speak” in languages such as Spanish, French, German, Croatian and Afrikaans. They will allow students to show Olympic visitors the variety of languages they speak.

“Due to the fact that BYU is such an international community, in terms of language, and the fact that we have the world coming to this area, [the pins are] the perfect way to show the world that we have this great resource,” said Roger Reynolds, BYU bookstore director.

The pins are produced by Deseret Book, as a contribution to the Olympics, to be sold at cost.

After a phone call from Reynolds to Deseret Book about a month ago, the company agreed to allow the BYU bookstore share in the selling of the pins.

“We have always had a great relationship with the BYU bookstore,” said Roger Toone, vice president of retail for Deseret Book. “We are happy to share.”

Reynolds said he is thankful to Deseret Book for their cooperation and looking forward to purchasing a pin, which reads, “I speak English.”

An idea about pins or some other identifying badges was dreamed up years ago by BYU Linguistics Professor Bill Eggington, who has worked on solving language problems for the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000 and Atlanta in 1996. He is also on the BYU Olympic task force.

“BYU has a huge resource,” he said. “In reality this is incredibly unique for so many English speakers to have command of so many languages, I was just thinking of a way to let the world know.”

His original idea was to use the pins only with returned missionaries who had completed a language course, or demonstrated some level of language proficiency.

He supports the badge sales and hopes that many people will use them, but he is also concerned that some people will wear the pins who do not speak the languages indicated proficiently and will create the wrong impression.

The bookstore will have 2,045 pins in English, 2,000 in Spanish and 1,000 in Portuguese.

Students who wish to see what languages will be available can consult the BYU bookstore Web site at

Donald Fry, a sophomore from Hillsboro, Ore., said he was pleased to find that a pin was made in his second language, Hungarian.

“I think it is nice that languages that aren’t as big as Spanish and French and German will be represented,” he said. “People from smaller countries who will be here have just as great a need to communicate as those from larger countries. The pins are a good way for us to utilize the skills we have learned to help them.”

U Wire