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  1. #1
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    Mervin Tran Article (French)

    http://www.cyberpresse.ca/sports/aut...4_section_POS2

    Interesting article about Mervin Tran. He was born in Saskatchewan, a decent singles skater but not making too much headway, and was thinking of retiring when Bruno Marcotte contacted him from Montreal and asked him to try out in pairs with Narumi. She wanted to train in Canada, but needed a partner, and Marcotte thought Mervin might be a good match.

    Mervin thought seeing Montreal for a few days would be fun, tried out with Narumi and before he knew it he was a pairs skater!

    He comments on the citizenship issue briefly.

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    Translation:

    The skater Mervin Tran was born in Regina to a Vietnamese father and a Cambodian mother. A good skater in singles, he doubted, however, that he would be able to break through in Canada and was considering returning to school when Montreal coach Bruno Marcotte contacted him in 2007.

    “A young Japanese skater, Narumi Takahashi, had contacted him about coming to train with him,” said Mervin, Friday in Quebec City. “She was ready to move to Canada, but there was one condition: find a partner for her! Bruno thought of me because I’m Asian, and we are a ‘good match.’”

    “He then offered to come to Montreal to meet Narumi and see if we could skate together. I was not really interested to skate pairs, but the idea of spending a week in Montreal, a city I had never visited, tempted me. I accepted, and that’s how I was first lured to pairs skating.

    “In the end, Narumi’s dedication and how quickly she was able to trust me – she was ready to let me lift her after only a few hours of training – convinced me to keep at it.”

    Takahashi and Tran now represent Japan in international competitions. This weekend, they are in Quebec City as one of six couples who have qualified for the ISU Grand Prix Final, evidencing their ,remarkable progress in a just few seasons.

    “My first pairs competition was a Junior Grand Prix,” said Tran. “I still remember being impressed to find myself there before a big crowd, even though I had no experience. However, I have learned more quickly by having the chance to face the best so quickly.”

    The two live and train in St. Leonard, and Tran quickly regained a good command of the French that his parents had taught him. “My girlfriend [literally, 'my blonde.' Don't you just love these French archaisms? ] is from Quebec, and she helps me a lot,” he said. “I had a good foundation, especially in writing, but it is nice to live in Montreal.”

    Tran cannot speak Japanese, to the dismay of many journalists in the country diligently covering every major figure skating competition. Yesterday, an interpreter translated his words from English to Japanese.

    The couple, however, has significant financial support from the Japanese skating federation, which is delighted to have the talented couple represent it. “It is thanks to them that I am able continue my career, and I am very grateful.”

    Tran would also have to give up his Canadian citizenship if he wanted to have the opportunity to participate at the Olympics one day. “It’s impossible to have dual citizenship in Japan, and the switch raises a number of administrative issues,” said the skater, who is 21 years old.

    “It’s a big decision, which obviously affects me personally, and Narumi assured me that she would understand my decision whatsoever. We still have time, especially since it will not affect our participation in World Championships or other ISU competitions.”
    There is no way he is going to get citizenship if he cannot speak (let alone write) Japanese and does not live in Japan. Why does he keep maintaining the fiction that he might seek citizenship? To make someone at the Japanese Federation (or its backers) happy?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vagabond View Post
    Translation:



    There is no way he is going to get citizenship if he cannot speak (let alone write) Japanese and does not live in Japan. Why does he keep maintaining the fiction that he might seek citizenship? To make someone at the Japanese Federation (or its backers) happy?

    thank you vagabond for the translation. my french is as good as my japanese, so you really cleared many things up

    as for why 'maintain the fiction,' i think he genuinely wants to experience the olympics--though the odds are against him, that's an understandable desire. and no pair wants to get dumped by their federation. speaking as a cynic outside the situation, who knows if JSF would back them (as strongly) if japan had a 100% japanese pair whose male partner could speak to the press without a translator, a team fully eligible for the olympics? all this aside from the issues of jump-landings...

    i like mervin and there's been a number of times when the camera has zoomed in on narumi when i've thought, is this a japanese broadcast, a show in japan?

    i understand many different broadcasters use the same camera angle at ISU events these days, so nationality probably has little to do with it. i've been watching pairs since the 80's and 90's and i'm not unfamiliar with the camera preferentially following the lady half of the pair. but there has been times when i've wondered whether this is a bit more extreme than the usual 'zoom in on the lady' bias. often times the camera has zoomed in on narumi even when they are side by side and the camera person doesn't have to choose whether to show both skaters.

    i understand that japan has organized try-outs to get a pair and dance team in hopes of doing well in the olympic team competition. certainly japan has every right to represent itself to full advantage in the olympics, to decide which skaters, which pair and dance team to back, but it's conceivable that mervin and narumi might feel they are at risk of losing some support.

    next, could someone kindly clarify if amelie lacoste is truly a blonde? ^__^ LOL i know... the archaisms aren't to be taken literally, but still ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by skfan View Post
    next, could someone kindly clarify if amelie lacoste is truly a blonde? ^__^ LOL i know... the archaisms aren't to be taken literally, but still ...
    She wasn't in 2008.......http://skateshutterbug.zenfolio.com/...ff801a#h371fa9
    images on ice - Figure Skating Photography

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    Quote Originally Posted by shutterbug View Post

    thank you

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    "Blonde" can mean "girlfriend" in Canada. I guess you knew...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiquitaBanana View Post
    "Blonde" can mean "girlfriend" in Canada. I guess you knew...
    Only in Quebec. And no, Amelie is not blonde, the word is just Quebecois French slang for girlfriend.

    This expression is not used by English-speaking Canadians, and in fact Canadians outside Quebec generally have no knowledge of Quebec slang at all. Which is why people can study French in school in Ontario, go to Quebec and be unable to carry on a conversation, unfortunately.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flowerpower View Post
    Only in Quebec. And no, Amelie is not blonde, the word is just Quebecois French slang for girlfriend.

    This expression is not used by English-speaking Canadians, and in fact Canadians outside Quebec generally have no knowledge of Quebec slang at all. Which is why people can study French in school in Ontario, go to Quebec and be unable to carry on a conversation, unfortunately.
    Not to be nicky picky, but francophone communities across the country watch French Canadian tv (TVA, SRC), watch QC programs and "blonde" is part of the language... That is based on friends in Alberta and Northern Ontario. That is said, an Anglophone wouldn't really learn it at school as they teach standard French (you know, the one without taste? )

    http://tfo.org/pdf/Education/Guides/..._immersion.pdf

    Back to skating, I wonder how much French Mervin can speak these days.
    Last edited by ChiquitaBanana; 12-17-2011 at 10:19 PM. Reason: adding a link

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChiquitaBanana View Post
    Not to be nicky picky, but francophone communities across the country watch French Canadian tv (TVA, SRC), watch QC programs and "blonde" is part of the language... That is based on friends in Alberta and Northern Ontario. That is said, an Anglophone wouldn't really learn it at school as they teach standard French (you know, the one without taste? )

    http://tfo.org/pdf/Education/Guides/..._immersion.pdf

    Back to skating, I wonder how much French Mervin can speak these days.
    I agree, francophones often watch those channels, but anglophones normally learn "standard vanilla French" at school.

    I'm guessing that Mervin speaks pretty good French, since his parents are Cambodian/Vietnamese (countries colonized by France) and he mentions getting French from his parents, plus he has lived in Montreal for several years and has a French-speaking "blonde".

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