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Shuttle - Mir Stories - Wolf on Language and ISS

The International Space Station has 17 international partners, speaking many languages. In his Oral History, U.S. Mir astronaut David Wolf talks about language usage on Mir and on the ISS.

Wolf says, "What's interesting is I don't know if we'll learn other languages [for ISS], but almost everybody has learned Russian. . . . These international partners, in many cases, have already flown their astronauts with them on the Mir. And it's odd, sitting and talking with a Chinese guy in Russian, or talking with a Frenchman, [such as] Jean-Loup Chretien. . . . He and I actually prefer speaking in Russian as opposed to either French or English. . . . So, in a sense, Russian has become a central language, although English is the primary language on the International Station. . . ."

Related Links:
International Space Station
Wolf Increment

Profile: David Wolf

David Wolf Oral History (PDF)

Tours | Timeline | Shuttle-Mir Background | Shuttle Flights & Mir Increments | Mir Expeditions

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Curator: Kim Dismukes
Responsible NASA Official: John Ira Petty