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Notícies :: educació i societat
Esperanto or the European Union under English?
30 des 2006
English : 3000 hours to be learned.
Esperanto: 50 hours to be learned

(How more official languages could eventually mean less diversity.)

IN THEIR loftier moments Brussels politicians say that languages are an expression of the European Union's unity in diversity. What they seldom admit is that many languages are a logistical and expensive headache, as well as a cause of nationalistic squabbles. All these could increase when the tally of official languages in the EU rises from 20 to 23 on January 1st 2007, with the addition of Romanian, Bulgarian and Irish.

There is impeccable democratic logic for the EU to do business in the language of its citizens: hence the addition of Bulgarian and Romanian when these countries join next month. It is less obvious why Irish is being added to the list. Although it is an official language of Ireland, it is a minority one that the Irish government declined to use when it joined in 1973. In Ireland English is used !

The government concedes that less than half the population can Speak Irish and a mere 5% actually use it. But Charlie McCreevy, Ireland's European commissioner, insists it is central to Irish cultural identity.

Asserting cultural identity may be more important in a growing club.Ireland's decision has raised the stakes for other countries. Last year Spain requested official status for Catalan, Galician and Basque (and also they have occitan, arabic, aragones and asturian). The Generous Spanish government will foot the bill for translation services for Spaniards who prefer to use those languages. Welsh nationalist politicians are now lobbying the British government to get the same deal for Welsh, although not so far to any effect.

Getting national governments to pay the costs for using regional languages can keep the EU's costs down. In 2005 the union spent some $1.4 billion only on translation and interpretation of 20 languages (now 23). This pays for translators to interpret at 11,000 meetings a year and to translate more than 1.3 million pages of text. One result of the latest enlargement is that the commission has instructed officials to write shorter, resumed communications that cost less to translate.

But not all problems are so easy. A plan in 2002 to simplify European patents failed when some countries blocked it because the new patent would be only in English, French and German. Subsequent efforts to find a compromise have failed because of high translation costs.

English, French and German are the main working languages of the European Union, a truce achieved 20 years ago.

This points to an unsettling conclusion for advocates of multilingualism: in a union of 23 languages, increasingly there is but one language: English (<b>learnt in 3000 hours</b>).

The option is Esperanto (<b>learnt in 50 hours, and approved by the United Nations already three times –187 countries voted yes-England and the Unites States vetoed the majority vote</b>).

Democracy for all peoples! Linguistic democracy for all cultures!

---> Another article:
Aquesta "Unió" Europea incompetent és una farsa (closed comments)

This work is in the public domain


Re: Esperanto or the European Union under English?
30 des 2006
Estic d'acord amb el comentari... però en quin idioma està escrit?? ejem...
Re: Esperanto or the European Union under English?
30 des 2006
en anglés, perquè la persona que ho ha enviat és d'Anglaterra, per què ho dius? és que no t'agraden els articles en anglés?
Re: Esperanto or the European Union under English?
30 des 2006
Era simplement una conya que feia.. no era x res en concret.. l'anglès ha triomfat pq és una "llengua econòmica". Tandebò poguessim aprendre totes i tots esperanto. Seria molt més just i ric ;)
Re: Esperanto or the European Union under English?
31 des 2006
el que sí que ens han colat de veritat és la no-llibertat i la no-igualtat que tenim els ciutadans (treballadors i estudiants) i les empreses d'Europa... primer perquè hauria de tindre els mateixos drets un ciutadà europeu de Berlin que un de Donosti o un de Carcassone, però no és així, ni tampoc pot una xicoteta empresa de Varsovia fer negoci amb una de Londres perquè l'anglés és la llengua mare dels de Londres però els de Varsovia no poden expresar-se molt bé.

En fi, que la democràcia no només és una paraula, i volen fer d'Europa un Estats Units nou, però aixó si, a poc a poc sense que ningú s'adoni.

Alló de EEUUROPA sembla que es fa realitat, tristment.

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