English, Eurospeak or Europanto? Prisoners of the Eurobabel

    Do you want to make your own science fiction texts known across Europe (and across the world as well)? If so, you might focus your attention on an interesting point of view of Philip Oltermann (The Guardian, UK):

    “There are three kinds of English: European English – what Czechs speak with Spaniards and Greeks speak with Finns – and there you understand 100%. Then there is American English, and there you understand 50%. Then there is British English, and there you understand 0% !”

    “Translation within the EU is a laborious and costly business. So why not save billions and make English the Union’s official language? Unfortunately, the price would be a loss of democracy and integration, not to mention a lot of angry Frenchmen.

    Translation in the EU’s headquarters is a complicated – and often costly – business. The European Commission has three official “procedural languages”: German, French and English. But with the Union expanding and 23 languages now spoken in member states, the number of translators has ballooned from 200-300 to 2,000-3,000. It is estimated that the EU produces 1.76m pages of translation work a year, costing €300m . As of July 1, when Croatia joins the EU, there will be one more language to add to the pile…

    In a keynote speech on the future of European integration in February, the German president Joachim Gauck suggested English should become the EU’s official language: “It is true to say that young people are growing up with English as the lingua franca. However, I feel that we should not simply let things take their course when it comes to linguistic integration.”…

    Since the “big bang” of eastern European enlargement in 2004, the use of French has declined in conference meetings – and German is these days an “official language” on paper only. Documents in the European parliament are only translated into relevant languages: there are no transcripts on common fisheries policies in Czech, for example.

    Eurospeak may not sound pretty to native English ears, but it may just be a lingua franca forming in front of our eyes. Discardant la textbuch, externalise sus sprachangst y just improviste.” – Philip Oltermann

    Read the rest of article “Something in common: should English be the official language of the EU ?” – Philip Oltermann, Guardian, U.K. :


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