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The "new" Euro language



Jaqui White sent me a piece which begins "The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (EuroE for short)". The article goes on to say how English would be modified to please the Germans.

It is a spoof, which we posted a long time ago. However, the problem is real. My position is clear: language is a marvellous instrument, although usually badly played, but the multiplicity of languages is a curse; they do not form an orchestra. I have lived in Canada, where just two languages create problems. Is the European Union a balloon which will burst? Its budget is severely strained by the common agricultural policy and by the expense of translating documents into several languages. Now it has announced that 80,000 pages of European law are about to be translated into nine new languages to accommodate the new members.

This is insane. The European Union needs one common language, or at the most two. Even though German is the language most spoken in Europe, English would be the favorite, and Germans learn English much better than the French. If the Romance language countries demand that their languages be represented, French would be the obvious choice. Any attempt to introduce a Slavic language should be opposed. I would be grateful if anyone could keep us up to date on this issue.

Ronald Hilton - 9/23/02


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