Frisian translation of the European Constitution

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Fri Apr 29 13:23:38 UTC 2005

Dutch foreign minister announces Frisian translation of the European

Onno P. Falkena,The Hague 4/22/2005

The Dutch foreign minister Bernard Bot has decided that the Netherlands
will publish a translation of the complete European Constitution in
Frisian. The minister made the promise in his answer to parliamentary
questions from the Dutch MP's Karimi and Duyvendak of GroenLinks ('Green
left', the Green Party). The costs of the Frisian translation will be
shared by the Dutch state and the province Frysln, who share the
responsibility for the second official language of the Netherlands.

Last year minister Bot refused to produce a translation in Frisian because
'all Frisians are able to read the Dutch version'. The letter of the
minister to parliament does not unveil why he changed his mind. Last week
the provinsje Frysln already published a summary of the European
constution in Frisian. ,,We want to leave it to the Frisians themselves in
which language they want to read the constitution'', spokesman Jochum
Admiraal of the province declared. ,,Such a decision should not be made by
authorities, but left to the people themselves.''

In his letter Bot also promises that he will inform the European Union
about the official version of the European Constitution in Frisian. An
annexe to the constitution (declaration 29) offers member states the
possibility to announce translations of the Constitution in other
languages than the official European languages.

Until now Spain and the United Kingdom announced that they will translate
the Constitution in other languages. Earlier this month the Frysk
Nasjonale Party mentioned the examples of Basque, Catalan and Welsh in a
letter to minister Bot, urging the minister the produce a Frisian
translation of the Constitution. In the Netherlands there is a public vote
on the European Constitution on the first of June. (Eurolang 2005)


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