[lg policy] EU: My Europe Week: Why language rights and multilingualism?

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 7 13:26:37 UTC 2010

My Europe Week: Why language rights and multilingualism?

If you are an English nationalist, you might want the United Kingdom
to withdraw from the European Union, but the EU to cut administrative
waste by adopting English as its sole language. If your first wish
came true, after UK secession English would be formally supported by
the membership of Ireland, where Irish is officially the first
language (although English dominates in practice), and Malta, where
Maltese is the national language, but English is one of the two
official languages.

Even today, English is not the most widely spoken mother tongue in the
European Union; German is, by a clear margin. As a percentage of the
EU population, English and Italian share second position, followed by
French just a percentage point behind. Spanish and Polish share the
next step downwards, with Dutch a level below.

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