What is the official language of the European Union?

Criostóir   Friday, July 16, 2004, 02:16 GMT
Dear Dulcinea,
go to the website of BBC. They have BBC Cymru (Wales; click on Newyddion), BBC Alba (Scotland; click on Naidheachdan), and BBC Northern Ireland, with the programmes Blas! and Karen na hAoine in Gaeilge.

For daily news in Irish Gaelic, also visit Raidio na Gaeltachta at www.rnag.ie

Is mise le meas,

Legio   Friday, July 16, 2004, 08:25 GMT
Esperanto is great too, but it's not very simple... it failed before that they tried to teach it to people... i think that latin is at the origin of all neolatin languages, and the "germanic" group has many latin words!
Latin words also changed modern greek, so latin is the "european" language... it has been for centuries and it will be!

--_''Oo gaelic is very beautiful Oo'''_--
Legio   Friday, July 16, 2004, 08:29 GMT

Look here, they've tried to put latin as official language many months ago.
nic   Friday, July 16, 2004, 09:02 GMT

Did you read the note at the end of the article?

Note: This article is a spoof intended for your amusement. As far as I'm aware, none of the people mentioned have expressed these particular views and some of the organisations featured are figments of the author's imagination.
nic   Friday, July 16, 2004, 09:05 GMT
Nothing will replace english
Damian   Friday, July 16, 2004, 09:53 GMT
English is the language of business and commerce...cold hard statistics...

BUT.... it also has great beauty and expression in all sorts of emotions.....some poetic and literary works in the English language are among the most sensitive and romantic ever written.

Of course the Latin languages are automatically associated with love and passion and sensual emotion and long may it remain so. I somehow cannot imagine these languages being cold and business-like and commercial in the same was as English can be. Maybe that is the reason why English may become the language of Europe in a strictly business sense. Lovers, however, will continue to communicate in French or Italian or Spanish........

nic   Friday, July 16, 2004, 10:01 GMT

English lovers speak in english, french lovers use french, italian lovers use italian....

It's simple, don't you think?
Damian   Friday, July 16, 2004, 14:08 GMT
Dear sweet nic! Mon cher ami!:

Of course...yes, that is true! .....but I was just trying to illustrate a point.....that the Latin languages have this association with love and romance. Naturally when I whisper sweet nothings into my lover's ear they are in English! I'd really cock it all up for good if I tried to do it in any other language, Romance or not. ;-)
Erwan   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 04:09 GMT
What is the official language of the EU? Apparently, it ain't French! Turnabout is fair play...

French: a lesser-used language?
by Jim Fife and Davyth Hicks

France, a state that has yet to ratify the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages (ECRML) and the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities (FCNM), is now apparently feeling the effects of having French relegated to the status of a lesser-used language.

On Monday the Secretary General of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), Abdou Diouf, former president of Senegal, urged European foreign affairs ministers to "act on behalf of linguistic and cultural diversity" and to fight the decline in the use of French, according to a report published on the Voilà.fr website.

OIF organised a meeting in Brussels attended by representatives of 13 EU member states, including the foreign ministers of six. According to the report, Diouf descried the "decline in plurilingualism" in favour of English and a "decline in the use of French in the EU institutions." He stated that the enlargement of the EU has further weakened the position of the French language.

According to the report, Diouf stressed that languages are invaluable to the identity and values which they convey and that maintaining "this diversity is not costly." He cited the cost of translation within the EU institutions as just "€2 per inhabitant, or the price of a cup of coffee."

In the meantime, The Guardian reports that the government of France has established a school in Avignon to teach French to ambassadors and senior state officials from new EU members in the hopes of protecting the use of the language in EU institutions. The week-long course, costing €1,500 per participant, is paid for by an agency of the French government and is designed to teach practical language skills for use in government and diplomacy.

Stéphane Lopez, the official in charge of the programme, is quoted by The Guardian as stating "We think it is dangerous to encourage uniformity. The English language is a predator which destroys other languages. When people use English, other languages get crushed."

Nonetheless, the goal of the programme is not to turn back the clock to the time when French was the universal language of diplomacy. "This isn’t a question of distaste for the English language or culture, nor is it tied up with anti-American sentiment," said Lopez. Rather it is an attempt to stem the loss of French speaking in the EU, which has dropped 24% in use in council documents during 1997 and 2002, whereas English increased by 32%.

The Guardian report also cited as part of this effort free French classes for bureaucrats in Brussels and an advertising campaign in the new member states to popularise learning French.

However, Mr Diouf’s claims are somewhat breathtaking considering that France still continues to implement policies that are destroying languages within its territories such as Breton and Occitan. Furthermore, France has still not ratified the ECRML and has not signed the FCNM, claiming that to do so would violate its Constitution, which declares French as the only language of the Republic. It has also recently failed to support efforts by the Spanish government to have EU Treaty language status for Basque and Catalan.

Speaking to Eurolang, Anna Vari Chapalain from the Breton-medium Diwan schools, said that the francophonie organisations "should speak about all languages not just French, this is not a real diversity".
vincent   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 07:26 GMT
Yes Erwan, sad but true. It's a shame for us, our government still are killing regional languages and afterwards denounces English as the Great Killer. I hope the EU comission should force French gov to ratify the ECRML.
Mentre aquò l'occitan, lo breton, l'euskera, l'alsacian... son enquèra considerats coma "patois", lèu çai aurà pas mai de locutors naturaus (natius) de l'occitan. This language is dying...
Jordi   Saturday, July 17, 2004, 07:28 GMT
>>It has also recently failed to support efforts by the Spanish government to have EU Treaty language status for Basque and Catalan. >>

As a native Catalan speaker I'm deeply disgusted with French policies regarding languages. I'm not speaking of French readers of this forum unless they, as many French people seem to do, agree with their government's policy. Catalan is spoken by 9 million people in Europe, much more than other "State" languages which have official EU status, and it is spoken by all generations. Catalan is spoken by over 75% of the population of Barcelona, one of the most important European cities and it is widely spoken in cities such as Valencia or Palma de Mallorca. I don't want to be a second-class European citizen simply because I'm not. Why should they go against the Spanish Government's will. Definitely, Spain is much more a democratic country as far as this goes than France.
selenium   Monday, July 19, 2004, 21:41 GMT
WOooWO :)
interesting - very interesting - topic

IMHO two things:
#1: no EU country will ever accept to surrender to any other European language (except English because #2)
#2: English is widely spoken. plus more and more people learn it since they are children...there is no doubt that *everybody* in EU will speak *fluent* English in 30/50 years from now, and English will prevail as a natural result

we will just see about this, but i wouldn't fight over this topic too much...seems kind of useless ;)
Dulcinea del Toboso   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 04:59 GMT
Thank you, Criostóir -- the BBC News in Gaelic was very interesting and nice to listen to. It's good to see that the Celtic languages are alive and well.
Damian   Wednesday, July 21, 2004, 05:55 GMT
Dulcinea del Toboso:

A member of the Celtic group...Welsh.....is flourishing the best of all the UK group members. In some parts of Wales it is the predominant language, even among young people. The way it has resisted the overwhelming influence of English and refused to be subjugated is quite an achievement. The Welsh people still hold their "eisteddfods" (actually, the strictly correct Welsh plural form of eisteddfod is "eisteddfodau"). An Eisteddfod [ai-'steTH-vod] is a festival of music, poetry, drama and the fine arts.

A particularly unique feature of Welsh culture is something called "penillion" [pen'iLL-i:-on] in which poetry is sung in counterpoint to a traditional melody played on a harp. I am not sure if this particular format exists in any other culture, like Breton maybe? I don't know without researching it.

The typical (and most often mangled!!!!) Welsh LL sound (as I have said before) is quite easy to produce..tip of tongue behind front of top teeth and merely blow!

LLangoLLen (in North Wales) has an International Eisteddfod each July to which people travel to compete from all over the world. It was founded in 1947 in an effort to foster international understanding and friendship after the horrors of war.
QBphreak   Thursday, July 22, 2004, 00:49 GMT
dia diobh go lear!
after stumbling onto this page ive read most of the posts here, and im very happy to see that there is people out there, fighting for the irish and gaelic langauges, and from what i can get, i belive the speakers in the posts are posting somewhere far away from the languages native country.
I my self, am an Irish Student, im learning irish like everyother irish person in the republic through the education system of teh republic which makes a rule that irish must be taught to every child up until the age of 16, when they can leave school. Me Personaly, im in a "Scoil Lán-Gaelach" or a "Coláiste Gaelach" where irish is the first and primary language of the school. Every subject, whether it be Maths Or History is taught through the meduim of irish (excl. Language subjects such as english/Béarla, French/Francis, German/Gearmáinis) btw, the rule/saying that irish schools only exist in the gaeltacht, is a myth, my school like many others is in Báile Átha Cliath / Dublin, Capital of the Republic.

I personaly belive irish or Gaeilge (as its prefared to called) should be included as one of the offical europeen languages, why? because, other languages such as the offical langauges of smaller newer EU states are being named as offical spoken languages, It annoys me that the EU refuse to reconise the 1st and Foremost Primary langauge as declared by article 8.1 of the 1937 consitutuion of ireland - Bunreacht na hÉireann - Gaeilge as a Active Europeen language. Personaly I Blame My Own Government for this, The Current Fianna Fáil Government is Too LAZY on the subject, they even had the chance to show the gaelige as a language when they held the EU presidency, but they didn't, the Taoisech (We Dont Have A PrimeMinister, Sorry BBC/CNN/ World In General. :p) himself speaks only rough, or "pig" gaeilge, Eventhough its a Rule that All TD's Must Speak Irish Fluently.

In My Closing Lines, I Would Like To say, That Irish, Gaeilge is An ACTIVE and Spoken Language throughout the Island Of Ireland (North & South)
It is now time for the world to reconise this fact.

Is Mise, Le Meas
Séan MacAodha
Coláiste De hÍde, BÁC, Éire