What is the official language of the European Union?

Jordi   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 05:13 GMT
If you read "D. Quijote de la Mancha" by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, the greatest novel and the greatest writer in the Spanish language, written in the early 17th century at the same time that Shakespeare wrote his sonnets and his plays, you'll find our that Dulcinea del Toboso happens to be the woman he adores although it will always be an impossible dream throughout the history. El Toboso is a small town in the Spanish region of La Mancha and Dulcinea means the "sweet one" and is derived from "dulce" (sweet).
Jordi   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 05:16 GMT
find out
story and not history
Jordi   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 06:51 GMT
Almost 400 million people speak Spanish in the world compared to 125 million who speak French. I've heard Africans who are counted as native French speakers and they would hardly pass a proficiency test. All South and Central American and even people from Equatorial Guinea speak genuine beautiful Spanish. Furthermore, 22.5 million speak it as a home language in the US. It is also the second most important language in the most powerful country in the world and Spanish-speaking lobbies, as all American presidents know, are more and more influential.
French is the 8th world language and Spanish the 4th. English is the second after Chinese, a language that is only unified in its written form since people from different regions can't really understand each other. Should Russia enter the European Union (It is, after all, a European nation) its language would only be third to English and Spanish. These are the facts and we are all entitled to our pride. The problem arises when nations that are considered lesser lose their inferiority complex since the once more powerful ones assume that the situation will go on forever (that also goes for the way some Spaniards and most of the French treat my Catalan language.) By the way Spanish is official in 23 countries but the surface (as happens with English) is simply enormous and it is also widely spoken as a home language in places where it isn't official (USA, Northern Morocco, Phillipines...)
"Esas estadísticas contabilizan la población de los países cuyo idioma oficial es el español, a lo que se le suma los 22.5 millones de personas que usa regularmente el castellano en Estados Unidos.
A continuación cifras en millones de personas:
Datos Significativos del Español
País Población Porcentaje de Hablantes
México 104.0 millones 26.06 %
Colombia 42.0millones 10.52 %
España 41.0 millones 10.27 %
Argentina 36.0 millones 9.02 %
Perú 27.0 millones 6.76 %
Venezuela 23.0 millones 5.76 %
Estados Unidos (USA) * 22.5* millones 5.63%*
Chile 15.0 millones 3.75 %
Ecuador 12.0 millones 3.0 %
Cuba 11.0 millones 2.75 %
Guatemala 11 millones 2.75%
Bolivia 8.5 millones 213 %
República Dominicana 8.0 millones 2.00 %
El Salvador 6.5 millones 1.62 %
Honduras 6.0 millones 1.50 %
Paraguay 6.0 millones 1.50 %
Nicaragua 5.0 millones 1.25 %
Puerto Rico 4.0 millones 1.0 %
Costa Rica 3.8 millones 0.95 %
Uruguay 3.2 millones 0.80 %
Panamá 3.0 millones 0.75 %
Guinea Ecuatorial 0.5 millones 0.12 %
Total de Hispanohablantes: 399 millones
* En Estados Unidos viven unos 39 millones de personas de origen hispano, pero no todos hablan español. La cifra de 22.5 millones corresponde a personas que hablan regularmente en castellano, según sispain.org. "

Los Principales Idiomas del Mundo
1) Chino: 1,200 millones de hablantes
2) Inglés: 478 millones de hablantes
3) Hindi: 437 millones de hablantes
4) Español: 392 millones de hablantes.
5) Ruso: 284 millones de hablantes
6) Arabe: 225 millones de hablantes
7) Portugués: 184 millones de hablantes
8) Francés: 125 millones de hablantes
Nic   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 07:08 GMT

I'm an half italian and i never heard my italian family had the feeling to be 2nd actors in Europe. It's the opposite. For the spanish i don't know.
Jordi   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 07:25 GMT
We are speaking of official languages in Europe and how some European countries have the feeling they are superior to others. I suggest you have a look at how so many French, German and British citizens behave when they come to the far south (that includes Italy, Spain, Portugal). I can assure you most Catalan and Spaniards simply laugh at that. We have no feeling about being 2nd actors it is others who would have us pretend we are. Generalising isn't good but that is a fact. Why, if not, should English and French be the major official languages in Europe? It simply doesn't make sense as far as French goes and Germany is still paying the price of old foolish days and the French are the first to remind them of that. France has always been frightened of a powerful Germany. English is not only a worldwide language but it is also a half-Germanic, half-Romance language of people who have never shown great interest in invading their continental European neighbours. Good on them! This is what really makes it easy for most European nationals. You must know that the Italian government has also asked for Italian to be a major European language in Europe. That goes far behind small personal half-Italian stories. Does your Italian family live in France or Italy? Would they rather Italian be an official language or French (should they have to choose one of the two?). That could tell us how Italian your family is since you are a Frenchman and live in France. The European Union doesn't mean, as you know, that we have suddenly become one European Nation. It's a long, long, way...
Damain   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 07:33 GMT
The Latin languages...Spanish, Italian etc.....are so, so romantic in a way English could never be. In comparison English is so cold, clinical and meant for business only. Does anyone else agree? Or is that a stupid question as it is obvious to everyone who is intelligent? But if you read a lot of English poetry (and LOVE poetry as I do) the words are truly beautiful and sensitive and capture the emotions. I love words and the means of expressing feelings and emotions. I'm going to be boringly Scottish again but I have to mention Scotland's national poet...Robbie Burns. Now he used words so expressively, even if most of you cannae understand them too well because of the dialect.

I just woke up this morning feeling this way.....maybe I am silly, or is it the lovely sunshine outside? In England, that is ALWAYS a bonus! :-) Now, down to reality....breakfast then earning a living and justifying one's existence. Laters.
nic   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 07:43 GMT
I am living in France since i was born there and my mother is french, but my father is italian and every holidays i had to spend were in Italy (Ancona). All my father's family is italian and live in Italy. There's a feeling north and south italy are different, north is rich and south poor.
Of course i think it's a shame all languages from the community are not official. All of them should be and not only french and english. Italian, spanish, catalan (and others), polish, german ... If what you say is true, it's a shame! And if was polish for example i, i could be the first to disagree with that rule.

When you say French want to make believe the others we still being in the 19th century. I don't think so, french are conscious their language is not the most spoken in Europe and in the world. What i disagree with the foreigners is the fact, most of them say the french when in fact it's only a political cast. French are all out of that, they don't especially care if french is spoken out of France or not. I don't think they feel superior with the others, some of them are stupid, but no more than in other countries. At list french have never been afraid by germans being powerfull. If you look at history, you seem being someone intelligent. You will notice wars France agianst germany have not been so much, French have german blood. I think french have been afraid with the english, which historically have been the ennemies for many centuries.
nic   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:05 GMT

If Spanish have the feeling french feels superior to spanish, i don"t know. What i know is you are not the only one. French have the feeling "some" english feel superior to french. All countries have some people like that.
nic   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:05 GMT

If Spanish have the feeling french feels superior to spanish, i don"t know. What i know is you are not the only one. French have the feeling "some" english feel superior to french. All countries have some people like that.
Jordi   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:15 GMT
<<You will notice wars France agianst Germany have not been so much<<

Just to name the last three:
The Franco-Prussian War 1870
Ist World War 1914-1918
IInd World War 1939-1945

Without mentioning all the political struggles, which never cease. A Frenchman born in 1860 had been at war with France three times before he died and the region of Alsace passed from France to Germany three times as well.

I agree with most of your post and Long Life to Scotland as well! And English isn't a cold language at all. English is a beautiful language like any other. It is more of a cold language when used as a 2nd language by so many people but that is what world communication is all about.
I would say the French like the Italians and the Spanish and that we all like each other. That doesn't mean of course we might think we did more than the rest for the sake of the rest.
Regarding a rich northern Italy and a poorer one there are also regional economic differences from north to south in France and Spain.
Dulcinea del Toboso   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:31 GMT
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra was a great man. Incidentally, he died the same exact day as Shakespeare.

English is a mongrel of a language, thanks largely to the Norman Conquest of 1066. I can think of few languages that are as much of a mongrel as English is. For this reason, it seems to me that most any other language, Norwegian, Russian, German, Italian, Arabic, or whatever, have a sort of "consistency" in their words -- the way they sound, look, and their underlying roots. English just seems to grab words from everywhere and there seems to be no internal rhythm to it.

Additionally, as the grammatical complexities of Old and Middle English disappeared (elimination of grammatical gender, simplification of noun declensions), it had to compensate by adopting a rigid word order and the addition of more particles. Personally, it became a less interesting language for someone like me, who likes grammatical function being expressed by inflection rather than word order and particles. To me, English is very boring. If it were not my native language, I wonder if I would bother to learn it?
nic   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:43 GMT
"Just to name the last three:
The Franco-Prussian War 1870
Ist World War 1914-1918
IInd World War 1939-1945"

In comparison of England it's nothing, it only concerns 19th and 20th century. All the centuries before relations were nice. If you look at England it does not only concern 19th and 20th century. At list, some politicians in France were an half german and an half french or an half italian and an half french. But there has never been any politicians with english aor whatever else you want. The feeling with germans has never been bad with french, except i admit after 1st and 2nd world war. But culturally, it has been forgotteen. I always heard my grand parents and my uncles having a bad feeling against english not against germans.
There has been wars but there has been good relations ships, Français comes form germanic tribes called the "Franc", Charlemagne was germanic.
Jordi   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:50 GMT
Interesting side note: Although it's true that Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same day, they didn't really die on the same day. That's because of a calendar mixup involving Leap Day, which pushed the calendar ahead about 11 minutes a year. Although Pope Gregory corrected the error in 1582, England and it's colonies didn't sign on to the new schedule until 1752. So in 1616, the English calendar was about 10 days ahead of the rest of Europe (including Spain, where Cervantes was.) As a result, although Shakespeare and Cervantes both died on April 23 in their own countries, according to the Gregorian calendar, Shakespeare died about 10 days after Cervantes, on May 3, 1616.
Juan   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:54 GMT
It's human nature. Human beings always tend to look down on people that are different to themselves. But there is a good explanation regarding the French "superiority" complex. They did after all start the Renaissance. If it wasn't for their inspired ingenuity we might still be living in the Middle Ages. LOL only joking.
Jordi   Tuesday, June 22, 2004, 08:56 GMT
France was never at was with Germany before 1870 simply because before that Germany didn't really exist as a unified country. It is true, though, that Napoleon was at was with all Europe (and England helped all those poor continentals who were agains the French) and that the mediaeval French and English wanted both territories because they were, after all, descendants of the Norman conquerors. I was speaking of contemporary history.