What is the official language of the European Union?

Damian   Monday, August 09, 2004, 15:24 GMT
Mark Fisher:

Just what is with with so many of you arrogant Sassenach types? You remind me of another guy who posts in this forum with obnoxious comments. Sometimes I feel the spirit of Braveheart stir within me when I read such statements as yours and thank God for Hadrian's Wall. I hope the Welsh feel the same way about Offa's Dyke and I can assure you wholeheartedly that the Welsh and the Scots wish your countrymen would stick to the south and east of those lines of defence and not invade us with your overbearing attitudes. Just reading your words made me so f*****g angry, you dreich Sassenach bigot. Your ignorance is beyond belief but with reflection it shouldn't come as a surprise as I know how superior you Phillistines feel towards us and our separate cultures. The Welsh and Irish people you denigrated have absoutely every right to speak their own tongue on their own territory and if you found that objectionable I hope with all my heart they told you in no uncertain terms to sod off back to your heathen Sassenach heartlands where you can no doubt get pissed out of your head along with your compatriots causing mayhem in your towns and cities most weekend nights. I've had the dubious pleasure of seeing that scenario so often in Leeds city centre during my three years there.

I really hope your posting was made in jest but having met some of the arrogant English types you and another certain individual in here appear to be... I fear not.

Just remember....Welsh and Gaelic existed long before the the mongrel English came on the scene. It's true English is likely to be the world's premier language (who knows) but NOT at the expense of any other language and certainly not resulting in the demise of any of them. If this posting offends anyone I'm sorry, but your arrogance raised the temperature of my Scottish blood to boiling point.
Easterner   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 09:04 GMT
Now that Crisostóir has quoted a proverb, the reactions to the post of Mark Fisher make me recall another one, this time in Latin, which can here come in handy as a rule to keep to: "Aquila non capit muscas" ("An eagle does not catch flies"). Some ideas do not deserve much emotion to be wasted on them, though I also share your indignation about such arrogant ideas about the domination of English.
nic   Tuesday, August 10, 2004, 09:09 GMT
I think that's enough guys, the best is to ignore him. He wanted to provocate us, and we reacted the way he wanted.

Believe me, just ignore him.
Ceaser   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 13:49 GMT
I completely agree, leave it! Yet, it is attitudes like Mr. Fisher's which have caused the death of so many languages. You might think he is strictly monolingual too! Monolinguals tend to have the mind set that English, or their language is only important! Why intigrate and learn about others when you are superior? That is how they think. When you have the advantage of a second, third or even four languages, your mind completely changes and you tend to see the world and her people very differently.

From experience, if you go to America for instance, where three/quarters of the population only speaks English, or a poor dialect of English, you will find that their attitudes towards people who are different are not very caring or supportive. Down in the states the only bilinguals are the Amish (Who speak either Dutch or German) and the Spanish speaking Mexicans. The rest tend to only use English. Yet go up to Vancouver, in Canada, there almost no one is monolingual. Even the Canadians intigrate with the foreigners and learn Chinese and Punjabi! Either way, I am blocking him from my mind.

Ciao Bello/Bella
nic   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 14:23 GMT

Are you italian?
Ceaser   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 18:03 GMT
I am Italian speaking, and half italian in terms of decent! I tried to learn it when I was young from my dad, but, I have learned a lot more through reading, radio, and writing to penpals in Italy!
Jordi   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 19:15 GMT
I'm really interested in knowing how old you are and which are the languages you speak fluently, those you speak semi fluently and those you speak at basic level. I'd rather know this once and for all. Thank you for the information and I congratulate you for your exceptional linguistic skills.
Elaine   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 19:32 GMT
<< Yet go up to Vancouver, in Canada, there almost no one is monolingual. Even the Canadians intigrate with the foreigners and learn Chinese and Punjabi!

Are you sure about this? I go to Vancouver all the time and I've seen the same kind of indifference towards other cultures that you describe happens in the U.S. In fact, from what I hear, there is strong anti-East Indian sentiment there. Also, when I was there last, I seem to recall plenty of debates on whether Canada should take a more "American" hardline approach towards non-English speaking immigrants.
Ceaser   Wednesday, August 11, 2004, 23:27 GMT
Jordi -

As I have said before, I am sixteen. For your own personal interest, I am bilingual in English and Japanese. I am no longer fluent in Gaelic because I rarely use it. My move to Japan made me forget who I really was, and my main focus was to assimilate into the Japanese culture. I am semi-fluent in Hebrew and Arabic, my Israeli grandmother insisted that I was able to speak her languages, so I have been studying them for several years. As for my Italian, I am not where near semi fluent yet, I have very basic knowledge of Italian, my Italian friends choose to use English instead of Italian, so I really don't practice it as often as I would like. When I spent time in Vancouver as well, I tried learning French, but, I had little success as French was not at all dominant in Western Canada, so I rarely had any real oppertunity to practice.
Damian (the Pedant one)   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 05:24 GMT
<<practice oppertunity>>


Nice post...you are very accomplished. For future reference, please note the spelling differences regarding the word "practice/practise". The former is the noun, and the latter the verb. This is such a common error, unfortunately. It is my practice to try and practise what I preach, but I fail in this frequently. I just thought I'd take the opportunity to point this out to you.

PS: I just realised that in the USA there may be no distinction between practice and practise. The former is used both for the noun and the verb. If this is so, then please tell me. I was following the British practice.
Julian   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 05:46 GMT
"PS: I just realised that in the USA there may be no distinction between practice and practise. The former is used both for the noun and the verb. If this is so, then please tell me."

Yup. That's right. "Practise" is chiefly British (and Commonwealth) spelling...and so is "realised."
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 06:07 GMT
Re: "Practise" - that's so confusing as I would tend to pronounce it "practiz". At least with "practice" the pronunciation is unambiguous.

According to Australian Google:
2,040,000 for practice
95,800 for practise

Practice kills practise. Yeah!
Jordi   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 08:01 GMT
I really thank you because you know I'm really interested in seeing how the language evolves in Australia from a purely British influence back 30 years ago to a few more americanised spellings these days. Nevertheless, in your zeal for simplicity you seem to have reached a somewhat hasty conclusion. Does your Australian Google calculator tell you how many times it's used as a noun and how many times it's used as a verb, which is what it's all about? I've only taken the time to find the first present day Australian document where practice and practise are used properly in the same document. These little nuances are somewhat disturbing, I agree, but I find them quite charming.
Projections of Australian obstetricians ceasing practice and 30% of specialist obstetricians did not practise obstetrics.1 ... the cessation of obstetric
practice has been ... 34 of 200 rural Australian specialist obstetricians ...
www.mja.com.au/public/issues/ 176_09_060502/mac10158_fm.html - 35k - 10 Ago 2004 - En caché - Páginas similares
nic   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 08:26 GMT
To practise seems to be the most popular on google :

total d'environ 1,210,000 pour practise

total d'environ 54,300,000 pour practice
Mi5 Mick   Thursday, August 12, 2004, 09:09 GMT
54,300,000 is greater than 1,210,000