France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language (Prima Aprilis)

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lichtrausch
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby lichtrausch » Thu Apr 01, 2021 4:24 am

How about replacing English with a Slavic language, probably Polish? That way the vast majority of EU bureaucrats would have the option of using either their native language or a closely related one.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Raconteur » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:16 am

lowsocks wrote:
Raconteur wrote:The joint proposal, can be found (in French) on the website of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of France to the European Union (Représentation permanente de la France auprès de l'Union européenne). This is sort of like the equivalent of an embassy (but to an international organization rather than a foreign government). I’m guessing the Germans have something published on their site as well.

The text is in the “Déclarations des derniers Conseils des Ministres” section:
https://ue.delegfrance.org/declarations ... s-conseils
Sorry to have to ask, but my French is not very good, and there are many documents on that page. Which document are you referring to? Thanks very much!

Sure, it's near the top of the 2021 list. I took a screenshot to help you out, here you go: https://imgur.com/a/HFHdcfM
Thanks for asking me to clarify, it's always good to review the source and pay attention to the date of publication. :geek:
Last edited by Raconteur on Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Raconteur
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Raconteur » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:19 am

lichtrausch wrote:How about replacing English with a Slavic language, probably Polish? That way the vast majority of EU bureaucrats would have the option of using either their native language or a closely related one.

I don't know about Polish, but when it comes to all of this, there's a Latin phrase that comes to mind. :geek:
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Bilingual_monoglot » Thu Apr 01, 2021 5:59 am

Honestly, I think the best outcome would be to just switch to Esperanto as the main working language. After all, it has the least baggage, and would take the least amount of time to get fluent in. However, that is not something that looks like it will happen soon.

As for France's plan, the experience of ASEAN suggests that they should not be optimistic, as attempts to introduce Malay have yet to lead to any success. Then again, ASEAN hasn't yet had anything equivalent to Brexit, and Malaysia is nowhere near as committed to promoting its language abroad as France is, so it's likely that even if English isn't totally phased out, we might see French and German still gain lots of ground.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby DaveAgain » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:42 am

The last time this was rumored, there were reports that the Spanish object to any move English>French language, insisting on Spanish being treated equally to French.

A diplomat gave a presentation at the recent Polyglot Gathering: Foreign languages in modern diplomacy, he said that a pairing of French & English is a common choice for working languages in international organisations.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby mokibao » Thu Apr 01, 2021 11:19 am

Bilingual_monoglot wrote:Honestly, I think the best outcome would be to just switch to Esperanto as the main working language. After all, it has the least baggage, and would take the least amount of time to get fluent in. However, that is not something that looks like it will happen soon.


Yeah, Esperanto seems like the perfect solution:

-Neutral, country-wise
-Lexicon is an amalgam of Romance- and Germanic-based words with sprinkles of Slavic features such as free word order and cases, so everyone in the EU would be familiar with parts of it to some extent
-Grammar rules are completely regular, pronunciation (including stress) is entirely predictable, lexical rules are much more constructive (but not quite completely predictable, e.g. the infamous -um suffix)
-If you're fluent in a Romance language you can already decipher Esperanto. If you know English or another Germanic language you are really not far behind anyway. This combined with the above point makes the opportunity cost of learning Esperanto much lower than, say, French or German for the vast majority of EU population.
-Practically no native speakers, so no linguistic insecurity, concerns like "sounding like a native", "using idiomatic constructions", "getting the pronunciation wrong", and so on. No pretence of intellectual superiority under the guise of eloquence, what only matters is making oneself understood. (Of course this issue isn't going to completely disappear because people are people, but they're going to be much less prominent than with English, or, God fobid, French)
-Lots of materials and courses already available and a vibrant (if smaller than usually boasted) community, unlike other, possibly better-designed conlangs.

I'm not an Esperantist and I have no horse in this race. My life won't change if they switch to French or German or Interlingua or Latin or Homeric Greek. Esperanto just seems the most convenient and logical position, theoretically.

And if you think the switch would be harder due to momentum or inertia, just consider that there is considerable precedent in enforcing a standardized-by-grammarians lingua franca among communities (Hochdeutsch, Italian, MSA), including those that are not part of a Dachsprache (Indonesian, Hebrew). What matters is strong political will from higher-up and a sense of belonging among the population. Whether the EU has any of those at the moment is another question I'll leave as an exercise for the reader.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby verdastelo » Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:19 pm

Raconteur wrote:Sure, it's near the top of the 2021 list. I took a screenshot to help you out, here you go: https://imgur.com/a/HFHdcfM
Thanks for asking me to clarify, it's always good to review the source and pay attention to the date of publication. :geek:


I'm afraid I still cannot locate it. Could you post a link to the document?

While no one knows if English will lose its position as a working language in the EU or not, we know for almost certain that English will find a place on the French National Identity Cards in 2021. I found it after reading Faut-il voter la loi Molac sur les langues régionales ? Although a few other newsrooms have covered the story as well, such as 20 Minutes and Le Figaro, but it doesn't seem to be a big news in France. Please correct me here if I misunderstood. My French is still bad.

PS. A snippet from L'Express I liked: L’accès à une seconde langue, qui n’est pas forcément l’anglais, doit être une politique publique. Cela passe par la liberté de choix de l’enseignement linguistique public, parmi de multiples langues. Le ministère de l’Education nationale fait tout le contraire. L’enseignement des langues anciennes, le latin et le grec, est très réduit. La possibilité de choisir l’allemand ou l’espagnol en langue vivante 1 devient rare ; les options en langue vivante 3, comme l’italien, le portugais, le russe, le chinois, le japonais, l’arabe, etc., se raréfient. Il faudrait, au contraire, ouvrir des places dans les concours d’enseignement public pour de nombreuses langues.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby lysi » Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:20 pm

Man, this post got my hopes up but after realizing it's just an april fools joke I'm slightly sad. :(
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby rdearman » Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:12 pm

Lawyer&Mom wrote:They can make the official languages whatever they want, but I’m willing to bet they will discuss the documents in English.

The United States of America legislated in 1866 that the use of metric weights and measures become legal. So how is that working out? Governments can make anything they want official, doesn't mean anyone will use it.
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Re: France and Germany call to phase out English as EU’s working language

Postby Le Baron » Thu Apr 01, 2021 9:10 pm

EGP wrote:eleven countries in the European Union adopted the Euro as a common currency as the dream of monetary union became reality.

which shows they are not immune to daft ideas. 20-odd countries all using an essentially 'foreign' currency and trashing monetary sovereignty. Worst EU policy ever.
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