English as an EU Lingua Franca?

Everyone speaks English in the EU now right? Well actually, wrong…..

In a recent study of approximately 170,000 people living in 25 EU countries, Michele Gazzola concludes in a paper in European Union Politics that the introduction of an English-only policy in the EU would exclude between 45% to 79% of adult residents from being able to understand EU documentation, web pages or debates in the EU Parliament.

Similarly, a trilingual language regime – based on English, French and German – would continue to disenfranchise between 26% to 49% of residents in the 25 EU countries studied.

Gazzola therefore concludes that the EU’s existing multilingual language policy is both the most inclusive and the most cost effective.

For readers who are interested in Gazzola’s work:

  • take a look at his web page here
  • watch a presentation on Multilingualism & Linguistic Justice in the EU here (in English)
  • watch a presentation on the same theme here (in Esperanto with Catalan sub titles)
  • download and read a presentation which Gazzola gave at the ‘Internacia Kongresa Universitato’ in Buenos Aires in 2014 here (in Esperanto with summaries in English, French and Spanish).

Multilingualism

How can people most effectively talk to each other if they do not share a common first language?

In a fascinating lecture, Italian interlinguist Professor Federico Gobbo introduces us to a unique, but little known, phenomenon: the international language Esperanto.

The full citation for the lecture is:

Gobbo, Federico (2015) Interlinguïstiek, een vak voor meertaligheid. Interlingvistiko, fako por multlingvismo. Interlinguistics, a discipline for multilingualism. Oratie 532 van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Uitgesproken bij de aanvaardiing van het ambt van bijzonder hoogleraar ‘Interlinguîstiek en Esperanto’ aan de faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen op vrijdag 13 maart 2015. Amsterdam: Vossiuspers UvA.

Read my review here.