April 12, 2024


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[Podcast] Linguistic diversity: 24 languages ​​to translate the EU

[Podcast] Linguistic diversity: 24 languages ​​to translate the EU

French, English, German… The European Union has 24 official languages ​​for 27 member states. Although English tends to take precedence over other mother tongues, it is a clever combination that does not prevent Europeans from understanding each other.

From French to German via Czech or Hungarian without forgetting the inevitable English: there are 24 official languages ​​within the European Union. There are also sixty regional and local languages. Expatriates are not counted.

A clever combination that perfectly illustrates the EU's motto of “united in diversity”.

Member States are bound by this linguistic diversity. To the point of including it Charter of Fundamental Rights of the Union, but also of the Treaties. Let's read it”European union […] respects the richness of its cultural and linguistic diversity.”

This desire to promote multilingualism creates certain obligations. Therefore, citizens can access European documents in one of the 24 official EU languages. 24 languages ​​that use three different alphabets: Latin, Greek and Cyrillic.

The 24 official languages ​​of the European Union are:

  • German
  • English
  • Bulgarian
  • Croatian
  • Danish
  • Spanish
  • Estonian
  • Finnish
  • French
  • Greek
  • Hungarian
  • Irish
  • Italian
  • Latvian
  • Lithuanian
  • Maltese
  • Dutch
  • Polish boy
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Slovak
  • Slovenian
  • Swedish
  • Sec

When a member state joins the European Union, one of its languages ​​is recognized as an official language. But only one!

It sometimes forces you to choose. Thus 27 member states have only 24 languages. Some are shared between several countries, such as German for Germany and Austria or Greek for Greece and Cyprus. The latter therefore decided not to include the country's other official language, Turkish.

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As we have just heard, MEPs can express themselves freely when speaking in one of these 24 languages ​​in a hemicycle. Companies therefore employ an impressive number of translators and interpreters. Nothing but European ParliamentThere are about 300 permanent translators. This should include 1,500 independent translators.

Despite this laudable intention to preserve European languages, the use of English prevails. In European companies, it is clearly preferred in three working languages. French and German are far behind.

Why such a poll? Because English plays an important role in it Translation. In other words, a communication device for two people with different mother tongues. However, the first BrexitEnglish is not the mother tongue of some Europeans.

If the United Kingdom introduces this language after its accession, this will not apply to Ireland or Malta, which prefer Gaelic and Maltese. But English is still the official language unless twenty-seven people unanimously decide to withdraw it. has BrusselsSo we're not done listening Half EnglishIt's a bit reluctant but essential English.

Sound Credit: European Parliament

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