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Eu

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Sir John, Feb 7, 2003.

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Should the whole EU have the same language?

  1. Yes

    16 vote(s)
    28.1%
  2. No

    38 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. Undecided\Dont care

    3 vote(s)
    5.3%
  1. insurgent

    insurgent Exhausted

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    I'm a European federalist - but I would oppose a forced common language. I could understand an EU administration language, but Europeans shouldn't be forced to speak the same tongue, the cultural traits should not be eliminated.
    Unity in diversity is my motto on the subject...
     
  2. yaroslav

    yaroslav Emperor

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    I would love to see a more united Europe, but many languages are part of our heritage, so I vote for no... On the other hand, I think that we can agree on a 'common' language (English, of course) and use it in every exchange between Europeans for differents countries. Go Euroe! :D

    Sorry, but I don't agree. I don't know French grammar, but Spanish grammar is very, very regular. In fact, I believe that English has a lot more rules...

    And, if we speak about pronunciation, the English language could not match Spanish, were you can read a word and you know how to pronounce it (the other way, writing after hearing, it's very easy also - but you can get a little confused with b <-> v, for instance). But this is only my humble opinion, and I'm a Spanish native speaker - I believe that it's normal for anybody to think that his/her language is the easiest (except Germans, of course :D)...
     
  3. MCdread

    MCdread Couldn't she get drowned?

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    We already use a common language to comunicate with each other: english.
    But by no means that should replace all the other national and regional languages and certainly won't for many, many years. I consider the knowledge of several diffrent languages to be very important in a person's growth as an educated individual. A common misconception that unilingual people have is that all languages are the same. They're not. Languages are not equivalent, they evolve in deep connection with the history of the speaking community. For me there are many issues where I wouldn't be able to express my thoughts in english. My native tongue is portuguese and for certain things it is a much richer language than english, while on the other hand the opposite is also true in some other issues.

    If you only know one language you will have a tendency to become a person with a much more dogmatic thought.
     
  4. Illustrious

    Illustrious Becoming Colonel Blimp

    Joined:
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    Hmmm....

    Not entirely convinced that this is a genuine story. Rather too reminiscent of the old myth about the USA coming within one vote of adopting German as its official language back in the early days...

    Some random thoughts:

    (1) As noted by many, English is already becoming a de facto lingua franca among the nations. In this respect commerce is leading, not politics - in the days when I worked for Price Waterhouse, the recruitment policy in most European countries was to require a minimum standard of English (yes, even in the Paris office!!!).

    (2) The idea of stamping out other languages is absurd. Here in the UK, despite a small and declining Welsh-speaking population, there is a Welsh-language mainstream TV station, and you have an absolute right to insist on a Welsh version of any government form or booklet. As (I think it was stormbind) pointed out, most local government offices and public buildings display material in Urdu etc for the benefit of ethnic minority citizens. What people speak in the privacy of their own community is - and should remain - sacrosanct. The adoption of a common language for inter-community use would not change that.

    (3) German? As I recall, Europe had an ideal opportunity to adopt that language back in the 30s and 40s - for some reason they turned down the opportunity :D

    (4) MCdread's point about the interconnection between language, history and culture is an excellent one - as can be testified by Mr P's mildly jingoistic comments about "the language of Shakespeare" etc.

    (5) As ellie points out, the language spoken by most people in the world is Mandarin. The problem with that is that the overwhelming majority of the people who speak it are all from one country. The big edge English has is that the overwhelming majority of people who speak it aren't all from the same country.

    End of ramble. It appears I agree with almost everybody. That must be a first!
     
  5. Toasty

    Toasty Old Guard

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    Tampa, FL
    This list can't be complete...Russian and Japanese are not included, for instance.
     
  6. Phantom Lord

    Phantom Lord live by the sword

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    Switch is correct, check the link he provided. I was wondering myself because I was missing Italian (900K speakers). Btw, it wasn't people, it was people living in the US.
     
  7. Goldenflame

    Goldenflame Chieftain

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
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    Location:
    Palo Alto, California
    Of course not! If Europe can't select a common currency, why should they all speak the same language? If they did, what language would it be?
    Hmm... actually, maybe making everyone speak Latin or Esperanta is a good idea...
     
  8. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

    Joined:
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    Chances are, that if I travel abroad armed only with English, I will not be able to speak with the cashiers and will have great difficulty in explaining where the taxi should be taking me :(

    I also have problems when visiting Scotland :lol:
     
  9. philippe

    philippe FYI, I chase trains.

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    I am EUROpean and i say let the masses have a business language (English is so easy to learn)
    While at home they can speak their language.
    Besides i think lots of kids in west Europe should know English by now :rolleyes:
     
  10. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    The Euro is a big nono. We won't accept it in the UK and may other countries are against it. The biggest problem is the bank that runs it; they answer to nobody and don't have to release annual figures. There's not a hope that I will ever gladly use a Euro! :(

    We should invent a new and more amiable currency that has Crowns(£5), Pounds(£1), Marks(50p), Francs(10p), Pennies(1p) ... and have the banks of each nation dedicate one office that together form the combined Bank of Europe which answers directly to the EU :)
     
  11. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    I agree but not with this last sentence. Many people do cover some English, but the "average" level of education is not good enough, and most people don't use English so they quickly forget after leaving school :(

    I say, start teaching it at an earlier age!
     
  12. philippe

    philippe FYI, I chase trains.

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    yeah i get it here when im in second grade 2de middelbare
    and oh my SIMPLE WORDS!
    oh cat..oh calculator oh dog :rolleyes:
    Everyone i know already speaks English around 10 or so although they use a lot the word f*** and sh!t
    sh!t is now a common swearword here :lol:
     
  13. stormbind

    stormbind Retenta personam!

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    Well, I suppose we could expand the borders... :lol:
     
  14. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    Err...

    You mean that there is 900 000 people speaking italian ?
    (you are aware that there is A LOT more than that ?)
     
  15. Cecasander

    Cecasander King

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    How about Papiamento? That language was made up from various European languages (I believe it includes English, Dutch and Portugese, and some others). It is already spoken in some parts of the caribian and an official language of the caribian island of Aruba.
     
  16. Phantom Lord

    Phantom Lord live by the sword

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    I'm aware that there are another 58,000,000 in Italy. But there are only 906,000 in the US. ;)
     
  17. test_specimen

    test_specimen hope lost

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    So you propose to name the Euro differently (and maybe put some smiley faces on it) and to invent some bureaucracy around it? There is no point in a single currency if it cannot compete.

    If UK don't want to join the single currency: they are free to stay out. The whole idea of the single currency is that it can be governed centrally and without too much dispute of the participating countries. Do you really think that countries could agree with ambassadors at each others bank on a monetary policy? No way.

    I see the Euro as a great advance. Even though the Schilling was a very stable currency. Not only that you can move more freely in Europe. Next step would be to put taxes on the same level around Europe, so you really have free choice of the place where you live.
     

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