Europe communicates in “deformed” English

The primary language of communication in the European Union is English. And this is a somewhat deformed version of English, which is used by the majority of employees in European institutions, those in attendance at this week's language conference in Brussels have concluded.

The importance of English in EU institutions is increasing with every stage of expansion, despite the endeavour of the European Parliament to maintain a diversity of languages in internal communication. The reason for this is simple: the European Union requires a common language in order to be able to function, and in this respect English is the most widespread. These are the main conclusions of the conference recently held in Brussels by the French language association Défense de la Langue Française (DLF).
Linguistic diversity is one of the fundamental principles of the European Union. According to Christian Tremblay of the European observatory of plurilingualism however, the situation in which the EU must deal with 23 official languages as well as regional languages and languages of ethnic minorities is considerably arduous. "And the Union has to ensure that these language groups are able to communicate and work together", adds Tremblay.
"As a consequence the actual working language of the European Commission is a somewhat deformed version of English, influenced by other European languages, which is used by the majority of employees of the EU institutions", states Ludovic Laporte of the General Directorate for interpreting. According to Laporte, the Commission must also employ people who correct texts from "Brussels" English in order for it to be at all possible to translate this into other languages.
"It may lead to a situation in which Brussels is forced to choose English as an inevitable working compromise in a multilingual environment", concedes Laporte.
"The final result is that at present 80% of internal communication of the European Commission is conducted in English, states Catherine Vieilledent-Montfort of the General Directorate for interpreting. "We only translate the final form of the texts into the twenty three official languages of the EU", she adds.



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