Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Marginalized by English

A report from SMU Research  claims that two thirds of EU citizens do not speak English and are thereby marginalized and linguistically disenfranchised.

The European Union has 27 member countries and 23 official languages, but its official business is carried out primarily in one language — English. Yet the striking findings of a new study show that barely a third of the EU’s 500 million citizens speak English.

What about the other two-thirds? They are linguistically disenfranchised, say the study’s authors.

Curiously enough I am unmoved by this information. Perhaps it gets worse.

For the EU’s non-English speakers, their native languages are of limited use in the EU’s political, legal, communal and business spheres, conclude economists Shlomo Weber, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, and Victor Ginsburgh, Free University of Brussels (ULB), the authors who conducted the study. Those who are disenfranchised have limited access to EU laws, rules, regulations and debates in the governing body — all of which may violate the basic principles of EU society, the researchers say.

No - still unmoved.


Anonymous said...

Took a peek, not very interesting and not at all useful. Perhaps some research into the American and Belgian equivalents of the British P45 would be of benefit - no, being given one each would improve things immensely.

A K Haart said...

Anon - I agree. One thing the web seems to have revealed is just how much academic dross there is.