Translation costs soar after EU enlargement
Thread poster: Aleksandra Kwasnik

Aleksandra Kwasnik  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:27
Polish to German
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Apr 27, 2006

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Timothy Barton
Local time: 14:27
French to English
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And there is still a major European language not covered... Apr 27, 2006

Despite a pre-agreement, a commission has just rejected the use of Catalan, Basque and Gallician in the European parliament and the right of citizens to address institutions in these languages. Yet many more people speak Catalan than Maltese.

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Richard Creech  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 07:27
French to English
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Some Misleading Statements Apr 27, 2006

This article contains a number of misstatements. First, despite the repeated use of the phrase, the EU does not have any official languages. Rather, the "insitutions" of the EU have official languages. This distinction is signifcant, as the EU has bodies (such as the trademark office) that are not "institutions" and are not subject to the linguistic rules of the EU.

Second, the EU obtains its much touted "low price" of translation (less than 2 euros per citizen) by its decision to leave many documents untranslated, or to provide them only in a limited number of languages (English, French, German). It is not clear how citizens of the EU who do not speak these languages are supposed to be able to hold the EU accountable for its actions.

As the previous poster pointed out, the EU has failed to extend linguistic rights to several languages spoken throughout the Union, such as Catalan and Welsh, which do not have official status in a Member State, despite the fact that the EU purportedly draws its legitimacy from the people of the EU, not simply the Member States.

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Translation costs soar after EU enlargement

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