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Euro or Euros?
Thread poster: Tom in London

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Jul 13, 2010

The only English-speaking country in the Eurozone is Ireland. I'm Irish.

In Ireland. the official term for a multiple of € is "Euro" in the singular. This is the term used in all mainstream Irish media, such as TV news etc., e.g. "thirty billion Euro".

So why do the British (who are not in the Eurozone) use "Euros" in the plural?

In written form I find "Euros" very strange-looking. It looks like a Greek word.

What's correct? Who decides? Is there an official EU ruling on this? What word do official EU interpreters use?

[Edited at 2010-07-13 08:36 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Euro or Euros? Jul 13, 2010

In all EU legal texts, the nominative singular spelling must be 'euro' in all languages ('ευρώ' in Greek alphabet; 'евро' in Cyrillic alphabet). Plural forms and declensions are accepted as long as they do not change the 'eur-' root.
http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/euro/cash/symbol/index_en.htm


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Useful Jul 13, 2010

Teresa Borges wrote:.....Plural forms and declensions are accepted as long as they do not change the 'eur-' root.....


Thanks Teresa- that's a really useful link. From it I deduce that both "Euro" and "Euros" are acceptable as the plural. Since "Euro" comes more naturally to me I'll stick with it, for the singular *and* the plural.

Many thanks.


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:52
German to English
+ ...
Going round in circles? Jul 13, 2010

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the interesting facts about English usage in Ireland.

Linguistically, it would seem that if we say "ten euro" (or capitalised "ten Euro") we should also say "ten dollar" and "ten pound" (or "ten Dollar" and "ten Pound"). The uninflected plural "euro" (or Euro) in some cases in English originates from a general multilingual directive that the currency should not take a plural _s in any language. My assumption was that this was decided by people whose native language is not English and who therefore did not realise how incongruous this appears (appeared?) in native English.

I have seen various EU style guides which try to provide pragmatic guidance on this. The central proposal I remember from earlier documents is to use an uninflected plural in documents intended for use by EU bureaucrats, but to use "euros" (inflected and not capitalised) for general readers.

The present EU style guide at http://ec.europa.eu/translation/writing/style_guides/english/style_guide_en.pdf (which is the first hit if you search Google for "EU style guide") includes the following comments:

(P. 30/31)
3.2 Always use figures with units of measurement that are denoted by symbols or
abbreviations:
EUR 50 or fifty euros
3.3 With hundred and thousand there is a choice of using figures or words:
EUR 3 000 or three thousand euros but not EUR 3 thousand

(P. 88)
20.8 The euro. Like ‘pound’, ‘dollar’ or any other currency name in English, the
word ‘euro’ is written in lower case with no initial capital. Where appropriate,
it takes the plural ‘s’ (as does ‘cent’):
This book costs ten euros and fifty cents
However, in documents and tables where monetary amounts figure largely,
make maximum use of the € symbol or the abbreviation EUR.


Your report on Irish usage offers an interesting new perspective on this debate.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
General usage Jul 13, 2010

Victor Dewsbery wrote:

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the interesting facts about English usage in Ireland.


Hi Victor- if you click on the link posted by Teresa and scroll down, you'll find there's an official pdf you can download.

That pdf clearly states that in English, the plural of "euro" is "euro" .

I also note from these links that "euro" is NOT capitalised.




[Edited at 2010-07-13 09:42 GMT]


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 11:52
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Euro or euros Jul 13, 2010

Rules for expressing monetary units

When to use the name (euro)
When a monetary unit is referred to generally but an amount is not included, it is written in letters, except in tables (see ‘When to use the ISO code (EUR)’):

an amount in euros
a sum in pounds sterling

http://publications.europa.eu/code/en/en-370303.htm


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Euro Jul 13, 2010

A headline from today's "Irish Times" (the most stylistically correct Irish daily newspaper):

"The taxpayer is facing a bill of potentially hundreds of millions of euro for the now worthless Irish Glass Bottle site in Dublin"


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Alistair Ian Spearing Ortiz  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 12:52
English to Spanish
+ ...
Politicians and lawyers aren't linguists Sep 26, 2013

IMHO, the EU is not a linguistic organisation and therefore has no business laying down language rules. Different languages have different rules for pluralising the names of currencies, and you can't just supersede them by decree.

It reminds me of the Ivory Coast case: the government decreed in 1986 that its name should be "Côte d'Ivoire" in ALL languages (!). However, the linguistic relevance of this decree is zero, and Ivory Coast/Costa de Marfil/Elfenbeinküste... remain as correct as ever.

The OED, which unlike the EU is an authority on the English language, says:

Spelling rule

The plural of euro is made in the usual way, by adding -s: (euros).

Long story short: politicians shouldn't play linguists.


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Alexander C. Thomson  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 12:52
Dutch to English
+ ...
It was ‘euro’ from the beginning in Ireland but this English plural was never established elsewh Sep 26, 2013

As soon as the name of the currency was announced in the late nineties, the Irish media and society got used to what if I recall right was at that time an absolute insistence from the European Commission that the English plural of ‘euro’ was ‘euro’, as referenced in some of the links colleagues have provided above. (The Commission even acknowledged in its edict that it was breaking the rules of English but hey-ho.) However, there was a subsequent softening of the EC’s line: ‘euros’ was alright for plebs-facing documents. In any case, this softening wasnʼt needed in Ireland, where ‘euro’ was already the universally-acknowledged, popularly-used plural form, but other English speakers in Europe (not just in the UK) instinctively say ‘euros’ other than a few financiers and heavily European Commission-exposed officials.

So, to use ‘euros’ in material for Ireland is pretentious/disrespectful, and to use ‘euro’ (pl.) in English material for general readership in other nations is equally wrong, IMHO.

[Edited at 2013-09-26 14:25 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
300 pounds, 300 dollars, 300 euros Feb 13, 2014

I have always written 'euros'. That is, uncapitalised 'e' and an 's' on the end.

300 pounds (sterling),
300 dollars,
300 euros

See e.g.: Oxforddictionaries.com:
euro
NOUN (PLURAL EUROS OR EURO)

the single European currency, which replaced the national currencies of France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal, Luxembourg, Austria, Finland, the Republic of Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands in 2002. Seventeen member states of the European Union now use the euro.

The plural of euro is made in the usual way, by adding -s: (euros).
Michael

[Edited at 2014-02-13 12:22 GMT]


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Fun with dictionaries: Feb 13, 2014

Chambers: euro: n (pl euro or euros)
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English: euro: n (pl euro or euros)
Merriam-Webster's: euro: plural euros (also euro)
Collins English Dictionary: euro: plural: euros

Michael


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linguandre Russo
Italy
Local time: 12:52
English to Italian
+ ...
Italian Euro Jun 27, 2014

I had always thought that the only plural form was "euros". I didn't know anything about the Irish usage and of the double plural form.

In Italian, the plural of "euro" is, alas, "euro"; I don't see why we shouldn't say "euri", as the plural would naturally be. "Euri" can be used, but it's used intentionally for comic purposes.
My lecturer of linguistics once told us that some people claim that the plural is "euro" because the word originally comes from "euromoneta" (literally, "eurocoin")...

[Modificato alle 2014-06-27 22:22 GMT]


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Ilaria Feltre  Identity Verified
Malta
Local time: 12:52
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Malta! :) Jun 11, 2015

Tom in London wrote:

The only English-speaking country in the Eurozone is Ireland. I'm Irish.


Hi Tom, I came across this very useful topic, while I was debating whether to write "Euro", "euro", "Euros" or "euros" on a cheque in Malta, which, like Ireland (another country I love), has got 2 official languages, one of which is English.

Just thought I'd point it out. Sorry for seeming pedantic... The truth is that I am!



On a more useful note... For anyone doing my same search this year: the English Style Guide for authors and translators in the European Commission, mentioned by other ProZ in this topic, has been updated in May 2015 and states the very same as it did a few years ago:

The euro. Like ‘pound’, ‘dollar’ or any other currency name in English, the word ‘euro’ is written in lower case with no initial capital. Where appropriate, it takes the plural ‘s’ (as does ‘cent’):

This book costs ten euros and fifty cents


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
+ ...
agree Jun 11, 2015

Ilaria Feltre wrote:

Tom in London wrote:

The only English-speaking country in the Eurozone is Ireland. I'm Irish.


Hi Tom, I came across this very useful topic, while I was debating whether to write "Euro", "euro", "Euros" or "euros" on a cheque in Malta, which, like Ireland (another country I love), has got 2 official languages, one of which is English.

Just thought I'd point it out. Sorry for seeming pedantic... The truth is that I am!



On a more useful note... For anyone doing my same search this year: the English Style Guide for authors and translators in the European Commission, mentioned by other ProZ in this topic, has been updated in May 2015 and states the very same as it did a few years ago:

The euro. Like ‘pound’, ‘dollar’ or any other currency name in English, the word ‘euro’ is written in lower case with no initial capital. Where appropriate, it takes the plural ‘s’ (as does ‘cent’):

This book costs ten euros and fifty cents



That's how I write it too.

"Euros" (with cap "E") or "euro" for the plural looks ridiculous.


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:52
Member (2008)
Italian to English
TOPIC STARTER
Ridiculous Jun 11, 2015

Michael Beijer wrote:

"euro" for the plural looks ridiculous.


No. "Euros" looks ridiculous. It looks like a Greek name. In Ireland, including on radio and TV, we say "Euro" for the plural. Try and stop us.



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