A U.N. agency for women struggling with its acronym

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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 12:43
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Two official languages? Jul 4, 2010

What are the official languages of the United Nations?

An international organization must have effective ways to overcome language barriers to avoid becoming a Tower of Babel. Since almost every country in the world is represented at the United Nations, it is not an exaggeration to say that the United Nation is a microcosm of the world. The Organization uses six official languages in its intergovernmental meetings and documents, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish; the Secretariat uses two working languages, English and French.

Statements made in an official language at a formal meeting are interpreted simultaneously into the other official languages of the body concerned by United Nations interpreters. If a delegation wishes to speak in a language that is not an official language, it must supply an interpreter to interpret the statement or translate it into one of the official languages. It is then rendered into the other languages by a relay system.

Documents are produced in the six official languages and are issued simultaneously when all the language versions are available.

http://www.un.org/Depts/DGACM/faq_languages.htm


 


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A U.N. agency for women struggling with its acronym

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