Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd May 2008 20:52 UTC, submitted by irbis
In the News One of the biggest problems facing the European Union today is the fact that within its borders, 23 languages are spoken. This means that all the important documents have to be translated by a whole army of translators, which costs the taxpayer more than 1 billion Euros a year - and companies trading within the EU spend millions more. The EU-funded TC-STAR project aims to tackle this issue with technology: a system that eats speech in one language, and outputs that same speech in another.
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RE[2]: What's the problem?
by Trenien on Sat 3rd May 2008 10:08 UTC in reply to "RE: What's the problem?"
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Let's see...

First, English is far from being the most widely spoken language in Europe: that'd be either French or German (Germany is now the most populated country in the EU, and French is spoken in four European countries, three of which are part of the EU).

Next, English is neither spoken by most people in Europe, nor easy to learn. In effect, making it the one official language in the EU would exclude most people from understanding what the various EU's bodies are saying. When such a thing happen, you haven't an union, you have an empire.

Having English the official EU's language has always been the wet dream of both the US and UK, and of a minority of people who can so put themselves above the unwashed masses.

Disclaimer: I'm French and an English teacher.

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