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: As a Brit
by Trenien on Sat 3rd May 2008 16:44 UTC in reply to "As a Brit"
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"I did the Nijmegen marches aged ~15 and was seriously struck by having detailed discussions with Dutch primary school kids in English. Very few British kids could (then) keep up with a similar conversation in (say) French."

That's another reason I'm against having any of the natural languages as the main one in Europe. As an English (as a foreign language) teacher I know that the Northern European country situation is exceptional: nowhere else in Europe do the people, as a rule, fluently speak more than one language.
That situation is especially bad in the Southern European countries.

It'd be much better to have everybody learn an easy linga franca (Esperanto, for instance).

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