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.
Thread beginning with comment 312667
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
Trenien
Member since:
2007-10-11

What's wrong is that apart from the native speakers, only a small minority can speak it with any kind of significant fluency.

Hence, declaring it the Official Language is excluding most people from understanding official dealings even more than they now are.

And I write this as someone who teaches English as a second language for a living.

Reply Parent Score: 2

sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

What's wrong is that apart from the native speakers, only a small minority can speak it with any kind of significant fluency.

And of the native speakers, only a small minority can write it with any kind of fluency. Too many irregularities. Too many exceptions. It has grown like a wart and it shows. Languages and systems of measurement are too important to be trusted to a hodge podge system of hacks and inconsistent improvisation made standard after the fact.

Communication is a very serious matter, indeed. Miscommunication even more so, as this tragic passage so clearly demonstrates:

http://www.mostly-harmless.de/crllstlk.htm

Edited 2008-05-03 12:02 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2