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EC commits to multilingualism – in French only

(And even gets that wrong)

The European Commission is often on a hiding to nothing in its efforts to cater for as many languages as possible.

Now wrestling with 23 official languages, Brussels often has to ration its translation and interpretation resources around the three official languages, English, French and German, and more often than not, just English and French.

And lord help them when something that is supposed to be in one of the 23 languages isn’t immediately available.

But then sometimes the commission doesn’t exactly do itself any favours.

That was the case at the end of May when EUHQ issued economic recommendations for the EU member states, and the 700 page document on the French economy was only made available in English.

But it’s OK, because now – more than a month later, the commission has apologised, albeit à sa façon.

The executive’s department for ‘multilingualism’ issued a statement yesterday reiterating its commitment to making best efforts to cater for the EU’s linguistic diversity.

However, the ‘commitment to multilingualism’ … is only available in French.

To make matters worse, it isn’t even written in grammatically correct French (‘la presse françaises‘ [sic]).

A minor improvement to when the commission’s programme for its ‘European Day of Languages’ in 2009 was only available in English?

BM

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