Euro-English at the European Parliament

Thanks to Jeffrey Waggoner (@WagLegalEnglish) for the heads-up about this thought-provoking video on Euro-English at the European Parliament, from the Open University’s OpenLearn program (see this post).

Here are a few of the points the video covers:

  • The ‘hegemony’ of English as lingua franca
  • People choosing to speak a ‘primary’ language for more impact
  • Language conveys values – choice of language is not neutral
  • The added difficulty for interpreters of non-native speakers not saying what they mean but what they are able to say
  • Is Euro-English a jargon or a new language?
  • Maybe even native English speakers will have to learn Euro-English in order not to alienate listeners.


6 thoughts on “Euro-English at the European Parliament

  1. What an excellent video. This is an issue that we are coming across more and more often. Many clients that had previously requested translations into U.S. English are now requesting translations into U.K. English (or even “Euro-English”), which poses a significant problem in terms of converting existing translations to match expectations regarding syntax, grammar, punctuation and terminology.

    • That’s very interesting indeed Steve. And we British always used to have that problem with US English! So far the only ‘bridge’ I had found was the Oxford “ize”, but EU institutions use “ise” so that puts paid to that one!

  2. The rise of the ‘Euro-English’ language is a fascinating phenomenon. What a shame people don’t speak their native language at the European Parliament, since they think they can speak good English. English native speakers, who have to make an extra effort for understanding them, certainly suffer. Thank you for sharing this interesting video with us.

  3. Pingback: Parlament Europejski, język euroangielski i tłumacze | Porady dla początkujących tłumaczy: Piotr Szymczak

  4. Pingback: Monday smiles – Pastagate | From Words to Deeds: translation & the law

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