Diversity_4_multilingualLanguage is always going to be a contentious issue, bound as it is to questions of culture and identity. Whilst there are 24 official languages in the EU, studies suggest that almost 40% of Europeans speak English as a foreign language (not counting the 13% that speak it as a mother tongue). That’s almost four times as many foreign language speakers as either of the next most popular languages in Europe, French and German. And the English language is only growing increasingly more dominant, not just in Europe but around the world.

Curious about the status of English compared to other languages in Europe? We’ve put together some language statistics in the infographic below (click for a bigger image):


One of our Greek readers, Christos, sent us in a comment arguing that – whether people like it or not – English is the “emerging language of Europe”. He argued that English should be made the official language of the EU, so that everybody learns it next to their native tongue. Christos believes that this approach would help boost Europe’s economy and sense of unity, because it would make it easier for workers to travel and work anywhere in the Union:

For example, if I as a Greek want to move to Hungary and I do not speak Hungarian, I could move there by just speaking English and get a job anywhere…

Hungary may not have been the best example, as that is the EU country where the greatest number of people (65%) admit to not speaking any foreign languages at all. However, his general point remains.

We recently put Christos’ suggestion to Androulla Vassiliou, the former EU Commissioner for Multilingualism. How would she respond?

Christos wasn’t alone in his suggestion. We also had a comment sent in from Pedro, who argued that we should be “honest” and admit that “the English language will dominate the world in the years to come, if it doesn’t already.” He argued that it should be mandatory for all students in the European Union to learn English as a foreign language at school.

We put this comment to Patricia Ryan, a language teacher at Zayed University in Dubai who has given a TED talk looking at whether the world’s focus on English might be preventing the spread of great ideas in other languages. How would she respond?

Should learning English as a foreign language be mandatory for all students in the European Union? Would having English as the official “common language of Europe” give a boost to the EU’s economy and sense of unity? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policy-makers and experts for their reactions.

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – César Viteri Ramirez

3,211 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

    • Dino

      Because it is. Becaus everybody will comment here in English if they want to be understood by all Europe tribes and World tribes.
      This is the point: if I speak here Serbo-Croatian language I am limited to 20 mil people but with English I’m sure more than billion can read my thoughts.
      Europe is United today, if they want to remain so, have common foreign policy and speak to people wholive in Europe they have to use language mayority can understand… This is not easy to achieve and this is why I also believe there is no harm for countries to be independat and make EU history because having global capitalism and nice behavior doesnt come from EU policiticans and centralised gouverment and today it is really not neccery.
      Nadam se da me razumiješ, iako sam malo pogrešio u pisanju, ipak ne koristim Engleski toliko često. Pozdrav!

    • PhilipII

      Your billion must be the US billion of 1000 million not a British billion of 1 million million. You are certainly overestimating the Nº of Anglophones or those who speak English proficiently. Linguistic diversity is enshrined in EU law. I realise your language is spoken by few people but you must remember that for Franco-, Luso-and Hispanophones there are 100s of millions of speakers.

    • Rick Hoppmann

      *writes the reply in English* :P
      Yes, it should be the official language, because it has the easiest grammar of the 3 popular languages.
      As much as I like German as my mothertongue, the grammar is horrible. And when it comes to French it takes way too long to say what you mean.

    • Andras Bato

      Yes, I do support English to be chosen as the official language of Europe. English is widely spoken all over the world. Even a lot of arriving refugees make themselves understood by speaking English. A huge number of Chinese traders use English as a tool for selling their goods.

    • Alex Escomu Fb

      Of course not. Only people who have never thinked of current consequences and rich people with English fluency would like this to happen. My point is explained here, the last lecture: The Universal language (university): http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6oIFrNfhY5LvdP9barCFBA1iSIWbfKmf
      You are kind of weird, guys, you like to be second level citizens compared to English natives who are now having a great privilege (in a democracy era! Omg…). You’d sound stupid if had to talk about science in English next to a native in a debate. Latin, French, English, Chinese and finally we all will have the culture neutral and way easier Esperanto that is becoming unstoppable as a fairer bridge language https://www.duolingo.com/course/eo/en/Learn-Esperanto-Online

  1. Matej Zaggy Zagorc

    No. Every country as well as every culture (of which there are many in EU) have the right to have their own language as an official language of the EU. Having the same international language within the EU is a different story.

    • Arthur Lynch

      Agreed; that is a very different story. An international language would be very useful as an auxiliary medium which would facilitate understanding without “insulting” those who refuse to submit to the chutzpah of Anglophile Nazis.

    • Chris

      I burst with laughter when people on this forum push Esperanto as a unifying language for Europe. To all those who surgest Esperanto over English, thanks for the laughs.

    • Leo De Cooman

      eo: Fakte mi volas reagi al Chris, kiu ŝatas ridegi. Jen kialo por ridegi:
      Fama parolanto de la angla petis legi la jenan “GHOTI”.
      Ĉu Chris konas tiun ŝercon? Ĉu li ridaĉas?
      nl: Ik wil eigenlijk reageren op Chris, die zo graag schaterlacht. Hier een reden om te schaterlachen:
      Een bekende Engelstalige vroed het volgende te lezen (in het Engels): “GHOTI”.
      Kent Chris die grap? Lacht hij nu groen?

    • Damo

      Yes because I’m English and I cant be bothered to learn any other language, it is far simpler if all you foreigners learn English.

      Then I wont have to point at things and talk loudly and slowly for you to understand what I want you to do.

    • Hubert van Lier

      No. Iedere taal is belangrijk en heeft zijn eigen denkpatronen. Lees George Steiner: Eros&Idioom. Bovendien is dit een enorme culturele verarming. Engels vertaalt slechts 3% uit andere talen.

    • Alejandro Carlos

      I do not really know where do you get your statistics. English speakers are less interested in being translated to other languages than the rest of the people is interested in being translated into English.

    • Mohamoud Egnever

      I agree with Rick Hoppmann and i want to repeat what he said ” English is the easiest language that i ever seen in my life, so learn English”. Anyways i agree that English to be an official language of the EU.

    • Ski

      Having your own language as an official language doesn’t mean that you can’t add English as a second official language in all countries.

    • Kenneth T. Tellis,

      Esperanto was an unattainable PIPE Dream, which could not fit into any language group because of the different alphabets and their various sounds. So, it was really a miserable attempt to create an international language that no one ever could use!

    • Bill Frampton

      Kenneth Tellis, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Esperanto is easy and natural for everyone whether their native language is inflectional, agglutinative, analytic or polysynthetic. As you can see from this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzDS2WyemBI, people certainly do use it; in fact some of the people portrayed in the video would never have been born if “no one could ever use” Esperanto since their parents would never have met if not for la bona lingvo!

    • Sir Randoff-Kent Jones

      Well explained–you could have used Nyet !

    • Roger Springer

      Fortunately I was born in Australia and my family will not HAVE to learn another language. But I went to China for a year and conversed in Esperanto to ordinary people in Esperanto clubs and homes in 26 cities without resorting to English. Away from the tourist areas, where I stayed, English was not available. Shouldn’t a world language (or a European common language) be for everyone and not just those with a gift in language? . You forget those who don’t have the time, schools or even the ability to learn English. This post is in English and you can see the bias.

    • H Fei

      the comment below must be fake. No one speaks Esperanto in China.

    • Kat

      @roger springer the point you have forgotten is that English is spreading like wild fire. Some schools might not have the ability to teach it but the ones who do have the ability have been teaching it and still are. In my school we can only learn Spanish, they have gotten rid of French. Even that shows the most popular languages in the world are being dominated by English. No matter if you want it to happen or not, eventually more than half of the world will be able to speak English if not already. The reason why it’s so important is to communicate and keep the world steady financially.

    • Damo

      Yes because I’m English and I cant be bothered to learn any other language, it is far simpler if all you foreigners learn English.

      Then I wont have to point at things and talk loudly and slowly for you to understand what I want you to do.

    • Couturier Dominique

      Yes, more… or LESS; but, how did it occured? English in Europe is a “fait accompli” (accomplished fact) because of the will of Churchill and his US friends (allies). Few people know about the “basic english” project (before the 2ww) or about the conference in London (1961). You can know more there:
      Do we want an “european Europe”? Or an english-american one? That’s the point!
      With esperanto, we could keep english as a communication language during a transition time, BUT at the end (15, 20,25 years), more people would become able to communicate, and really FEEL “european”.

    • Leo De Cooman

      To H.Fei:
      Do yout think that http://esperanto.cri.cn/ is a fake?
      Do you think that the chinese Esperantists, who visited us, where fantoms?

      Ĉu vi opinias, ke http://esperanto.cri.cn/ estas falsaĵo?
      Ĉu vi opinias, ke la ĉinaj Esperantistoj vizitintaj nin, estis fantomoj?

    • Alex Escomu FB

      Hello Christiane, please, read again the original question:
      “SHOULD English be THE ONLY official language of the EU?”

      I ignore why (that would be another debate), but you might have read/replied to:
      “IS English THE ONLY official language of the EU?”

      So real current contrasted facts are:
      1) It IS NOT the ONLY official language of the EU: the EU has 24 official languages, and currently Senior MEP said “English will not be an official EU language after Brexit” (I doubt it, I think Malta will try to change from Maltese to English or something is going to be made to let English in… but I can’t confirm the future, just guess or hope)
      2) Till now (maybe it is changing after Brexit, who knows) it is THE MAIN (not the only!) language of the (only de jure “equally fair”) multilingual EU, next to French and then German (with a lesser use, but much wider than Maltese, Spanish, etc.)
      3) The fact that is it the main language of the EU isn’t an argument per se to make it THE ONLY language of the EU. “A fact is not good just because it is a fact.” “with that kind of reasoning, there would still be a lot of slaves, and there would be no woman with political responsibilities.” With that reasoning, you wouldn’t have now the right to speak up .
      “How could there be progress if you equate “fact” with “final”, “unimprovable” ? If another means is better to reach the same goal, why not take up the better option? Esperanto is not above other languages, but, among people with different language backgrounds, it is fairer than English (or do you say “more fair”?). With Esperanto everybody has to make some effort to reach the common ground, and there everybody can communicate on an equal footing with everybody else.”

    • Ian Fantom

      Leo De Cooman July 6th, 2015

      “To H.Fei:
      Do yout think that http://esperanto.cri.cn/ is a fake?
      Do you think that the chinese Esperantists, who visited us, where fantoms?”

      No, they’re not related. But the main point is that Esperanto works. The reason it’s been in decline since the end of the Cold War is political. We’ve had so many trolls upsetting things in the Esperanto movement that this has to be coming ultimately from the English language lobby. I was verbally set upon by the gang, led by a British Council guy, at the AGM of Esperanto Association of Britain in 2006, after I had carried out a detailed research project on the reasons for the decline in membership. It began suddenly in 1992, and followed a straight line for a decade. The treasurer was insisting that the capital was being used up, and no-one questioned her. When I discovered – subject to confirmation – that the capital had been rising dramatically and at an accelerating rate for that period, I reported that quietly and in confidence to the President. He was the guy who led the gang against me. So if they’re doing that with Esperanto, what are they doing in the Labour Party to undermine Jeremy Corbyn, and what are they doing in other membership associations that they don’t like? When people understand this, the time for a revival of Esperanto will be upon us. Esperanto works.

    • Damo

      Yes because I’m English and I cant be bothered to learn any other language, it is far simpler if all you foreigners learn English.

      Then I wont have to point at things and talk loudly and slowly for you to understand what I want you to do.

    • Alejandro Carlos

      Damo. Hopefully you are being sarcastic, otherwise you will wind up being the butt end of the joke.
      What do you think that they do when you travel and cannot understand them. Do you actually think that they regret not having learned English so they can help you.
      Not very smart, your statement that is, and it portraits you as not very kind nor courteous.

    • Damo

      Colas, sarcasm is best served in English! :-)

  2. George Titkov

    Official as in “used in EU administration and institutions”? Yes. Otherwise – no.

  3. Daniele Scaramelli

    That would be good for most of the British, as they usually do not speak any foreign language. The current rule of having all the EU languages as official languages and English, French and German as operational languages in the European Commission helps people being a bit less narrow-minded, as the world is big and there is more than English.

    • Couturier Dominique

      Grazie, Daniele.
      Ha ragione.
      E, l’esperanto, ne ha sentito parlare? Se io non l’avessi imparato, non avrei probabilmente imparato dopo il tedesco a un po’ pi polacco.
      Se informi… :-)

  4. Gastone Losio

    Each European is, at least, by law, bilingual, a common language: English or Esperanto language and the first present effective language of their singular homeland or city / province / canton, which often does not coincide with that of the current nation.
    “The question which must be resolved first failing which progress is but mere appearance, is definitive abolition of division of Europe into national, sovereign States.” http://www.losio.com/rue/index.html#as

  5. Gabor Molnar

    The knowledge and usage of a common language is a very necessary an useful thing, but making English the only official language is a bad idea, IMHO.

    • Pedro

      That would be a good idea. Yes, it is incredibly difficult to learn but most of us learnt english not in school but rather watching tv shows and playing games. Why not do that also with Latin? Like e.g. european movies in latin. Besides Latin was the cientific and religious language used in Europe up until the XIX century, which would give the common european access to centuries of history. Imagine reading Cicero, or Newton works or the battles of Julius Caesar in the language it was written. How great would that be? :D

    • Couturier Dominique

      Latin is difficult, esperanto is powerfull, modern, equitable, and easy to learn

    • Couturier Dominique

      @ Pedro: Latin is elitist, so unrealistic. The question is: Do we want a language to be used and understood by every European? Do we want to improve the learning of several languages? If “yes”, we have to make it easy and successfull at the beginning.
      In so many cases, when students have learnt english during thousand of hours, with a relative poor result, a part of them have no courage (or time left) to learn more languages. English sometimes acts like a language’s vampire. It would be the same with latin.
      Esperanto is a language friendly to other languages. Inform yourself, please.

    • Martin Lavallée

      We could consider Interlingua as the successor of the international Latin of the Middle Ages. Lumine is light, lumière, luz, but illumination, luminario is everywhere. Digito is finger, doigt, dedo, but digital is everywhere. Lumine and digito are Interlingua words from classical and medieval Latins. A modern Latin for Europe? Ita ad Interlingua!

    • Brian Barker

      I see that Boris Johnson, the London Mayor,

      wants Latin to be taught in all London schools.

      However I would prefer Esperanto on the basis

      that it has great propaedeutic values.

  6. Alex Bell

    The only reason people say No is because it represents big change. It needs to be gradually introduced.

    • XanderLeaDaren

      It already is introduced in school. But look at the money spent: it basically fails…

    • Couturier Dominique

      @Τεπενδρής Πίπης Why not? BUT german is not very easy to learn. I know what I say, I can speak more than 5 languages. I’m French 63 years old. At school, I learnt english and italian (I was not given choice). After that, I learnt by myself a bit of Spanish, and ESPERANTO. And esperanto led me to learn german (I am learning it) and a bit of polish. I am a REAL European, not a US-British European!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Couturier Dominique
      So, basically you know a few Romance languages and 2 Germanic languages (although your English is not too good TBH).

      Spanish and English are WORLD languages – the rest are less significant.

      PS: Esperanto is for Daleks. :)

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Voteaza Basarabie Democratia
      It is an artificial language – it lacks a certain degree of warmness, has no pedigree and very little culture.

    • Neil Blonstein

      Yes, Esperanto

    • Couturier Dominique

      @Tarquin Farquhar: you know NOTHING about esperanto, I guess.
      I do speak it. With only 6 months of learning, I speak it better than english. Esperanto protects diversity, english does not.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Couturier Dominique
      YOU may well be better at Esperanto than English:

      Your first sentence is CLEARLY LOGICALLY INCORRECT.

      Esperanto is too Latin-centric for it to ‘protect diversity’ – whatever that means?!

      STICK to Esperanto!

    • Ŝarl Bodler

      @Tarquin Farquhar

      It would still be better than english which is very english-centric.
      Esperanto is not a national language and for this very reason protect more the diversity of europe than the english langague which favors the english-speaking nations like UK and USA.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ŝarl Bodler
      Esperanto is NOT as diverse as English – Esperanto is too Romance language-based to be considered diverse.

      English is based on MANY diverse and multicultural languages:

      It is the most acquisitive of all languages no matter the source – unlike French which seeks to shoe-horn new words into the existing French language corpus.

      It is the most dynamic of all languages – look at how many new words from all over the world are added annually and compare same with any Romance language or indeed many other languages for that matter.

      It more easily ‘morphs’ itself to accommodate new media like SMS unlike any other language.

      It is bigger than any other EU language.

      Its diversity and specificity means that it is often superior at waxing lyrical or indeed detailing formal representations and articulations [like legal or scientific documents] unlike many other languages.

      Esperanto is a sterile, lifeless and artificial language that should be consigned to the lavatory laboratory.

      After POLITICAL UNION comes LANGUAGE UNION – and English will be the winner; read it, get used to it, get over it.

    • Ŝarl Bodler

      How can you be that arrogant ? Do you know anything about Esperanto ? It is a beautiful language which does not sound lifeless or artificial.

      English is only the third language of EU after French or German. Beside, how the fact that English is more spoken around the world is pertinent ? Using this kind of argument, we would have chosen dollars instead of euro. The goal of the EU construction is to build an INDEPENDENT community and not to be the vassal of the USA.

      If English is used, it has nothing to do with its so-called qualities. It is just because the US is the most powerful country and because UK had huge colonies.

      And to be honest, we have to make a distinction between globish (an awful language with few expressiveness) and English, that very few non-native people are able to speak.

      For this reason, Esperanto being neutral and way more easy and expressive that globish, is a far better choice for Europe.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ŝarl Bodler
      Don’t get emotional, get factual.

      Esperanto is NOT a ‘neutral’ language. You repeatedly refuse to acknowledge the fundamental bias toward Romance languages embodied within the composition of Esperanto – a tad arrogant methinks.

      In your world [a biased, prejudiced and partisan one] English maybe the 3rd language of the EU [LOL!] BUT it is the MOST widely spoken language in the EU, whilst German is the most widely spoken native language in the EU.

      PLEASE try to be objective when debating as you merely reinforce a certain negative stereotype associated with Romance-centric Esperanto zealots.

    • Ŝarl Bodler

      I am factual ! My point is that English is not neutral because it is already the language of some nations. This is a fact. My point is that UK and USA are favored by the use of English. This is also a fact. My point is that using Esperanto, a simple language that anyone can easily learn, is more neutral than English. Still a fact.

      In that sense, Esperanto is way more neutral than English and that is what is important (but if you want I can admit that it is not 100% neutral, but I thought it was obvious). The lack of neutrality is not caused by the vocabulary, but by the fact that some citizen, because of their birth, are fluent when the others had to make huge effort to speak a poor globish. With Esperanto everyone has to make a small effort (compared to the one needed for English). This is fairness.

      > In your world [a biased, prejudiced and partisan one] English maybe the 3rd language of the EU [LOL!]

      Not, once again, that is just a fact. Moreover, the fact that just a minority of EU citizen are able to reach a good level English is also a fact. We can not just forget this majority of citizen. Do we ? EU is far from being a English speaking continent despite the effort to teach everyone English for years and that is the reality.

      I don’t believe in utopia and that is the reason why I don’t believe that everyone in Europe can be fluent in English ; that is also the reason why I believe in Esperanto, which of course is not perfect, but which is a pragmatic solution. Esperanto is way more easy to learn than English for everyone (but the English native).

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ŝarl Bodler
      I’m not too sure that your command of English extends to the ability to discern between the polar opposite words ‘fictional’ and ‘factual’ OR are you saying ‘porkies’ to support your ill-founded assertion?

      On this very page I have cited credible EU data in support of my assertion about the dominance of English in the EU.

      Please kindly, logically, rationally, calmly put-up or shut-up!

      Your over-emotional and poorly constructed support of your Dalek/artificial-language is more ‘Despairanto’ than risible Esperanto.

    • Ŝarl Bodler

      @Tarquin Farquhar

      About dominance of English. I am saying two things that you don’t want to understand. First, the use of English is unfair because it favored UK and USA over the rest of Europe. Second, very few people in Europe are fluent.

      That English is the most learned foreign language don’t change the two previous facts. In the paper you reference to, 38% European (non english native) pretends to be able to hold a conversation in English. But this 38% are not fluent (at least not all of them). How many speak very good ? Just to give you number (from the same paper). Only 25% pretends to be able to follow to be able to follow news on TV. And this is just about pretending. When it comes to languages, people often overestimate them self. How many of them are able to discuss complex political topic with a native speaker ? Even If you add UK and Irish citizen, you won’t have a majority. For a lot of people in Europe, English is a very difficult language to learn. It is that stupid to even consider a simpler solution ?

      I am proposing a solution far more easy to learn, way more fair. Neither English nor Esperanto are perfect, and there are very good reasons to use Esperanto (simplicity, fairness, cost, independence, etc).

      Refusing a solution before even considering it, that is not what I call a rational point of view.

      Asking me to shut up when my previous message was factual and respectful, this is not what I call being calm or kind.

      I know you believe that English will win ; it is not a reason to be disrespectful with people that would prefer an other solution.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ŝarl Bodler
      I am disrespectful to people who wilfully propagate the myth that Latin-based Esperanto is NOT a biased language when in fact it is.

      I could understand your argument if you countered English with Spanish or Chinese but NO you prefer the dulcet tones of a language with less kudos than Klingon.

      Why force >99% of EU citizens to learn Klingon Esperanto when only 49% [and declining] would need to learn English for there to be a common EU Language viz. English.


    • Ŝarl Bodler

      >I am disrespectful to people who wilfully propagate the myth that Latin-based Esperanto is NOT a biased language when in fact it is.

      It is a little biased of course, but Esperanto is already created from a mix from Latin and Germanic (German and English) roots. And because there is already a lot of Latin roots in German and English, it is very easy for an English (or a German) to understand Esperanto.

      But the bias coming from the vocabulary is nothings compare to the bias advantaging the native people. It is not perfect, but it is still way more fair than English. A French guy is not advantages by the use of Esperanto as much as the UK citizen is by the use of English. And for everyone else it is easier to learn.

      > I could understand your argument if you countered English with Spanish or Chinese but NO you prefer the dulcet tones of a language with less kudos than Klingon.

      Esperanto is nothing like Klingon. Language are not somethings magical that gods give us : it is just a tool (a wonderful one) created by the human society to communicate. The fact that Esperanto was initiated by one man (since then, it evolve like any other language) does not mean that Esperanto is not capable to express feelings, poetry, joke, or what so ever. Languages are not magical ! Their is no reason why human can not created some new one (it is not easy of course, but it is possible). Esperanto is the living proof of it. Now explain why one can not express in Esperanto what can be expressed in natural language ? Give me a concrete example, I am curious.

      > Why force >99% of EU citizens to learn Klingon Esperanto when only 49% [and declining] would need to learn English for there to be a common EU Language viz. English.

      First because the prize is not the same. Why asking >49 paying 100€ when >99% could pay 10€ ? And as the future generation does not speak any language yet, we need as well choose the simplest one.
      Beside, when you already speak English, Esperanto is very easy to learn.

      Second, because, the current state is not the only pertinent point when we are looking for a long term solution. As it is very easy to catch up Esperanto when you speak English, we can hope that the transition will not exceed 10 years. It is not stupid to pay more for a more democratic solution.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ŝarl Bodler
      So after several posts you finally CONFIRMED my assertion [that you repeatedly and disingenuously contested] that Esperanto is biased.

      Furthermore, your failure to comprehend basic mathematics is a tad alarming – you deem it better to ‘inconvenience’ the 99% by coercing them to learn English rather than ‘inconvenience’ the 49% to do same – a wee bit totalitarian methinks.

      As regards the expressibility of any language – Klingon is just as expressive as Esperanto. LOL!

      Finally, ?4U, 1DR what is the Esperanto ‘textese’ equivalent of “2 B or not 2B”?

      @TEOTD English has evolved to be THE most dynamic, acquisitive and versatile language – the artificial and culture-less language called Esperanto has little more merit than Klingon or Ido.

      Finally, FAR TOO many criticisms have been levied at Esperanto:


      for it to be considered seriously.


    • Ŝarl Bodler

      @Tarquin Farquhar

      > So after several posts you finally CONFIRMED my assertion [that you repeatedly and disingenuously contested] that Esperanto is biased.

      Did you read what I wrote ? I quote myself

      > It would still be better than english

      Better does not mean perfect.

      > In that sense, Esperanto is way more neutral than English and that is what is important (but if you want I can admit that it is not 100% neutral, but I thought it was obvious).

      My point since the beginning was never that Esperanto is perfect, but that it is way more neutral or fair than English.

      > Furthermore, your failure to comprehend basic mathematics is a tad alarming – you deem it better to ‘inconvenience’ the 99% by coercing them to learn English rather than ‘inconvenience’ the 49% to do same – a wee bit totalitarian methinks.

      No my point was that it is more fair to ask a lot of people to do a small effort (99% learning Esperanto) than asking to less people to make a huge effort (49% learning English). And mathematically, it is coherent.

      > Finally, ?4U, 1DR what is the Esperanto ‘textese’ equivalent of “2 B or not 2B”?

      First, “1DR” is ugly and I had to search it to understand what is mean…
      Seriously, you think that English has a magical properties which make it possible to text with ? “2B aŭ ne 2B” means in Esperanto “Doubt or no doubt” because 2B is pronounced “Dubo”. So you see, you can use this king of writing with Esperanto and with almost all language (invented or not). Natural language are just like Esperanto with respect to this possibility. And seriously, you would have refused Esperanto because you can not text with it ? It is the best you can do ?

      > Finally, FAR TOO many criticisms have been levied at Esperanto:

      Just like English, and yet is does not bother you. And a lot of this criticisms can be use against English (lack of neutrality, difficulty, not gender-neutral, counteracts linguistic diversity). And a lot of this other point are subjective.

      It is clear that you don’t know anything about Esperanto beside what you heard about it.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ŝarl Bodler
      1..You have already admitted that Esperanto is biased and thus based on your own logic it should be discounted [as you have discounted English] from being considered the official language of the EU.

      2…Your totalitarian zealous bias for Klingon Esperanto is nigh-on comedic – pray continue kind knave.

      3…Esperanto is too small a language to qualify it as the sole EU official language.

      4…Esperanto ‘genderises’ inanimate objects [LOL] and thus is too silly to qualify as the sole official EU language.

      5…Esperanto has very little cultural or historical attribution and thus should not qualify as the sole official EU language.

      6…Esperanto lacks the dynamism of English when it comes to ‘textese’ and other tech/advanced spheres of influence and thus should not qualify as the sole official EU language.

      There are 250 million English speakers in the EU and a few thousand Esperanto speakers [TOPS] in the EU and you want the tail to wag the dog – dream on!

      IMHO English may well become the only official EU language and Esperanto will be consigned to the history [or indeed comic] books.

    • Ŝarl Bodler

      @Tarquin Farquhar

      1. Absolutely 100% neutral solution does not exist. Perfection is not from this world. But Esperanto is the best solution we have and is far superior to English, when it comes to fairness and neutrality. Being rational does not mean being binary.

      2. You assume that I am a fanatic from the sect Esperanto. Can it not be possible that I chose Esperanto, rationally after a lot of thinking. Once again we can disagree with respect, without saying that the other one is a fool blinded by his ideology.

      3. Size does not matter. Euro was inexistent before introducing it, and yet, it works. What really matter is the result at long term (10 years from now).

      4. “Esperanto ‘genderises’ inanimate objects” of course it don’t. Stop making up stuff against Esperanto. Esperanto use the very same system than English “li,ŝi,ĝi” instead of “he,she,it”. On the other hand, French genderises inanimate object and it wasn’t a problem (and it still isn’t). So to make it short, this point is both pointless and invented. How can you criticize something you know nothing about ? It feel like ideology more than rationality.

      5. This is not a problem. Europe already has a culture, far more rich than the English and American one. I prefer a solution like Esperanto with no culture rather than trying to replace Europe culture by the english one. Why the hell when I speak with a Italian guy should I use a language tainted with English Culture ?

      A quote that explain in few word the differrence between English and Esperanto : Prof. Humphrey Tonkin of the University of Hartford, said that Esperanto is “culturally neutral by design, as it was intended to be a facilitator between cultures, not to be the carrier of any one national culture”.

      6. False. Esperanto is a very dynamic language. In fact it is one of the most beautiful part of Esperanto : the capability of creating new word from already existing roots, the freedom when it comes to syntax,… There is a lot to say against Esperanto, but this is not a valid point. You are attacking Esperanto on the very point it do better than English.

      Seriously you think that English imposed himself because of it’s linguistic properties ? Look again history, the English Empire and the domination of USA since the end of ww2.

      > Dream one
      Seriously why the aggressiveness ?

    • Ŝarl Bodler

      Why is my last comment (from the 24th) not published yet ?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ŝarl Bodler
      Perhaps your last comment was missing because it was TOO emotional to be acceptable?

      You [incorrectly] complain about my purported aggressiveness and yet your first riposte to me was rather rude – reap what you sow dear chap, reap what you sow.

      1…Your response is illogical.

      2…Your postings confirm your fanatical Esperanto leanings – logic [judging by your previous posts] is OFTEN alien to you.

      3…The Euro does work – BADLY! LOL!

      4…I’ll let you correct the ESPERANTO WIKIPEDIA portal then regarding this issue. LOL!

      5…Your racism knows no bounds – England happens to be in Europe – doh!

      6…Your comment is contradictory.

      ALL in all, you seem hyper-fanatical regarding your incorrect, risible and over-zealous support of the POLITICAL LANGUAGE called Esperanto – you should have learnt Klingon rather than Esperanto – doh!!

    • M. D.

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      I find it fascinating that as soon as you hear the word “Esperanto”, you lose all rationality. Your arguments boil down to LOL, RANDOMLY CAPITALISED WORDS, comparisons with Klingon, a complete refusal to check facts (as proven by your repeated claims that Esperanto is cold or inexpressive) and even outright lies (no, Esperanto doesn’t give genders to inanimate objects). I really wonder where this hostility comes from.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      It appears the rationale for my usage of CAPITALS is lost on you just like the sexist/genderisation problem associated with Esperanto appears to be lost on you.

      FTR lookup the word ‘RIISMO’ for proof about the terrible sexist/genderisation problems [as is common with most Romance languages if not all] associated with Esperanto.

    • Alejandro Carlos

      Why not Esperanto?
      Just practical reasons. There are more tan nine hundred million people who speak Chinese, big advantage, Disadvantage, extremely hard to learn. Presently useful only inside China o to deal with China.

      Spanish, is the language of more than twenty countries with over 400 billion of speakers and a large history in the World arena but most of those countries are heavily dependent on English for political and economic reasons, although they are mostly averse of the idea of English as their language. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_where_Spanish_is_an_official_language

      English on the other hand is spoken in almost every country in the World by at least some of its citizens and it is the oficial language of more than sixty countriesand over twenty non severiegn states. By some estimates there are more than 500 million people who already speak English (by others it is closer to nine hundred).

      A great deal of the World international commerce is transacted in English as well as scientific and social activities.

      Can Esperanto beat that? How many books, scientific papers or simply fashion ads are in Esperanto? How do you say that McDonald´s are bad for you in Esperanto? Or that Spanish Serrano ham and Manchego cheese are fantastic with french bread and Chilean wine?

    • Alejandro Carlos

      “No my point was that it is more fair to ask a lot of people to do a small effort (99% learning Esperanto) than asking to less people to make a huge effort (49% learning English). And mathematically, it is coherent”

      Not really, no. I don’t know were learned Math but anyhow you are not using the correct numbers. Not only the 99% will have to be inconvenience into learning a language that is more dead that Latin (I think there are still more priests that speak Latin than speakers of Esperanto) they will be asked to through away everything they already accomplished and have.

      Also, and it would be funny if it weren’t so biased, you contradict yourself constantly. How can you speak of linguistic diversity and in the same sentence postulate we all should adopt Esperanto. It does not matter which language become the World language, once we have one it will be to the detriment of all other languages and Cultures. It is unavoidable in the long run. The longer we have one language the less we will need the others, otherwise what will be the reason to adopt one in the first place. But additionally, those of you who advocate fairness and equality and justice should be the first to understand that the World will be a fair, egalitarian (definition: of, relating to, or upholding the doctrine of the equality of mankind and the desirability of political, social, and economic equality) and just only when all the citizens of the World have the same rights and obligations. And for that we will have to get rid of all the differences, including Cultural and linguistic differences, not only social, political and economic.

      The truth of the matter is that adopting Esperanto will affect detrimentally all other languages and Cultures the same as adopting English or any other language, the only difference is that it doesn’t provide any additional benefits. Not economic, nor social, nor cultural, nor political and of course not linguistic. At least not linguistic diversity. And if you really want to understand what we have been talking about, ask your accountant! He can do the Math for you, seeing that you appear to be Math challenged.

    • Alejandro Carlos

      And Bodler, “Beside, when you already speak English, Esperanto is very easy to learn”. Really? When you already speak English you don’t worry about Esperanto, that is if you know of its existence. It means that you can work, save and when you go on vacation, as many European appear to enjoy, you can read the tourist signs in other countries. Try that with Esperanto.

    • Alex Escomu FB

      Alejandro… Stop commenting please… You are complaining about Esperanto with such a lack of data and knowledge. We all better stop answering you… You are just trolling around now, you’ve made up your mind long ago and it’s locked up to any argumentation. Keep English. I’ll keep English, Esperanto (French, Spanish, Chinese and German)

    • Aaron Irvine

      Alejandro writes “How can you speak of linguistic diversity and in the same sentence postulate we all should adopt Esperanto”. A good point and worth addressing. Esperanto speakers often talk of the importance of protecting and encouraging linguistic diversity, and yet at the same time the need for quality international communication. How can Esperanto deliver both? As well as its propaedeutic effect (clarity of concepts, early success/motivation, etc), there is the simple fact that Esperanto is easier and can be learned quicker so that time is freed up for the learning of other languages. Easy → time → diversity.

    • Edward Krantz

      Doesn’t the EU have highly train interpreters? From what I gather these are people who spend YEARS training to perfect their craft, and they are culturally sensitive as well. The post that started this thread indicates that 40% of Europe speaks English. That is simply NOT TRUE. Just because you can ask for coffee, the newspaper, or barely follow a television program in English, does not mean you are ready to go toe-to-toe with the likes of David Cameron, who not only a brilliant public speaker, but is also very agile on his feet. Debating highly sensitive issues that effect millions of Europeans is not a game. Some, who claim they speak fluent English have accents so thick that you can’t even understand them, and then syntactically, they don’t always make sense. So, for clarity and precision, everyone should speak their own language, and let the interpreters worry about the headache. These politicians have enough on their plates, without now having to take language classes.

    • Alejandro Carlos

      Irvine, who would go to the trouble of learning a “Universal Language” that will serve them to communicate with all the people of the world, regardles their original language because it will give them more time to learn another language. Doesn’t it sound a little silly?

    • Alejandro Carlos

      Alex Escomu: “Alejandro… Stop commenting please…” Telling that to any person commenting in a public forum like this one is bad manners and undemocratic and many people with shout “Bully”. But I am not going to be offended, I just interprete it as you acceptance that your arguments don’t hold too much water. But then again that is what I have been saying for a while. Esperanto doesn’t stand the chance of a snow ball in Hell at noon in a summer day. But don’t worry I forgive you your trespasses as mine have been forgiven before. Anyhow, as always, it is very dificult to debate with fanatics. But be at peace, I will not try to learn Esperanto.

    • Alex Escomu FB

      Alejandro, I repeat it’s better you stop commenting on Esperanto if you don’t have any idea of it. You are indeed showing thst with such “arguments” in so many replies. No arguments at all… It’s only your opinion based on ignorance and proud. You’ve never spoken Esperanto, you’ve never listened to songs (as you say “is ther jazz or Bosa…”), maybe, just maybe you have read for one minute the Esperanto article on wikipedia and still believe you know everything you need to know to compare English with Esperanto. Do you want me to test your knowledge of Esperanto as a whole? Would you take the test?

      You are mainly just telling stupid “arguments” (your last one was Claude piron, his essays as a holy bible [just because someone said “I have never seen anybody make a serious effort to rebut his arguments “… And that’s your argument against o.O … Mocking], and hence Esperanto as a religion with fanatics… To sum up: Great “arguments”).

      If i’d ask you about… Mandarin language and how difficult could it be for me to learn it and you only know it’s a Chinese language… Shouldn’t a humble person admit he really can’t state an opinion about it and he can’t really help? And then wouldn’t it be wiser to remain silent instead of just saying words based on ignorance about the topic you are discussing about?

      You know Umberto Eco? He stated once Esperanto was a bad idea because he was an ignorant as you (and me 4 years ago) about that topic. He then decided to analyse it (you probably won’t as you just said “I will not try to learn Esperanto”) and finally stated the opposite.

      Rectificar es de sabios.

    • Aaron Irvine

      The time freed to learn another subject (which could be another language) is an important point. The percentage of people that use that time to learn another language will help linguistic diversity, and will be motivated by different reasons, for example to learn a local minority or sign language, or their family language, or especially the language of a (neighbouring) country that they may wish to move to (EU’s movement of people principle).

    • Alejandro Carlos

      Escomu. Rectificar es de Sabios. Very well said and you should follow your own advice. I dare you to read through this forum and find any real argument in favor of Esperanto. It have just been said that Esperanto is much easier that English and that it will contritube to linguistic diversity. That’s it. No numerical data in how much better it will be than any other language, not just English.

      I don’t need to know Esperanto to know it is not a good choise as a lingua franca. Just as I don’t know many other other languages, that by the way you don’t know either, and still you and I both dismiss them as lacking benefits to be the World lingua franca. Many of them are spoken by a larger number of native speakers, which Esperanto have no even one. Esperanto is a second language for all the people who speaks it. However, Konkani has more than seven million native speakers and nobody is rooting for it. Don’t you think it will be more fair if we use a real language, with real history, real culture and real native speakers. Furthermore, Americans and Brits will not benefit from such a selection. But no, there is no economic, financial or social advantage of choosing Konkani and neither in choosing Esperanto. And that is why I compare the following of Esperanto to a religion, you don’t have a leg to stand on but still you want everybody to follow your unproved and unprovable assertions, on faith.

      And look at all I have to say without having to call you stupid. Not that I couldn’t, shouldn’t or wanted but I am not going to lower myself to your underground level.

    • Seán Ó Riain

      Alejandro: ” It have just been said…..a good choise … Esperanto have no even one. Esperanto is a second language for all the people who speaks it.” Not so, Sir! I have native speakers of Esperanto among my friends. One of them was German ambassador to NATO in Brussels, and then German ambassador to Russia. But, according to you, he does not exist! I must tell him this when I meet him next month – Esperanto has been in use as one of his family languages for five generations….his father never spoke any other language to him, but he is now fluent in Russian, Arabic and Portuguese, as well as English, French and German,of course…..Ulrich is living proof of how effective Esperanto is a a base for subsequent language learning. And there are many more concrete examples.

    • Alex Escomu FB

      Alejandro… You are still showing your ignorance. When debating you have to come prepared with knowledge about the topics you are discussing about! You still have no knowledge enough about Esperanto and that’s why you are wasting my time. You’d better check facts you make up. A debate with you about Esperanto VS English would be nice if you had studied both well enough to know the ins and outs.

      You said
      “…native speakers, which Esperanto have no even one” will you now
      say that was irony again? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Esperanto_speakers

      I see you don’t get that any national/ethnic language can’t be the easiest and most culturally neutral for everybody comparing with Esperanto.

      Here’s a report that was deleted (I wonder why… [Irony]) on the English wikipedia. What is better for Europe in economic terms? Only-English, Esperanto, or multilinguism?

      Alejandro, even if you know you know nothing about Esperanto, I bet you would list 10 reasons why Esperanto might be inappropriate as an international language (while English is not). Check your facts if you finally do, don’t invent them as usually here.

      Here you have the vice versa listed by a polyglot:

      “1. Esperanto is artificial

      You may wonder why I put this down as an advantage for Esperanto, but think of it this way: Esperanto is an artificial language in the same way that a car is an artificial horse. Now I love horses, they are beautiful, but they would not be my first choice if my purpose was to get somewhere fast. (If my purpose was to have a fun afternoon, my choice would be different.)

      Cars were designed to be fast. Esperanto was designed to be fast to learn and people generally report being able to learn Esperanto at least 5 times faster than another European language. Asians in particular have told me that they have spent 10+ years learning English without getting anywhere and they’re fluent in Esperanto after one year. Artificial is good. No non-artificial language can be as easy as Esperanto. English certainly isn’t.

      2. English has not achieved worldwide domination

      … and at this point it is doubtful it ever will. Even the most optimistic estimates say that 1 billion people worldwide can speak English. 1 billion is a lot, but it also means that 6 billion people cannot speak English on any level, despite investments in the billions of dollars, despite usually getting at least 5 years of English classes at school, despite English being important for their career, despite the influences of colonialism, Hollywood, the Pax Americana and the internet… let’s face it: at least 70% of people worldwide are permanently excluded from advancement and the global conversation because English is too hard.

      Now you could turn this argument around and say Esperanto hasn’t achieved worldwide domination, but it was never given even a fraction of the chance that English got. Wherever Esperanto was tried at schools for example, the experiment was a huge success. UNESCO and its predecessors have recognized that teaching Esperanto at schools worldwide would be the ideal. Read up on “Propaedeutic effect of Esperanto” and the Springboard to Languages program that is currently running in the UK. I regularly talk to Chinese people, Japanese, Brazilians, Iranians, Israelis, Ukrainians, Togolese and Tanzanians in Esperanto.

      3. Esperanto is a non-native language

      Hardly anyone speaks Esperanto as a native language and Esperanto is not meant to be spoken as a native language, only as a first foreign language. This is what it has been designed for, after all. This design directly translates into Esperanto being easier to speak, because
      a) You don’t have to worry about your accent much, almost everyone has an accent and people are used to it
      b) There are much fewer idioms and references
      c) “We don’t say it like that” is no excuse – everything that is grammatically correct is also correct to say (in natural languages there is a HUGE difference)
      d) No irregularities creep into the language
      e) The literary ideal (la bona lingvo) is to use learner-friendly words and use affixes for power, rather than digging up obscure vocabulary

      4. Esperanto is neutral

      Since Esperanto strives to be people’s first foreign language, that means that it puts everyone on the same level – if Arabs and Israelis meet through the medium of Esperanto, as is happening on a small scale already, they will be meeting each other half-way, having each invested a bit of effort. Same for Americans and Russians. Neither has the advantage of being able to talk the other against a wall. It’s a different atmosphere when people meet on equal terms like this. Some describe Esperanto as a linguistic handshake.

      5. Esperanto does not endanger smaller languages

      All major world languages – especially English, but also Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Russian, French and so on – have been and are being promoted at the expense of smaller languages. At this rate, 90% of the world’s languages will be extinct by 2050. Cultures, oral history, poetry, stories, ways of seeing the world and indigenous knowledge of the healing powers of local herbs etc. are lost at the same time. It is a huge-scale tragedy that most people aren’t even aware of.

      Wide-spread use of Esperanto would allow people to keep their diverse native languages without losing economic opportunities. Already now, the World Esperanto Association and various regional Esperanto associations and foundations are the biggest defenders of language diversity and the rights of minority language speakers at the United Nations, UNESCO, EU, Council of Europe and other international organizations. Last year I joined the External Relations group of the World Esperanto Youth Organization and I have already seen / participated in their work for minority languages at various international conferences.

      6. Esperanto would save everyone a lot of money or time.

      International organizations would benefit tremendously. The European Union currently spends ca. 50 billion Euro per year on translations. Other international organizations have the same problem – while also treating non-English speakers and non-English NGOs as second-class. UNESCO doesn’t even consider project proposals written in Spanish, and that’s one of their official working languages. This is how we have so many European NGOs helping around the world – local-led NGOs, who could provide cheaper and more meaningful help, aren’t even worth a glance.

      It’s not just international organizations that would benefit though. More than 6 billion people would. As a non-native, instead of spending 5-10 years of your life (and likely a lot of money, unless you live in Europe) mastering English, you could spend 1-2 years mastering Esperanto and use the remaining 4-8 years for a project that is dear to your heart. Maybe learning another language, maybe doing a MA, maybe founding your own company, who knows. It’s a lot of extra time. Thinking of the 6.5 billion people worldwide who do not speak English as their native language, it’s staggering what we could achieve by collectively saving this much time. To me, it feels like a crime that we don’t.”

    • Alejandro Carlos

      My point simply is: How many people are presently actively learning Esperanto?

      Even Chinese has a very strong possibility of becoming the World Language before Esperanto is even considered. The economic advantages of learning Chinese are so much greater than that of Esperanto they don’t really need to much explaining to anybody except Esperanto diehards. The same goes for German, Spanish, Russian and of course the one with the greater benefits, English. And nobody is rooting for any of them to become the one language. Not even for English that has more detractor and hater than supporters. Nevertheless, English has become the most spoken foreign language, and the language representing the greatest economic, cultural and financial influence in the World today, Whether we like it or not, that is a fact.

      How many people are actively learning Esperanto nowadays? How much economic, cultural and financial influence does Esperanto have? If you have better statistics that say otherwise you can post them here.

      I don’t know much about Esperanto, that is a fact. I came across Esperanto when I was a young idealistic university student in the early seventies. I met the activists and advocates, I started leaning the language and found it unappealing, so I dismissed it as something of not much practical value at the time. That doesn’t say that it is a bad language, it only says I wasn’t interested. Today, after serious consideration I still dismiss it for its lack of practical value and its irrelevancy. That still doesn’t say it is a bad language. That is just my opinion. That said let me say that if after 120 years of very active advocacy the Esperanto movement has been able to grow to about 3 million speakers, most of them as a second language (I am going to accept your definition of native speaker, although I don’t agree with it because the number of native speakers so defined are still irrelevant to this case) and with doubtful professional proficiency then your movement is doomed to failure. More people learn several other languages as a second language than Esperanto every day. That is also a fact.

      This is a debate between a religious fanatic and an atheist (me). Undoubtedly we are not going to reach an agreement. So I will be the bigger man, I am bowing out of the discussion. You win. Esperanto is the best language there is. And yes you can continue to call me stupid and any other things you feel like calling me. I refuse to do the same.

    • Alex Escomu FB

      Alejandro, who call you stupid? I said a lot of your arguments because of simply ignorance are stupid, not you. You’ve said a lot of nonsenes and we’ve been showing you were wrong because you easily made facts up. Now you said “This is a debate between a religious fanatic and an atheist (me)”. Well , I wonder why I’m the fanatic in your comparison… (What a nice and polite adjective when debating)

      Yeah, if you don’t believe humanity tends choosing finally the most democratic and efficient alternative, then you are right, Esperanto will never be learned massively but only the big languages.

      I personally have faith in humanity. Big changes never come as fast as we would like, but they undoubtly come and many did come…

      Hindoarabic cypher, slavery abolition, phone, metric system, democracy, peace, equal rights, internet, no starving, etc.

      Big changes need time and nowadays many of the listed ones are lacking in many homes.

      People with a long-term vision and will to change the world for the better will help, other people will be undifferent and just waiting, the others will try to hinder the first group because of short-term pragmatism or any other reasons.

    • Christa H.

      @Alejandro Carlos

      >How do you say that McDonald´s are bad for you in Esperanto?

      As Humpty Dumpty would say, couldn’t you ask a harder riddle than that? :-D
      “Manĝaĵoj de McDonald’s malsanigas.”

      >Or that Spanish Serrano ham and Manchego cheese are fantastic with french bread and Chilean wine?”

      Another easy question.
      “Hispana serana ŝinko kaj manĉa fromaĝo estas bongustegaj kun franca pano kaj ĉilia vino!”

      What do you think this is, Toki Pona or something?

    • Christa H.

      >“Manĝaĵoj de McDonald’s malsanigas.”

      Or, to be more precise and long-winded:
      “Manĝaĵoj de McDonald’s estas malbonaj por la sano.”

    • XanderLeaDaren

      As a matter of fact, it seems to me as the obvious choice! I speak everyday with people around the globe (mails, social networks, …) and think we should have such an easy-to-master-till-effectiveness common language!

  7. Ingo Vonsundahl

    Who is is asking questions like this one and is being paid for it? THis is one of the real European problems, not the amount of languages which is a reality.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      German?! Besides Europe, what continents does the German language feature as an official language.

      I’m sorry old chap, but the word DUMMKOPF seems most apposite at this juncture.

      English is spoken as an official language on EVERY continent – French and Spanish are NOT.

      FYI: Don’t get emotional, get FACTUAL!

    • Babelfish

      Tarquin, French and Spanish are present in the five continents. Spanish is spoken in Western Sahara and Equatorial Guinea in Africa, Easter Island in Oceania and Philipines in Asia.

      French is an official languages in most afican countries, Quebec, Haiti, Guyana,… in America, New Caledonia or French Polinesia in Oceania and Vietnam or Cambodia (members of the francophonie) in Asia.

      Europe has a huge treasure: language diversity, even though narrow-minded people still see is as a problem. There’s not a global language but different linguistic areas with a “de facto” lingua franca. It can be chinese, russian, french,… A language doesn’t need to be spoken in all five continents in order to be “important”, but to serve as a lingua franca in its area. That’s the reason why chinese, russian or arab are work languages at the UN.

      Secondly: even if we have an official language in Europe it would not improve the flexibility of the world market. If you want to work in Spain you need to know spanish, that’s the fact. If you want to work in Greece it will be the same. Locals will still speak their languages and if you want to be, let’s say, a doctor in Athens, you will need to speak greek. The same if you want to be a veterinary, a teacher (except of english teachers but they can do it right now without an official language), a policeman,…

      Obviously in some fields foreigners might work without knowing the countrie’s language, as in international trade, science,… however this is happening right now, whitout the need of an official language.

      Also we may consider that with a language you learn also the culture. It would be quite dangerous if we neglect the culture of non-english speaking countries. If you want lo work and live in Latvia, or in Finland, excepting some fields I already mention, you should at least show interest in the locals language and culture. Nobody will consider to go to Brazil or to Japan or to China and integrate into the local community without knowing the language evene if it’s not a must to work in there, the same applies in european countries.

      So i find the idea of an official language unnecesary, discriminatory and not useful at all.

    • Jen

      You’ve got my vote :)

  8. Chams Luna

    NON et non ! Une des raisons, et elles sont nombreuses, c’est que l’UK est le pays le plus anti EU ! et qui, jusqu’ maintenant, n’adopte mme pas l’euro…..! Soyez un peu logique pour une fois: Merci

    • Brian Hallas

      Ok Ok. But ‘English’ is only the bastardised language that it is thanks to you Europeans [Yes, you French and your Normans too!] constantly invading our shores and adding to its flavour. What is English compared to other languages even? Perhaps, the bastard son who was cast adrift and used his own ingenuity to come back stronger than ever. Throw in the fact that when Europeans settled Northern America it was not a choice but natural selection that brought the language to the level that would have such international consequences today. Well, there is surely a case to say that as far Europe goes, this article and your response Chams; English was created by the Europeans anyway so why start looking at it [and us] as self-righteous imposers upon our European fellows and their languages when you all contributed to the cause in the first place; it’s your language too!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Brian Hallas
      An insightful exposition exemplifying absolute verisimilitude.


    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Chams Luna
      Sacre bleu!

      Remember, after POLITICAL UNION, there follows LANGUAGE UNION and the language is ENGLISH – French is too small a language in terms of demography, geography and vocabulary to compete with English; PLUS, French gender-ises almost ALL inanimate objects.


      You will have to be satisfied with the thousands of French words that are now subsumed within the humongous. multicultural, diverse and vibrant English language.

      C’est la vie mon,ma, mes my friend.

  9. Maria Benjumea

    Yes. Translation among 24 languages cost us millions and provokes serious misunderstanding

    • Philippa Burton

      As an interpreter my work is iscreasingly about: first trying to understand what a non native speaker is saying in English, and in second place thinking about how to say it in French. And I’m slightly more impartial than my profession may suggest as I will easily reach the end of my working life before English becomes the official language of Europe. Besides you will first have to put down a series of revolutions against any government that tries to enforce this. My experience is that people are very attached to their mother tongue.

    • Couturier Dominique

      C’est faux. Lisez Michele Gazzola, Camille de Toledo etc.

    • Chalks Corriette

      I do not think any governemnt can do anything about the rise in the use of English. I deal with many youth groups around the world on projects, and the only common language we have to get things done together, is English. What is important also in this regard, is to see how well the youth read, speak and write in English. They do all speak every day thier national langauge and many do speak one other language, especially due to the many cross cultural marriages these days. In my own family; we are British, French West Indies and Japaneese, also speaking some Dutch and Itallian…. English will continue to grow in use around the world and it would be better to be prepared for this now; and instill in people the need for us all the learn as many langauges as we can. The cultural experience of speaking another language is fantastic and not to be missed…..

  10. Ivan Vikalo

    not the only official language, but rather a vehicular language in Europe, and English is the only logical one to use. See, english became a very big EU language only when Scandinavia joined, and many others first learn english. But of course, all other languages should have the status of official languages :)

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Florin Holban
      For the benefit of humanity ALL europeans should learn English (the Germanic champion), Spanish (the Romance champion) and Mandarin (the Chinese champion).

      By doing so, all EU citizens would end up being the MOST communicative in the WORLD – a distinct cultural and business advantage.

  11. Florin Holban

    bad idea. i love english but it already has it’s place as a working language. as do german and french. that is good. it should stay like that. nationality in europe is an unsurmountable issue, and people IT IS NOT A BAD THING! let us agree to work in english, french or geman; let us agree to speak the language of the land; let us agree to cultivate our own language! it is a functional compromise. three languages is already an intellectual challenge and this is good too, it helps enhance brain activity. it isn’t broken; don’t fix it.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Florin Holban
      For the benefit of humanity ALL europeans should learn English (the Germanic champion), Spanish (the Romance champion) and Mandarin (the Chinese champion).

      By doing so, all EU citizens would end up being the MOST communicative in the WORLD – a distinct cultural and business advantage.

  12. Rene Birger Pedersen

    It should be a requirement that all EU citizens shall learn 2-3 languages and it will also give them more knowleges.

    • Petko Kirilov

      KnowledgeS? Well, according to the English grammar you’re English is rubbish. How about everyone doing an intensive year in Esperanto and then they can try (and fail) learning other languages as much as they want.

    • Petko Kirilov

      With this comment of mine I might not convince everybody but I am sure that at least the computer nerds would get a pretty good idea of what I am trying to say.

      Please allow me to compare two things that everyone have experienced in their lives but might be unaware of the existence of alternatives. Just like we all here can speak at least one language (or more, for those who happened to have been born off the British shores), we all have used some sort of an operating system on our computers (unless you send your posts to a friend of yours attached to a pigeon’s leg and then he types it in for you). However, what operating system is it? Let me guess. Just like the 99% of the Europeans who don’t speak Esperanto or haven’t heard of it, in the same manner, they are using Windows or Mac, and not Linux. But why is that? Is it because the OS X is damn cheap or Windows OS is virus-resistant? No. Sadly, you are all victims to the media hype created by the huge corporations. ‘Our products are the most widely-used’ they say (or was it most widely-spoken). ‘Our interface is very sleek’ (or was it the sounds of English were very refined).

      Of course what they wouldn’t tell you is that both of them are very high maintenance. For example, no one would mention that you can download Lubuntu (or any other Linux distro) for free from the internet (like lernu.net) instead of paying at least £100 for Windows or £330 for a IELTS test which will expire in a year time, not to mention the amount of money you will have spent to achieve any level to sit the test in the first place. Or maybe the fact that you need some 3GB RAM Memory to run Windows whereas 300MB would be enough for Lubuntu. Because you need a lot of time and memory to learn all that kinky spelling the English-speaking children learn for two years as opposed to one term in a Bulgarian school.

      But of course they won’t tell you this. Because they are big. Because they control the internet like America controls the media. Why would CNN, BBC, DW, France24 or EuroNews have an Esperanto edition? Because this would be tantamount to telling your customers in an Apple Store that Lenovo running Android is actually faster.

      Sadly, not many Europeans are switched on to wake up and realise the thick blanket thrown over their eyes overcasting their eagerness for contact with the rest of Europe. Now hush dear European fellows and sleep well, because tomorrow you will have a long day learning the millions of words that even many English folks don’t understand, let alone pronounce with their broad accents.

  13. Breogán Costa

    in any case, there should be, at least, an official language that everybody should also study

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Paulo Calcada
      Spanish, maybe BUT it lacks business, technical and academic credentials compared to English.

  14. John Eonas

    Europe needs one language to truly be connected. What that language should be. Should be voted on soon.

    • Seán Ó Riain

      People need to be educated before voting. Most people either have no idea about Esperanto, or they have prejudiced views which are demonstrably false. First an EU-wide information campaign, then a vote.

  15. David Alan Roden

    Ideally a non cultural language like Esperanto should be the official second and eu operational language. Then nobody could complain. But then nobody outside the eu could easily communicate with us. The reality is that English is the worlds language, despite the best efforts of the french.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @David Alan Roden

      Esperanto is to language as an artificial neuron is to a human brain – functionally equivalent BUT lacking HUMANITY, DEPTH, HISTORY and EPIGENETICS!

    • Nyegosh Dube

      @Tarquin Farquhar

      Esperanto is indeed the best solution for Europe and you’re wrong about it lacking humanity, etc. It has brought people together across national and language barriers for over 125 years, has a rich literature both original and translated, and has a history, though of course shorter than English or other national languages. (But Modern Hebrew also dates back only to the late 19th century. It’s in fact a planned language, no less than Esperanto.) Esperanto is a proven communication tool – I have used it over several decades with many people for conversations on all sorts of subjects. As far as being artificial, so is electric light, but I’m sure you use it everyday! Light is light, language is language. Esperanto works just fine and is much easier to learn than national or ethnic languages.

    • Couturier Dominique

      @ Tarquin Farquhar : Do you really beleive ALL the hoaxes you’re told? Did you ever hear of Socrates and Platon, and the Allegory of the Cave? The guy who never saw the day light thinks that the shadows on the wall are the reallity.
      If someone says to you that pigs can fly or earth is flat, will you beleive that?
      I can speak more than 5 languages, and in my opinion, esperanto is better than english for international communication.
      The problem with people who support english, is that very often they are so proud to speak the dominant language, that they do not want concurrence. Perhaps they are right to fear that: if esperanto and english were put on concurrence, I guess that after 25 years, esperanto would win.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Couturier Dominique
      Please try not to be TOO emotional – is it any wonder that countries based upon and dominated by Romance languages tend to NOT do well in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index top 20!

      FYI: I got the cited language statistics from the EU:


      go argue with them about the veracity of same if you do not agree with their statistics.

      My point still stands re Esperanto – its fundamental basis was the Latin/Romance languages ergo it is biased against English or indeed ALL Germanic languages, African languages, Oriental languages etc etc

      With POLITICAL UNION comes LANGUAGE UNION and that Language will be English – dominant in Europe, dominant in Africa, dominant in N. America, dominant in Australasia…

      Stop being so emotional, get with the programme, calm down and practice your English language skills.

      Adieu. :)

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Nyegosh Dube
      I use artificial light everyday BUT when available I’d much rather prefer NATURAL daylight.

      As regards your rich literature comment about Esperanto… LOL!

      English is a broad, multicultural, diverse and acquisitive language, Esperanto is for Daleks!

  16. Paul X

    Yes, it is already the accepted language for business. This is because the business world sees the common sense in using one language where as the EU spends most of its time pandering to the petty ego’s of member countries

    And while were at why don’t we save the taxpayers shed loads of money and have only one location for the EU parliament to meet……oh wait, we cant because we are pandering to the ego of the French who insist on it shifting from Brussels to Strasbourg every so often

    “Common Sense” and “EU” are two things you will never see in the same sentence

    • Brian Hallas


    • Yvetta

      I agree with this comment. I know people that work for the EU and every week they go to Strasbourg for 2 days. Who is paying for that and why is it necessary. The EU makes no sense because individual countries will not surrender their egos.
      To people that talk about loss of identity: you are aware that the overwhelming majority of European peoples (and beyond) are of the same descent and were once one and the same people speaking the same language? And that “once” is not really that far back?
      I don’t think that people are ready yet for one language but the situation should be left to develop naturally and eventually switch to one language in future.

  17. Matt Dovey

    Don’t really care what language they choose. English is the only language I’ll be using

  18. Dimitris Paschalidis-Valof

    English speakers are a minority in the European union so ot would be very undemocratic towards the Latin family (Italian, French, Spanish, Romanian and Portuguese) languages and then there is the Germanic family so think again.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Dimitris Paschalidis-Valof
      FYI – English is the MOST multicultural of ALL languages it borrows from Latin, French, German, Gaelic, Scandinavian and of course ‘olde’ English. It is also the largest and most comprehensive of the languages you cited.

      BTW, English is a GERMANIC language.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Dimitris Paschalidis-Valof
      English is the ONLY EU language that has a Language majority within the EU when native and second language speakers are combined in total.

      Check out the EU document URL below for proof:


      Remember, with greater POLITICAL UNION comes LANGUAGE UNION and the language of choice, of aspiration, of creativity, of excellence will in all likelihood be English – probably! ;)

  19. Paulo Cardoso

    Yes, English is perfect for the EU, especially when they are strongly debating leaving the EU. Common sense please.

  20. Tiago Miranda

    I expect that {British} English could be the official operational language in EU operations of the Parliament, Court and Central Bank, while keeping all other languages official cultural languages of the EU. I can say by experience that the real time translation of speech in the parliament works well, but it’s always good to work under a single language to avoid translation redundancies and, in consequence, misunderstandings.

  21. catherine benning

    English is the world language and when mastered to its full it is the most communicative. French and Italian languages are far more beautiful that English, but, the necessity for total understanding in legal and other matters is more important. However, all languages are important and we should collectively be bilingual. How dreadful the Opera is sung in modern English for example. Only one language would make the planet as dull as dishwater.

    Personally I love all European languages, they are so revealing which tells of our tribal connection throughout the continent. Starting with Greek and Latin of course.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Catherine Benning
      Don’t forget the influence of Sanskrit on Greek BTW.

      After all, all European languages fall under the INDO-European branch of the linguistic origins tree.

    • Garikoitz Knörr

      @Tarquin Farquhar said: “After all, all European languages fall under the INDO-European branch of the linguistic origins tree.”

      That is simply NOT TRUE.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Garikoitz Knörr
      Sorry old chap, you may well be correct BUT I am NOT prepared to accept your assertion UNTIL you provide some evidence – which I’m sure you can…

    • orthohawk

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      Basque? Finnish? Hungarian? Estonian? Saami? Maltese? You have a very strange view of what is a European language……..

    • George

      I thought that “the influence of Sanskrit on Greek” was a very funny statement.

  22. Louise Borg

    Well if English becomes the official language than you have to make sure that ALL MEPs and all delegates etc have a good command of the language which is certainly not the case. Unfortunately, many speakers think that everyone is understanding their English, when in reality it sounds like anything but English!

    • Marcos Dominguez

      See? English is very problematic and very unfriendly language. Motion dismissed

  23. Natasha Pikoul

    But seriously, since EU is already US’ poodle, that would be the next logical step towards losing European identity. Very sad if that happens.

    • Paul X

      Considering English is a European language it’s hardly a loss of European identity

      But as you suggest. lets make it Hungarian……It will be a pain in the ass for the millions of EU citizens who don’t speak Hungarian but at least it will be one in the eye for the US and after all, that’s what the EU is all about for some people

  24. Carmen Hill

    Absolutely NO.
    It’s not so difficult to speak french, english,spanish or german. Everyone can speak his own language and learn one or two european languages (basic or medium level).

    And in the Parliament, the politians should speak very well, at least, a foreign language and understand more than one.

    I have friends who speak many different languages and they don’t have as many responsabilities as politicians… So, i’m not asking something impossible.

  25. Nando Aidos

    Yes! I do not particularly care whether it is English or some other language, but let us not complicate this world any further and create another Babel Tower by multiplying official languages! PLEASE!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Nando Aidos
      WELL said!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Nathan Cornfield
      Yes, said epigram was always oxymoronic.

  26. Christos Mouzeviris

    For administrative reasons yes.. It is too expensive to translate tons of legislation in all languages. But all languages should remain EU official languages for anything else! United in diversity remember?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Christos Mouzeviris
      I’m a believer in an extended ‘Sapir-Whorf’ hypothesis.

      Certain languages [at least according to TI] engender and foster corruption. The EU should try to keep away from such languages methinks.

  27. Shaun Daley

    English is the obvious working language for all EU institutions: http://www.vox.com/2014/6/11/5799678/map-where-europeans-speak-english But every state language (and large minority languages) should have official status, with important documents and laws should continue to be translated into all state languages (if translation into so many languages is ever perceived as a problem, that should be an indication that too much legislation is being produced).

  28. ironworker

    Should English be the only official language of the EU ?

    Alternatives being ? Until a better solution we all will sound like Indian actors in a Bollywood production. Hindi sprinkled with american expressions. Funny, but it reminds me of Steve Martin playing a french detective being taught on how to pronounce “Hamburger”.

  29. Derek Warby

    “Official” does not mean “compulsory”. English would be a “lingua franca” as a common second language (not instead of local languages), allowing people throughout the EU to converse freely, no matter what their derivation.
    Interesting that the Hungarians seem to be the worst at speaking another language, given that their own tongue is one of the most impenetrable on the continent. Strange, I thought most Hungarians had a working knowledge of German.

  30. Tamás Heizler

    I think English should become the second official language of all the EU countries. We should teach all the children English as a second/third language. And everything should be written in local language + English. And administration should be done also in English everywhere in the EU.
    What I see is that my foreign friends here in Budapest always need help, as administrators in banks and bureaus don’t usually speak English.
    And that’s the case everywhere else… It was really hard for me to buy a train ticket in Varna, Bulgaria.

  31. Debby Teusink

    ..In die Union natrlich, da draussen wird russisch am meisten als erste Sprache in Europa gesprochen aber in unsere Union ist deutsch die mit fast 100 milion die grste.

  32. Ioan Dumitru

    the british monarchy is very near to become the same toxic as stalinist dictatorships … I strong warn all states of the world to serious protect intern data from London access, and for diplomatic obligations, do a controlled falsify of exchange data with London, about any detail of your citizens and your internal state data

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Ioan Dumitru
      How are you aware of such sensitive information?

  33. Louise Borg

    If English is accepted as the official EU language, 27 Member States would be giving up their sovereignty – why should any country accept the English version of acts of legislation as the official version when national courts all function in their own language (rightly so too). What’s this erroneous illusion that all Europeans speak/understand English?!

    • Gavin Crowley

      25 and counting

  34. Slavey Tolev

    No, not at all… Cultural and linguistic diversity is what what makes the EU unique

    • Marcos Dominguez

      Te has equivocado de debate, cerebro

  35. Tamás Heizler

    The reason why Hungary has the worst percentage (65%) of people not speaking any foreign languages:

    *Spain: There are Catalonians, Galicians, Basques who speak their own language together with Spanish
    *Germany: There are lots of Turkish and other immigrant people who speak their own languages as well
    *France and UK: Also lots of immigrants speaking their own languages
    *Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Bulgaria: Their old people speak Russian
    *Slovakia: There are 500 000 (10%) ethnic Hungarians who speak Slovakian and Hungarian as well (they’re most probably counted as “Slovakians who speak a foreign language: Hungarian”), and in addition: Slovakians already speak Czech as well…
    *Romania: There are 1 400 000 ethnic Hungarians who speak Romanian and Hungarian as well (they’re most probably counted as “Romanians who speak a foreign language: Hungarian”)
    *Slovenia and Croatia: Their old people speak Serbian because of Yugoslavia and because of their languages are close

    In Hungary there are no major immigrant communities, neither major minority groups, neither is there any language that are close to Hungarian.
    So I think a much better and much more fair research would be how much percentage of people speak English in a given country (or German, or French). Because I’m not really impressed if a Catalonian speaks Spanish and Catalonian or a Slovakian speaks Slovakian and Czech or an ethnic Hungarian in Romania speaks Romanian and Hungarian.

    • Marinho Piinto

      Good Point Tamás. The same argument can be used for Portuguese people. In percentage we, in Portugal, do not have any reasonable minority bigger than 1%. By other way we can talk Spanish easily and understandable by the Spanish.

  36. Iweta Kalinowska

    I think it is in everyone’s interest to learn to speak a foreign language both with regards to their career prospects but also the ability to be a more cultured human being. That is not to say that we should lose track of our own national and personal identity by giving up our mother tongue, idiolects and regional dialects in favour of a unified language for the whole of the EU, but rather that we should embrace the multicultural world we live in. There is no harm in having official translations of important documents and a second working language, it increases communicability and the potential for knowledge. If countries like Belgium and Luxembourg manage to have a multilingual society without losing their identity, indeed creating thriving cultural and political hubs of Europe, then I don’t see why everyone else can’t.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Iweta Kalinowska

      Belgium always seems to be on the verge of splitting up based on language differences.

      Luxembourg is nothing but a city-state of a few hundred thousand wealthy people. One wonders what will happen when its parasitic JUNKEY-inspired practices are kicked to the kerb!

  37. herbert

    wow… sincerely? … very bad idea, as it would be a step backwards as far as culture is concerned… there is not just one culture in this world… i am swiss living in portugal and therefore continue perfectly understanding why switzerland still doesn’t want to join the EU … EU definitely should be inspired by the swiss example, not only regarding its democratic principles, but also regarding the languages… whoever goes into any important function be it private business or politics cannot do it without speaking at least 2, but better 3 of the 4 national languages…. so why should english become the unique “european language” ?? seriously …

    • Jen

      Herbert, whilst I admire the Swiss knowledge of languages greatly, I think you may need to re-think the ‘democratic principles’ part of your argument. I’m afraid it’s not that long ago that women were given the vote in Switzerland, which doesn’t seem all that representative to me.

  38. Pau Castellví Canet

    Would it make things easier? Yes.
    Is this what a large majority of states have done in their legislative systems, simplify by making one language official? Yes.
    Is it the EU’s way? Not if the EU is to be a successful integration process in the short-term (next 50 years). The EU needs to integrate in diversity, by diversity and for diversity. Languages have intrinsic value and remind us that we remain united in our difference.
    What worries me is not the diversity in official languages (overall is not as costly as traditionally thought), but the fact that the EU is still a club of states and not a union of citizens. That it is states that define integration and not citizens. Once we’ve made a union of citizens out of the EU; then, let’s talk about it. Let’s take it into consideration.

  39. Carlos Taras Manrique Pérez

    No, plus that will give the force to some multilingual states to become more centralist regarding languages. And regarding large minority languages I agree with the Scottish dude up there. Just a doubt. Will Catalan qualify as a “minority language”? because it has 11.5 milions of Speakers (more than finnish, slovenian,slovakian,norwegian,eestonian, latvian, lithuanian) but it has an unclear status of officiality. Officiality and preference in all its spoken regions except in Valencia, categorized as state language together with Basque and Galician which are also named sometimes as “state official language”. And I also think that learning or knowing one of the working languages (because the EU has 23 official ones as far as I know) should be a request for being an MEP.

  40. Paul X

    All those who complain about the loss of identity seem to forget that the majority of EU countries have already sacrificed a good deal of this when they adopted the Euro.

    The justification for the Euro is to make transactions easier and more transparent across the EU and it is obvious that the next step for “ease and transparency” in business is a common language

    The truth of the matter and whats really getting up the nose of the whiners is that the suggested language is English as used by that “awkward” member of the EU and the despised USA.

    • catherine benning

      @ Paul X:

      Not to mention the rest of the world where many have English as their first language. The US is a bad user of the language as the spelling they grope with is cartoonish and their children are taught in school that this mediocrity is correct. They are too stupid to be expected to learn proper English. Too hard to manage you see.


      I remember working in NYC and being derided for my spelling as I wrote favour instead of favor or some other equally as idiotic spelling dispute. Then, added to that, an aghast Clinton type American woman, who had great difficulty speaking without that awful throttled roar they use, ‘and you eat layyam’ (being lamb with numerous syllables) ‘Oh my God how disgusting.’ Of course, when I reminded her they served ‘layyam’ in the Plaza Oak Room she brushed it off as for foreigners only. Still, they can’t eat with a knife and fork though. Not something they can work to master.


  41. Bastian

    I find the current situation (English, French and German) reasonable, but in case the UK quits its EU membership, then German and French should become sole working languages in EU institutions. This would reflect the size of population and contributions to EU budgets.

  42. Carlos V. Arcenegui

    NO. Unless EU joins USA, or a Greater Great Britain. That’s a completely stupid idea. Most national governments terribly succeeded in establishing a single and only official language for its own nation (deleting the regional ones to deal as inferior and useless), but now the idiots are rising on top level, after smashing the regional ones, now destroy the languages at national level as well. Result? Less culture, less brain, less ability to discern, oh but look! It’s “Utilitarian” for global business :-D

  43. Konstantinos Michas

    Ίσως πρέπει να μάθουμε όλοι μία νέα γλώσσα!

    • Gavin Crowley

      B’fhéidir gur gá dúinn a teanga nua a fhoghlaim go léir!

    • Gavin Crowley

      B’fhéidir gur gá dúinn teanga nua a fhoghlaim go léir!

  44. Timo

    Whatever the “emerging #language of #Europe”, everybody should learn it next to their native tongue!

    I fully agree with the statement that this “would help boost Europe’s economy and sense of unity, because it would make it easier for workers to travel and work anywhere in the Union”. It only makes sense!

    If it’s English, with 40% of the population speaking it already, so be it.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Giorgio Maria La Rosa
      Ohhh! you are many centuries too late for that bus.

    • Brian Barker

      What a load of linguistic imperialism. More people speak Spanish and Chinese. Please get real. Have a look also at http://www.lernu.net

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Eugenia Serban
      Oops! :)

    • Yvetta

      Is Tarquin Farquhar and English name…?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      I’m sorry, but I couldn’t quite understand your rather bizarrely constructed [English?] sentence.

    • Yvetta

      An English person would have!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      Extruding beyond your limited logic and knowledge might I point out that people hailing from the following countries would also perhaps understand your pigeon English:

      Ireland (N & S)

      + of course many in the Commonwealth.

      As regards the forum question, POLITICAL UNION will morph into a ONE LANGUAGE UNION and I’m betting it will be English [or less likely German] that WILL WIN.

      Just as Neanderthals and Denisovans are immortalised within fragments of the DNA of Homo Sapiens, so too will most other EU languages be immortalised in the massive multicultural hyper-diverse vocabulary of English.

    • Yvetta

      Perhaps they would (not necessarily all of them), but that does not make them English :-)! Funny how you twist the conversation and avoid answering the question…Hopefully, the Scots, Welsh etc have better manners than yours. Actually, I know for a fact that they do! More intelligent individuals perhaps…capable of a debate…don’t need to resort to twisting meanings and insulting. Intelligence is what makes the difference for sure!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      If you want to know the origin of my name don’t be lazy – look it up on Google.

      As regards your last splenetic, vitriolic, catastrophic and illogical tirade – please try to refrain from such uncivilized rantings.

    • Yvetta

      Well, I have checked it. You see, you really do know less than you think you do…It is NOT an English name.

      As to my response…., because it doesn’t suit your purposes that doesn’t make it
      “splenetic, vitriolic, catastrophic and illogical”. The fact that you are resorting to characterisations exactly proves my point that you have no arguments and are incapable of a debate. So, thanks for that!

      PS. You don’t have to be English to have any worth in this world, Tarquin. No need in pretending you are of a different ethnicity to what you actually are. Especially, when posting under a non-English name.

  45. EU reform- proactive

    Aren’t the EC-EU architects once more dragging all Members voters stealthily screaming & shouting a bit further into an arranged happy or unhappy marriage? Does the EC-EP have an open ended mandate to introduce endless changes & add-on’s- without ever going back to all voters for approval? Where is the elusive FINAL EU blueprint?

    It remains a piecemeal treaty decided by a handful! The present process is rather reminiscent of a Constitution writing Assembly- searching for THE final EU solution! It is still unable to function as a mature, working & finalised Constitutional Democracy.

    Ignoring the above- being pragmatic & assuming the European target should be first & foremost a “globally competitive European economic block”- which is rich in innovation & entrepreneurship- my only choice would be to strengthen & adopt ENGLISH- before we all have to learn either Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi, Bengali, Portuguese or Russian in future- besides our own native language. No doubt- the more- not less- languages one knows- so better!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Marta Leandro
      One Europe, one language. WAY!!!!

  46. Kenneth T. Tellis,

    The European Union has already been using English as its lingua franca in all government offices, so what is the point that is being made here? So it is a fait accompli. Case closed.

  47. Lúcia Frazão

    Europe is really diverse and multilingual! English is work language! No way English is one of the 24 European Union Languages …

  48. Antoine Che

    What about Euro-English?

    The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.
    As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

    In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “c”. Sertainly,
    sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard “c” will
    be replaced with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but
    typewriters kan have one less letter.

    There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced by “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20 per sent shorter.

    In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double leters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “e”s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

    By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” by “z” and “w” by “v”. During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords
    kontaining “ou”, and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer
    kombinations of leters.

    After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer…












  49. Talis Briedis

    Sure, why not? It would drive Putin crazy! Anything to keep the fascist Russians at bay.

  50. Stephen Howells

    I love differences between people and the fact dialects survive but after a lot of European travel the one thing almost all parents want for their children is the English language. Many Italians even reckon it will replace Italian in Italy which would be a tragedy. Given the globalisation of the world and the continued distrust between regions it would be ideal if everybody had English as a lingua franca and also a couple of other local languages. That would of course leave us ‘monolingual’ English to sit on our fat a@ses to learn nothing :)

    • Anon

      I visited France. They look upon you with disdain when you try to lecture your limited French so that you can learn more and become better. I stopped studying French after that trip, and will never try again. The language is excessively verbose (to a fault) and the pronunciation to spelling is as bad if not easily worse than English.

      Esperanto has trilled R and letters with directions that change sounds. The language was developed to resemble Romance languages, so it’s very biased to learners from places like France, Spain, Portugal, Romania, and to a lesser extent Germany and Slavic languages.

      An English learner is going to have almost as much if not more trouble reading and enunciating Esperanto as they would French because if this. It retains many of the top issues from other Romance and Slavic languages.

      The reason why so many English speakers are monolingual is because Countries like the US are huge with decent economy and we don’t have to leave it for vacation. Secondly, foreigners are often snobbish if you travel for language immersion to learn better. Funny how French people Complain of identity whe. They generally don’t want to help foreigners (but expect help when they come here!). In other countries I’ve been to, like Spain, people are eager to help, but also eager to use you to practice their English so often nice Americans we yield and drop to English to be helpful.

    • Couturier Dominique

      What do you mean with this word “objective”? It’s NOT “objective”. It’s a myth.
      English is mainly an instrument of cultural and ideological imperialism.(USA-Canada-UK). Europe has to become autonomous and self-governing, self thinking!

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Couturier Dominique
      Calm down old bean – try to be logical and objective – English WILL be the sole official language of the EU.

      C’est la vie, say lavatory! :)

  51. Fernando De Rojas Parets

    I love cultural diversity, but we are speaking about a practical, generalized and common language for all the Europeans. What we have to use… greek, spanish, portuguese, french, german, italian, catalan, danish, gaelic???

  52. Perfide Albion

    In 2017, English will be a native language for very few EU citizens… I hope we will then be rid of this ridiculous debate for good !!

  53. Philippe Wellnitz

    La diversité linguistique est fondamentale pour la culture au sens plein du terme. Ce serait confondre culture et communication que de vouloir se limiter à une seule langue réduite à des situations de surface éphémères (airport-english).

  54. Bill Chapman

    Of course not. If we’re looking for just one language, I would suggest Esperanto.

  55. Vasil Kadifeli

    Ofcourse NOT ! Think of an English speaking EU where UK has resigned from membership ! Don’t you see how ridiculus the situation would be ? UK has not joined the Euro, neither the Schengen zone and to me it seems they are reluctant to stay for a long time within EU. Furtermore although English seems to be one of the easiest languages to learn it takes too much time to master it. There are millions of people around who have taken courses for long years and still they are unable to speak. Why don’t we think of Esperanto as the future language for communication within EU. Within two years of Esperanto teaching we might have Esperanto speakers that are double the amount of English speakers within EU. An easy to learn, European, neutral and providing equal rights and possibilities to every one.

  56. Michał Podraza

    What about creating universal artificial language like esperanto, but more worldwide range? English is for english people. It’s like I would ask ‘should Polish be the official language of Europe?’ why not…?

    • Couturier Dominique

      Strange idea! Esperanto DOES exist. We do not need a new language “more international”. Esperanto IS international, and already spoken in all the continents (Yes in China and Japan, and a lot of places of Africa, Latin America…
      Please, get informed about it

    • Couturier Dominique

      Michał… Twój kraj jest kolebką esperanto.
      Uczę się twoja języka bo podróżowałem w twoim kraju podczas Kongresu Esperanto
      Michal, Your country is the cradle of esperanto.
      I am learning your language because I travelled there during and after esperanto meetings. I went already 3 times there.

  57. Simona Antonova Marinkova

    In practice, it’s much easier to have one official/operational language, so English is the only option… that doesn’t mean that cultural diversity would be lost at all. Or you prefer to be a mess with all those languages – it’s just not possible to function properly then.

    • Gavin Crowley

      It does mean that cultural diversity will be lost. I’m Irish. We only managed to import some of our culture into our version of English. There have been no native speakers of Irish in my family since those born around 1850. Even so I do not feel that my native language, English, is my language. I have no love for it – and I would abandon it without regret.

  58. Jen

    As a British person who speaks a minority language (Welsh) within the UK, this question is pretty tricky… (not least because it was learnt alongside Arabic and French.) Interestingly, when speaking to my European neighbours, I often find that I have to defend my own language as they are so fully in support of English – despite having their own native languages. It suggests that English has already conquered Europe…even if people aren’t happy about it, the majority accept the situation. I still think it would be a shame to speak English at the expense of other languages. Surely, our society is sufficiently progressive to find space for all languages?

  59. trio

    We should use Esperanto: it’s easy to learn; it does not give any one national/political group an advantage; it’s fun! But hey… make me king of the EU. I’m a native English speaker. I’ll be running things while you’re still learning how to spell things.

    • Neil Blonstein

      Trio for King….Mi amas tion!

    • Ljeonjyid Dasheevskjij

      .!mi amas ,sed ne subtenas Zamenĥōfan Esperanton kiel dominanta en la mondo internacia lingvo ,chjar q^i ( qhi ) ne estas perfekta internacia lingvo ,!sed estas nur simpla kvazau^nacia lingvo kun neqhisfarita gramatiko kaj tre limigita alfabeto -+ !echj ne eblas qhuste lau prononco skribi anglayn nomoyn ,uzante nur esperantlingvay literoy ,!mi kreis komunan alfabeton kaj komunan multlingvan ortografian skribmanieron lau^ GOST “Dasheevica” ,nomata lau^ mia familia nomo ( ,GOST -+ Globala Ortografia Standardigita Transliterado) ,nur surbaze de 26 latinay literoy de la angla alfabeto kaj simplay tipay literkombinoy ,entute 86 skribsignoy ,nomatay fonemay “jeltonoy” ,el ili ,pro kio mi ricevis nojvan ( q^ia naciEespa dialekto = > aliay naciEespay dialektoy = > aliay naciay lingvoy ,!mi jam multe chji+tie skribas kaj pro chji+tio mi provos dau^rigi en aliay respondoy.

  60. ros

    No. Language is much more than talking, more than translation e/o reciprocal comprehension. Language is about thinking, cultural expression and diversity. This is what we are also exploring in the Emma project: http://www.europeanmoocs.eu

  61. Bratran

    No, and even raising the idea is preposterous. The UK is a small, insignificant island from a mainland European perspective, not in any sense an integral part of European culture. Although in many European countries people learn English, they almost overwhelmingly dislike it (with such exceptions as Luxembourg or The Baltic). The EU (and the UN) is a predominantly FRENCH idea, and France is the arch enemy of England and English. So no, nay, never: don’t even dream about it.

    There are only three possible candidates for the EU common language, but none of them will ever be accepted anyway: 1) French, for the obvious reasons of France being the idea behind all international unification efforts like the United Nations and Union Européen; 2) Italian, for being the closest to Europe’s not-so-ancient, just recently abolished common language Latin; and finally 3) Esperanto, being the only neutral, easy and logical choice for such a language (but not widespread enough yet to have the momentum).

    So do not count on a common language in Europe in the near future. :-)

    • Callum Gibson

      I agree that the EU needs a common language. However, it would be a missed opportunity to choose English for this role. It’s too complex and inconsistent with its rules.

      If the EU is going to set a mandatory language for everyone to learn, it should be Esperanto because of its neutrality, the ease and quickness at which people can learn it, and its word construction/grammar advantages.

      This would save all countries a lot of money, reduce the need for translators, it would free up more of people’s time which they could then use to study more advanced uses of language instead of being stuck with the basics as students are with English and French. For example, 6 years of French in school and my classmates could barely speak a sentence. 2 weeks of Esperanto and I am competent at a basic level.

  62. Lumi

    NO. It is going against the EU value & moto: United in Diversity!!!

  63. Bayou

    What about the mediterranean lingua Franca also called Sabir ? it was the alternative to Latin during the Middle Ages ( from XIV to XIX) and it didn’t represent any country , i think we can resurrect a form of this language.


    I agree in having a common official european language wether is english, french Latin , Esperanto , Sabir , or a ressurected dead language ( like Gaulish ) and make it our own, and this doesn’t mean that you dónt have to learn the language of the country you are living in.

    My reasons :

    It would help to create a common european identity after the atrocities of WW1 and WW2.

    Better communication and understanding.

    Examples l ike Indonesia where a common language helps in creating a sense of national identity.


  64. Douglas Carnall

    English is popular in the EU precisely because of its neutrality in many cultural conflicts close to home: Flamand/Walloon, Dutch/German, Catalan/Spanish, Switzerland! Paradoxically, if the UK left the EU, the status of English as a neutral language would be enhanced!
    In fact, English already is the default working language of the EU: FR and DE translations lag the EN documents after important meetings for example. Even France has superceded its notorious loi Toubon for the loi Fioroso, which permits English to be used in many teaching contexts (a big change).
    Why should this be? Consider that in 1950, the 6 founding countries of what would become the EU spoke 4 languages between them (FR,DE,NL,IT). As translators work into their mother tongue, there are 12 pairs to service: FR>DE, FR>NL, FR>IT, DE>FR, DE >NL, DE>IT, IT>FR, IT>DE, IT>NL, NL>FR, NL>IT, and NL>DE. Which was just about do-able.
    But if each of the 24 official languages of the contemporary EU were to have theoretically equal status, each language would have 23 translation pairs, so 552 different kinds of translator would be required. In fact, this was abandoned as impractical and French and English serve as ‘pivot’ languages. Beautiful as the French language may be, the whole gender thing is an arbitrary mess for little gain which English (wisely) long ago abandoned.
    English’s adoption by the EU will paradoxically cause the greatest problems for native English speakers, who will have to work harder than anyone if they are to attain escape velocity in another European language, which is after all, a fairly basic intellectual requisite: if you only know one language, you don’t even know what a language is.
    Pour distinguer l’aquarium, il vaut mieux n’être pas poisson!

    • Couturier Dominique

      English “neutral”? Are you joking? In some few circumstances, perhaps, but its teaching and learning AREN’T.
      The learning and use of this language affects the thought, the way one looks at the world. A child who learns english reads texts speaking of breakfast, of red phone boxes, cricket, the Queen and so on… That makes in his mind the language and the culture likeable, pleasant… and other languages and cultures strange or even inferior, unnecessary…
      You’re right about the huge amount of combinations in european translation, but the question is quite different if a “pivot-language” (is it correct?) is used. In Google-translate, this pivot is english, wich is illogical, for example because it’s impossible to get a good translation for conjugated verbs.
      A lot of people are working on other sytems, using esperanto, wich is better for this purpose. I hope that after 5 or 10 years it will be possible to use them.

      Few people do know, that between the 1st and the 2nd world wars, while people from the lower classes didn’t learn foreign languages at school (but the upper did, obviously), a lot of syndicalists or other volonteers learnt esperanto.
      But esperanto was considered by all the “bourgeois” “not a real language” or “the dangerous language”, and while France wanted its own language spread, US and GB wanted the same.
      To make its own language stronger than other ones there is a “soft war”, but it’s a real war.
      We suffer now because of the ideology of the economic “T.I.N.A”, but very few people can see that there is a “language TINA” too, a false “TINA”, because the alternative does exist, is full of qualities.

  65. Eugenia Serban

    Please, rewind all posts and you’ ll see very clearly what is the international language of Europe. And the world. Any remark in a different language than English is not comprehensible for the rest of us., except for the co- nationals. But here we are on an international site. And now for my co-nationals only : Va salut prieteni si va doresc sarbatori fericite ! MERRY CHRISTMAS FRIEND IN EUROPE !

  66. Marije Cornelissen

    English is already emerging as the international common language, not only in the EU but worldwide. Making that official will be stepping on many, many toes, and will probably backfire, so not a good idea. Nudging by promoting the study of languages in all countries for people of all ages will be far more effective in practice; many people will choose to learn English exactly because it’s such a widely used language already.
    It does matter in the EU institutions, like the EP. The translation from all languages into all languages costs a fortune. I’ve always favoured a model in which people in the institutions can speak and write in their native tongue, but listen en read only in the official languages of the EU. That would cut the number of combinations, like Estonian to Maltese or Latvian to Gaelic, enormously. An idea?

  67. Nicolas Douradou

    I don’t see a point to have 1 official language for Europe:
    – Tourists can visit a country without speaking the language of that country.
    – It’s rarely possible to work in France without speaking french, in Germany without speaking german or England without speaking english.
    Having an official language won’t change that.

    Any text that’s supposed to be understood by any citizen should be translated in all European languages.

    The only place where an official language could be needed would be for European administrations. They need to be able to communicate freely to work efficiently, independently of the country of origin.

    The easiest, most useful language to learn is English.

  68. Murat Saralapov

    English should be the MAIN official/communication language of the EU, but not the only one. Other languages are also good as long as they are used as alternatives on the right level. Take Francophone countries, for example: why use English if all negotiating parties speak French?

  69. Thomas

    Why should english be our main language if the UK wants to leave? We should increase the importance of frech and german as the languages of the 2 most important countries.

  70. Luigi Rosa

    Definitely, of course, yes!

    • Couturier Dominique

      Vorrei sapere se Lei ha argomenti per appoggiare questo “SI”?
      Perché gli Italiani, cui lingua è piuttosto male, no si studia molto all’estero, sono pronti a tradire la loro lingua e cultura? Lo sa Lei, che nell’Unione, l’italiano vienne poco usato? Non si lamenta di questo?
      E probabile, che il “vero”é popolo italiano, quello che non ha possibilità di esprimersi qui IN INGLESE, quelli che guagano poco… non sentono tale ammirazione per l’inglese. E verosimilmente una reazione di “gente per bene”, danarosa…
      Have you any argument to support your “Yes”?
      Why Italian people, whose language is less and less learnt, are they often the most enthusiastics forget and betray their own culture? Do you know, that italian is a big looser in the EU institutions? Aren’t you sad of that?
      I think that the REAL people of Italy (those, who do not succeed in learning english) is not so happy of english demination. Only middle classes are.
      Avez-vous des arguments pour soutenir ce “oui”?
      Pourquoi les Italiens, dont la langue est en déclin d’apprentissage, sont-ils souvent les plus enclins à trahir leur langue et culture? Savez-vous que l’italien est souvent le grand oublié dans les institutions de l’UE?
      N’êtes-vous pas triste de cela?
      Il est probable que le peuple italien réel, les gens du bas de l’échelle, ne sont pas aussi admiratifs et heureux de la domination de l’anglais. C’est surtout la réaction des classes aisées de la société.

    • Couturier Dominique

      type errors… :-( I hope people will understand (thanks to the use of 3 languages!!!)

  71. Franziska

    No, I think each country should stay on their own cultural backround and language.

  72. Arrigo

    yes, it does, but as language of work, just for the European union Institutions and bodiesthe national languages have to be preserved as part of european culture and heritahege, that’s my modest opinon about.

  73. Maria

    What’s so bad about having English as a common EU language? Nobody asks you, guys, to forget your own languages or learn other than English foreign languages…The real strength is in multilingualism! The more languages you speak, the better you understand the world and the world understands you!

    • orthohawk

      ask the scots, irish, welsh and cornish about that……….

  74. Patricia Ryan

    @Maria Benjumea: “Yes. Translation among 24 languages cost us millions and provokes serious misunderstanding.”

    Maria, taking your reasoning to its logical conclusion would mean that everyone would need to achieve a level of proficiency in English that would obviate the need for translation into their mother tongue. At best local languages would be used for social communication but not for serious topics such as legal, political, economic and academic interactions.

    This would have 2 major unintended consequences:
    1. Increased power to the native English speakers to the detriment of second-language English speakers.
    2. The inevitable death of at least some European languages over time.

    Paying millions to translators is preferable to paying millions to the elite English speakers who would take all the top positions; and better than throwing interpreters and translators out of work. Serious misunderstanding occurs much more readily when people struggle to express and comprehend discourse in a second or foreign language.

    English is doing very well globally, thanks in part to the huge business of international English testing, with all that entails of language classes, teacher training and grader norming, not to mention the costs of the tests themselves.
    Please let Europe maintain its pole position in the language maintenance stakes!
    Vive les differences!

    • Couturier Dominique

      Thanks Patricia. I know from several years your TED conference here:
      The problem is that a lot of people who speak about languages know very few about the question. They “believe” to know, but actually they don’t.
      And what about esperanto? ;-) I think it’s the only democratic solution, as a “springboard2languages”. Without Eo, multilinguism will not exist or will be the privilege of a minority (IMHO, less than 30%)

      Merci Patricia. je connais depuis plusieurs années votre conférence TED. Les gens croient savoir, mais ils sont souvent plus dans la foi aveugle que dans la connaissance.
      Votre avis sur l’esperanto? je crois que c’est la seule voie efficace vers une démocratie linguistique. Comme tremplin vers le multilinguisme, qui, sans lui, restera lettre morte ou bien le privilège des plus éduqués. En tous cas moins de 50%

    • Couturier Dominique

      My hesitation about the number of people who could communicate made me type two differents (supposed) percentages. Obviously, it’s not possible to know “how many” but in my opinion, not the majority of people could learn english as an efficient second language, AND a second or a third one. This is “utopia”.
      But halp the people to learn 2 or more languages becomes reallistic, if esperanto is used for this purpose.

  75. Neil Blonstein

    English would make a fine third language. Esperanto is the answer for second language learning in Hungary, Italy and Portugal.

    • Couturier Dominique

      Well said, Neil, congratulations! BUT in my opinion, if we had esperanto as a common language, the third one will not necessarily be english, but german, spanish, italian or… any language of Europe. Obviously, this could not occur in two years of time, but in more than a decade, perhaps two…

  76. Bill Frampton

    Certainly not, English is an anarchic, mongrel, dog’s breakfast of a language and would make an absolutely terrible choice. Contrary to the widely-believed myth, the inherent difficulties of English grammar and the multiple meanings of countless words which can only be understood from knowing the context in which they are used make English a hard language for others to learn well. Further, adopting English would require just about everyone else in Europe to learn and accept incorrect meanings for words whose correct meanings they already know from their native languages, because lazy anglophones have perverted the English form of those words by habitually misusing them.

    What Europe needs instead is a new Latin, i.e. a neutral language which would be a common second language for people across Europe just as Latin was for educated Europeans during the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. No language could fulfill that role better than Esperanto, which brilliantly combines attributes of the Germanic, Latinate and Slavic languages with traits found in many other languages.

  77. Henri Masson

    Petition :

    Esperanto, an official language of the European Union, now!

    We, citizens of Europe and of the world, call upon you to make Esperanto the 24th language of the European Union, for a Europe that is more democratic and more just with respect to every language and culture on the continent. Choosing Esperanto is another step in the construction of Europe. There is a lack of debate at the European level. Europe must not be only an economic entity; it must be a Europe of the peoples. https://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Esperanto_langue_officielle_de_lUE/

  78. Henri Masson

    “The closest thing to a universal human language today is English, he added, but English in many ways fails to live up to Zamenhof’s dream, which was to hehp create a more egalitarian world.“

    Jonathan Pool, political scientist from the United States (He works on the political and economic consequences of linguistic circumstances and language policy).

  79. Leo De Cooman

    Not English, but Esperanto. In my experience it is ten to twenty times easier to learn than English.
    Only a neutral language can be justified as a common “second language”.

  80. Noël SIMONET

    L ‘Europe est un pays dont les langues en sont les peuples . Sans devoir ouvrir la bouche , impossible de se parler . Ouvrez donc la bouche en Esperanto vous serez sur votre planète .

  81. Couturier Dominique

    Avez-vous remarqué, mesdames et messieurs les animateurs-fonctionnaires (etc…) européens de ce forum, que justement, les Européens qui ne savent pas assez l’anglais (globalement les citoyens du bas de l’échelle sociale, ceux qui la rejettent le plus…) NE PEUVENT PAS participer à ce débat… parce qu’ils ne sont pas au courant à cause de l’anglais, et même s’ils savent que ce débat a lieu, ils ne sont pas en mesure d’y répondre. Oui, je sais il y a “translate google” à la rigueur… Mais cet outil donne souvent des résultats assez tristement comiques. En tous cas, il ne fonctionne que pour les langues les plus répandues. Français-allemand ce n’est pas terrible. Ne parlons même pas de Français-polonais.
    Combien de Polonais ici dans ce débat?
    We have to notice that people who cannot use english well enough to understand and write in this language cannot give their opinion here… The snake bites its own tail.
    The poors are those, who mainly refuse Europe, and those who do not know the other people, other cultures… Is it a cause or a consequence?
    Who takes part in the present debate? Does a lot of Polishes? Does a large amount of people from all countries?
    (italiano, lo aggiungero dopo, devo uscire…)

    • Leo De Cooman

      Bien dit!
      Goed gezegd!
      Tion vi ĝuste diris. Mi uzis Google por redakti mian reagon en la angla.
      I can say things like “The book is on the table”. But for more difficult things I need a dictionnary or a machine… after 60 years “using” this difficult language.
      Mi povas aktive uzi la anglan nur por diri simplajn aferojn. Por pli malsimplaj aferoj mi bezonas vortaron aŭ tradukmaŝinon… Kaj tiam mi eĉ ne scias, kiel prononci la vortojn. Preferante ne ridindigi min, mi silentas dum diskutoj en la angla.
      Ik heb 60 jaar geleden Engels geleerd op school en het moeten gebruiken in het bedrijf, dat het ons oplegde als zijn “officiële taal” om “internationaal” te lijken. Maar ernstige discussies gingen aan mij voorbij.
      Ons Engels opdringen is oneerlijk en niet democratisch.
      Altrudi al ni la anglan estas maljuste kaj maldemokratie!

  82. Ulysses

    Having a common language has huge benefits to everyone involved.

    English already is such a language. It is the de facto second languge for most of Europe, and any country and individual who cares about the global market are already investing more and more in English education.

    The world does not need to be pushed to learn more English. The last thing we need is for the EU to make it _the_ official language. All it will accomplish is to make it seem unfair and upset many people. Leave well enough alone.

    • Alex Escomu FB

      From the UNO/WHO translator Claude Piron:
      The various systems in use
      Ineffective, unfair or unethical systems
      Essentially, there are three methods of international communication in use in today’s world, the third one being so marginal that it would hardly be worth mentioning, if it was not precisely the only one that succeeds in avoiding all the perverse effects that have been listed above.
      One of the systems is the bureaucratic one. Several languages are used, and communication is ensured through translation and interpretation. As is usually the case with bureaucratic methods, it involves much waste and a lot of unproductive work. With this system, human energy is not put to efficient use. What has been said above about the unethical earmarking of financial resources refers essentially to this system. It presents all the negative features of the Soviet way of life.
      The second system is the “jungle” one. It is based on the precedence of power. One language is in use. Those who cannot use it are excluded. In many cases, although they are victims, they are made to feel guilty (“I have been too lazy or stupid to learn the language that everybody uses; if I cannot communicate, it’s my fault”), so that they do not realize that they are the victims of an unfair method of communication. This system is not without common traits with the caste system of India. People have a lot of privileges if they were born in the right society: where English is spoken, i. e. where you can be lazy and selfish and still enjoy access to international contacts, and even expect, for what is felt as legitimate reasons, to be able to communicate wherever in the world you are traveling. An English-speaking physicist has been able to devote to physics the many hours that his colleagues from other cultures have had to devote to the painful and slow acquisition of English, (14) but he is unaware of his privilege. When you are a member of the upper caste, you take your advantages for granted. This caste system involves a hierarchy: people from Germanic cultures can reach the required level in less time than people with Romance languages, and the latter in less time than people with Slavic languages. Peoples with languages like Chinese or Indonesian are even more likely to be excluded, since the amount of time they need to master the language is enormous. Not only have people outside the upper caste been forced to devote many, many hours to the study of the upper caste’s language, moreover when they have to negotiate or discuss with somebody belonging to this upper caste they are at a disadvantage: their opponent can avail himself of a richness of vocabulary and a feeling of security in language use that they will forever be lacking. Their opponent has a mastery of the language weapon, they have not. We should meditate the following comment of a Hopi lady who sadly realized that by authorizing mining in the reservation, they had destroyed the harmony of their environment: “If, twenty years ago, our English had been better, we would never have signed that contract.” (15)
      An effective, fair and ethical system
      Contrary to what most people imagine, there is an alternative to both the bureaucratic and the jungle systems. A really democratic system exists and works perfectly. Its functioning can readily be observed in the field. When the various means of communication used to overcome the language barriers are compared in practice, with objective criteria, the third system, which is only marginally used, stands out as the only one which avoids all the perverse effects discussed above. It is called Esperanto.
      Esperanto is a language born of one century of international interactions in a small community of people spread all over the world and encompassing most cultures, most religions, most professions and social layers, linked by nothing else than the use of that language for international communication (16). This community developed simply because all over the world there were people eager to communicate across cultural barriers and to enlarge their horizons who did not have the time to acquire one of the prestigious languages. So they adhered to a communication convention proposed in Warsaw in 1887 by a young man, L. L. Zamenhof, under the pseudonym Dr Esperanto. By using it in practice in all sorts of settings, they transformed that project into a living language. Speakers of Esperanto use that language only in international communication, as a substitute either to interpretation or to the kind of broken English usually in use, today, in intercultural situations (17). They think that the language which has grown out of Zamenhof’s project offers the best means of preserving all mother tongues and of protecting the cultural diversity of our planet.
      Esperanto can be learned in an eighth of the time required to be able to communicate in an acceptable way in another foreign language, and in a thirtieth of the time required to have an actual mastery of another foreign language. It can be said that one month of Esperanto is similar to one year of another language as far as the communication level is concerned. It is the only existing language in which the average person can have a communication capability equivalent to the one he has in his mother tongue.

  83. Paul Humblet

    Non, l’anglais ne peut pas être la langue utilisée dans l’UE, pas plus qu’une autre. En soutenir l’idée, c’est l’imposer. L’argument selon lequel il est accepté dans le monde des affaires n’est pas un argument, mais seulement une mention statistique. Si l’on veut travailler dans un pays bien déterminé, la moindre des politesses est d’en apprendre ne fût-ce que des notions de sa langue.

    • Olivia Sena

      Unfortunately, I have no clue what you said, yet you obviously understood English! ;)

    • James Piton

      One thing is the understanding in a passive way and English does a great service.

      But we, Esperanto speakers, wait more from an international language and we have this with Esperanto. It’s frustrating that such a long time (and re$ources) invested to the learning of English and other national languages for an average poor level of fluency or just superficial vocabulary.

  84. Ronaldo

    Mi esperas, ke neniam tio okazu / I hope, it will never be!!

  85. andrew macdonald

    Whilst English may be the language of the future, what about the languages of the past and present? Should these not be maintained and given a future?
    Is the language of Shakespeare more valid than that of Molière, Cervantes or Goethe? Je ne pense pas! ¡Yo creo que no! Ich glaube nicht!
    As a native English speaker and a fluent speaker of two of the other “big seven” global languages (French and Spanish), I cannot imagine anything worse than English being the official language of Europe.
    We are a culturally diverse continent, we have different heritage and so we have different vocabulary. I live in a region of Spain where the habitually spoken language is not Spanish. Here we speak Valencian, which I am learning. I am learning it because to understand the language is to understand the people, the history, the food and the very land upon which we live.
    A language has so many words and expressions which are peculiarities of that language which are used to describe the environment from which it sprang.
    English is great at describing the environment in which it developed. Here in Valencia, do we need words such as “deluge, drizzle, spitting, pouring, sprinkling, monsoon, torrential, cloudburst, precipitation, shower, cat and dog weather, good for the ducks, drenching, piddling and of course pissing down” (to name but a few) to talk about rain?
    No but other words such as “socarrat, garrofón” even “paella” which is the pan the food is named after are equally valid here.
    Any speakers of languages other than English will be able to list countless words which are exclusive to their territory. Look at how the French describe wine, how the Spanish describe air cured ham and how the Germans describe sausages. Just within the few clichés, we can see that Europe must retain its linguistic diversity.

  86. Stefano Keller

    “It is time that the various nations understand that a neutral language could become a real bulwark for their cultures against the monopolistic influences of only one or two languages, as it now appears increasingly evident. I sincerely hope Esperanto will rapidly be making more progress to assist all of the world’s nations.” Vigdis FINNBOGADOTTIR, former President of the Republic of Iceland.

  87. Bourdon

    Never. And if it were to come, nations hatred against EU would come with as well as the end of the european dream.

  88. Olivia Sena

    I agree that English should be the official language yet people should speak at home their native one. Children will grow bilingual in English and their native language. It’s all about being bilingual in your language plus English best.

  89. Olivia Sena

    I think that bilingualism is a MUST in EU! And this bilingualism should be in ENGLISH and whatever other native language.

  90. Couturier Dominique

    I suppose that unfortunatly some people come and dump here their little “comment”, without reading the other opinions.
    This is —NOT— democracy. And I do repeat that a lot of Europeans CANNOT partecipate in the present debate, because THEY ARE NOT ABLE to use english (though they were taught it)… This is a bias!!
    For those, who can understand italian OR french, I recommand this article
    or my translation here (see the PDF):
    Some facts:
    Multilingualism costs for taxpayers only 0.0085% of the GDP of all 28 member states, less than 1% of the budget of the European institutions, and barely more than two euros per year for every citizen.
    “Only 7-8% of the European population (whose mother tongue is other than English) claims to have a very good knowledge of the language, that is to say — adequate language competence to participate in political activities— in an English-speaking democracy.”
    (AND: Who are those, who can speak english?)
    “it is the European citizens in the most educated segments of the population, and occupations with the highest incomes.”
    So: to choose english would be to give power to the higher social classes, and deny democracy to the lower ones.

  91. Matteo

    SMEs in EU are suffering the lack of a common language. When in America or China someone start to market a product, they have a much larger initial market. In EU usually the market is national. To enter the market of another language is a cost in terms of sales channel and management of the operations. We shall have a common language, or competitiveness will have an additional break.
    Additionally we would like to have equal access to the service without discrimination. I live in a country where I am not native speaker. Going trough the bureaucracy and only to understand any contract is very difficult. I feel discriminated here.
    We have to respect those who want to live local by respecting each native language. However, if being European is a value to be supported, I think we have to go to have a common second language for our continent.
    Instead of inventing an ideal one, English is already the de-facto language of the union at least for those who do business. It would be helpful if contracts, law and signs should also be in English. Public offices shall have at least one English speaker at the front desk.

    • Couturier Dominique

      Matteo, yesterday I wrote:
      “I suppose that unfortunatly some people come and dump here their little “comment”, without reading the other opinions.” did you read it?

      Please DO read the complete texte of Michele Gazzola. I suppose you can understand italian? http://www.eraonlus.org/it/politica-e-lingue/item/11108-il-falso-mito-dell%60inglese-n%C3%A9-democratico-n%C3%A9-redditizio.html
      The need of “more english” IS A MYTH !!!
      I has been led by a politic will of USA-UK (Churchill). But though english is taught to a huge amount of pupils, THEY DO NOT LEARN IT WELL. A real waste.

      To choose english as “THE” communication language is against democracy and it is NOT efficient.
      Gazzola concluded that, for Italians (for their jobs), the learning of French or German is economically more profitable than the use of english.
      I am tired, fed up with people who repeat the same things without controlling if it is true.
      We have not to “invent” a new language, we have got it, it works very well. Anyway, even without esperanto, Europe and trade can work very well without using english as “THE” language of Europe.

      Very sad…

    • Couturier Dominique

      Type error!
      NOT “I has been led by a politic will..” but
      IT has been led…”

  92. Gaston RIERA

    Sorry, we don’t talk the same language. Every europeean should be able speak in her mother tongue.
    A ce jour, à ma connaissance, il n’y a qu’une seule langue reconnue par plusieurs nations, laquelle, après avoir été étudiée et comparée avec deux autres sous la direction de la Société des Nations a été désignée et proposée par cet organisme international. Il s’agit de la Langue Auxiliaire Internationale ESPERANTO qui s’est répandue à ce jour dans plus de 120 pays par ses valeurs de langue de Paix, logique et équitable.
    Après une pareille discutions, Léonard ORBAN, ex-commissaire aux Langues avait convenu que le véritable problème de l’Europe était le coût des traductions et traductions au sein de UE. (dénoncés par le Professeur F. Grin )
    Alors pourquoi vouloir imposer une langue qui n’a été choisie ( en cachète ) que par nos cousins anglo-américains ) Soyez donc raisonnable et finissez par arrêter l’hémorragie de nos finances comme les dépenses outrancières faites pour faire croire et imposer aux jeunes européens qui ne pourront vivre qu’avec votre langue en leur allouant récemment 140 milliards !
    Merci pour votre lecture.

  93. Ŝarl Bodler

    I am factual ! My point is that English is not neutral because it is already the language of some nations. This is a fact. My point is that UK and USA are favored by the use of English. This is also a fact. My point is that using Esperanto, a simple language that anyone can easily learn, is more neutral than English. Still a fact.

    In that sense, Esperanto is way more neutral than English and that is what is important (but if you want I can admit that it is not 100% neutral, but I thought it was obvious). The lack of neutrality is not caused by the vocabulary, but by the fact that some citizen, because of their birth, are fluent when the others had to make huge effort to speak a poor globish. With Esperanto everyone has to make a small effort (compared to the one needed for English). This is fairness.

    > In your world [a biased, prejudiced and partisan one] English maybe the 3rd language of the EU [LOL!]

    Not, once again, that is just a fact. Moreover, the fact that just a minority of EU citizen are able to reach a good level English is also a fact. We can not just forget this majority of citizen. Do we ? EU is far from being a English speaking continent despite the effort to teach everyone English for years and that is the reality.

    I don’t believe in utopia and that is the reason why I don’t believe that everyone in Europe can be fluent in English ; that is also the reason why I believe in Esperanto, which of course is not perfect, but which is a pragmatic solution. Esperanto is way more easy to learn than English for everyone (but the English native).

  94. Laval Brigitte

    Jamais de la vie !!!!!!!

  95. EU reform- proactive

    Enthusiasm & idealism are not sufficient reasons to adopt 1880’s Zamenhof’s invented “Esperanto”! (He even tried his hand in global Religion)
    Facts & figures however are:

    * Language education is STILL the responsibility of EU member states. (In Soro’s homeland Hungary it is officially recognized- 4,575 speak Esperanto, it is also in use in San Marino)

    * Esperanto is not mentioned by the EU Commission as an EU language and is
    not the official language of any country.

    * Between 100,000 and 2,000,000 people worldwide fluently or actively speak Esperanto. Currently there are around 1,000 Esperanto-speaking families, involving perhaps 2,000 children.

    * Internationally, around 600 primary and secondary schools in 28 countries (including five in the UK promote it in primary schools) teach it and it is officially taught in 150 universities.

    * Esperantists often say that they are standing up to a worldwide hegemony of English, but it is clear that Esperanto imposes its own hegemony so strictly that even English could be called preferable.

    * The Europe – Democracy – Esperanto party (E°D°E°) contested the European Parliament elections in France, on a platform of making Esperanto the second language of all EU member states, taking 0.15% of the vote.

    It could be argued that knowing a “Sign language” (~70mio deaf people) could even be more beneficial than the hobby horse of maybe 2 mio Esperanto supporters.


  96. Stefano Keller

    Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas (Emerita, University of Roskilde, Denmark and
    visiting professor at Åbo Akademi University Vasa, Finland):
    “[…] Esperanto would be a perfect lingua franca for countries and groups with many languages; instead of starting to learn English that takes years and years to learn really well, people could learn Esperanto fast and communicate with each other in it in a fraction of the time they need for becoming proficient enough in English. For international cooperation, for Indigenous peoples, for many multilingual countries, Esperanto would be a good solution.
    as opposed to any big dominant languages, Esperanto has (and can have) no imperialist tendencies. It is genuinely not connected to anybody’s economic or political interests. I see Esperanto as a possible viable alternative to today’s languages for international communication.
    Ignorance and prejudices may prevent useful solutions.”


    • Couturier Dominique

      It would be usefull to translate the text of Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas to many other languages: french, italian, german, spanisk, polish and so on…

    • Erik

      Esperanto is not a language. A language is a cultural product, which is the result of the history of people. Learning languages is a way to open up to other people’s cultures and trying to understand them. Europe doesn’t need monolingual people, but open-minded dynamic people who speak four, five or more languages. Esperanto cannot be helpful in the process of understanding other people, understanding their culture etc. The answer lies more in working on the education of people, making sure that all member States make the learning of several languages compulsory, instead of having everyone to learn some artificial “language” which is not connected to any european culture as such.

  97. M. D.

    I join the people who support Esperanto. I have learned Esperanto myself and I use it regularly. It is an extremely effective tool for international communication. Unlike what some people seem to think (such as the guy who mentioned Klingon in the comments above), Esperanto is undoubtedly real, living language that works for everything (talking about science, telling jokes, expressing love of writing poetry).

    Compared to English (or French or German), Esperanto has the advantage of being significantly easier to learn for all Europeans and it is politically and culturally neutral (nobody can deny that the English-speaking countries have a disproportionate cultural influence in Europe).

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @M. D.
      Esperanto is a political AND biased language and is thus NOT neutral.

    • M. D.

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      I got it, you hate Esperanto. But please inform yourself because you clearly have no idea of what Esperanto is in the real world.

      And what the hell is a “political language”?

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      You criticise my knowledge of DEsperanto and then you ask me what a ‘POLITICAL LANGUAGE’ is!!


      The answer BTW is the socialist language called “Esperanto”.

    • M. D.

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      I see, you’re just nuts.


    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @M. D.
      What is it with you and private parts? You seem to always lower the tone with your silly Esperanto erroneous ‘genderisation’ of inanimate objects.

      Then you start referring to my gonads.

      Please keep your postings clean.

    • M. D.

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      1. Esperanto does not “genderise” inanimate objects. Stop spreading thie lie.
      2. Pretending not to understand that words have several meanings (nuts = balls lololol) does not make you sound smart.

  98. Antoine Che

    When you come to settle down in a new country without a job, you should be requested to know or learn the language of this country in order to adapt to the local culture and conditions before being allowed the benefits that the locals are entitled to…

  99. Josephine Cassar

    When the UK are threatening to leave? No way! Even if I say so to my expense as I translate to EN

    • M. D.

      “Everybody speaks English”? We clearly don’t live in the same world.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @M. D.
      Just what world do you live in old bean?

      Is it Jupiter where all the Esperanto ‘Spiritists’ think the dead go to? [Do some research, you would be shocked by the company some Esperantists keep.]

      At the end of the day, Esperanto is a political [hyper-socialist] language, its a biased [Romance-centric] language and it has the same pedigree as Klingon.

    • PhilipII

      Sofia Alves Inacio: suponho que és portuguesinha. Vai ao meu pais e verás que a imensa maioria do povo espanhol não fala e não quer falar inglês. Acho que os portugueses dão pouco valor à sua língua que como a minha tem centos de milhões de falantes.

  100. Miguel Queiroz Martinho

    NO not the only but all europeans should learn at least one latin base language, one slavic based language, one germanic based language, one baltic based language and english.

  101. Ander Anderson

    No why should English be the only official language of the EU. All 28 languages should be official because not everybody speaks English

  102. Boriss Dunajevskis

    Yes! English should be the only official language of the EU!! Each girl-interpretor cost abt 5000 Euros per months!What for? Poorest and corrupted villages’ mentality Latvia paid 150000 Eros monthly on accout their poorest taxpayers! It is a” comedy francaise”

  103. Koch Daniel

    Intriguing debate. From a pure institutional cost and comprehension perspective this would be a great idea. And to be honest it already is
    the case within the Commission and the Council. But on the other hand it
    would not help to bring the EU closer to the people in the Member
    States. Especially French and German speakers would feel even more
    excluded. And we all know. The EU is standing and falling with these two

  104. Boriss Dunajvskis

    Right! English should be the only official language of the EU! Each girl-lover-interpretor cost about 5000 Euros monthly!1,7 mil-people corrupted and poorest Latvia has about 30 interpretors and it means 150.000 Euros monthly!What for?

  105. Leonardo Viola

    I think EU should recognises all EU language as official language. However english should be promoted as “tool” in order to communicate and also studying other EU’s languages should be promoted and encouraged. Ideally a European citizen should be able to speak his own language, english and at least other two major EU languages

  106. James Beckles

    English is already the language of business within the EU although French and German are also working languages. As long as the UK remains within the EU the English language will be a mainstay within European institutions. English is also a language used globally in commerce and trade.

    Students across the world are learning English as a second language because of it’s global appeal and the potential it offers to improve career prospects.

    All languages are important within the EU but having one official ‘working’ language would be prudent, and using English as that language would be advantageous.

  107. Alberto Rodríguez de Gea

    It doesn’t really matter what is the language chose, but it is obious that not having an only oficial language makes us less competitive than our “comptetitors”. This is an obsticle that we can overcome if we renunce a little bit our national prides.

  108. guillem p.

    One of the big functions of language is the identity-marker. With the way people speak you can get much information about them. People speak the language of the group they feel belongers.

    If English is the common language of Europe, Europeans will not feel themselves European but only their regional languages (italian, german…) . I think that the best way of making people feel themselves being part of Europe is the fact of speaking the European language. Europe needs ist common and own language.

    Esperanto is a good language for Europe because it is made from germanic, slavic and romanic elements. The majority of esperanto-speakers are european and the language has evolved its culture mainly in Europe. Esperanto is an European heridage and it is a good candidate of being the common language of europe.

  109. Turi Greco

    English language is destroyed from the moment became eurocratic. So why not to use French too? It seems is not easily destroyable. National languages have to remain for the translation of the Lex (laws) and other national languages in the official sites of deifferent DGs so as people from all over E.U. may have an idea of what these Institutions serve for.

  110. Vinko Rajic

    Yes ! One EU language = English would be a great thing for development . All EU citizens should learn English .

  111. Diogo Duarte

    No. Everyone needs to learn English, but this doesn’t mean that english will be the only official leanguage.

    • PhilipII

      Los españoles no necesitamos hablar inglés así que estás muy equivocado, colega ibérico.

  112. Filipe Oliveira

    All languages should be official. Like in Switzerland. All citizens are intitled to the same rights and treatment before the Union. Todas as lnguas deveriam ser oficiais. Tal como na Suia. Todos os cidados usufruem dos mesmos direitos e tratamento perante a Unio.

  113. Alex Escomu FB

    Esperanto of course.
    If you think it’s not a suited language, learn it well to prove it (you’ll finally love it).
    All language imposed finally fade out, as ancient Greek and the once inmortal Latin did.

    A french delegate at the League of Nations once vetoed Esperanto as one of the official languages because “French is already the lingua franca”. It’s sad to see people who are still making the same mostakes, they seem irational, close minded, with prejudices and blind to facts that Esperanto is indeed fairer, easier, multicultural enabling, etc.

    English is anglocentric (esperanto’s vocabulary is latincentric… Even that centric is still fairer), it aims one culture, one language for the world. Non native speakers are thankful slaves that have to pay a high cost to become slaves. Why not Spanish? Or Chinese? Think about it, it’s unfair.

    Being a native speaker of the chosen lingua franca and imposing it is imperialism, being a non native one willing the same… Is being a blind with a “i don’t have a dream” to the other slaves

  114. Luke Otis Hewitt

    I think everybody should learn at least English and Spanish, which will allow them to communicate with almost everyone in the Americas, and a lot of people in Africa and Oceania.

  115. Christiane Vermoortel

    I would agree, English is easy to learn for foreigners and one can have quite a decent conversation on low level English already.

    • Alex Escomu FB

      You all that so happily said “yes to English worldwide”, that generally only learned English and never Esperanto (try it and get to a fluent level in order to have a solid point of view to compare both solutions), you are making the same mistakes as in the past other did. You are responsible, as I was 4 years ago (then i discovered and learned Esperanto), of thousands of millions hours/dollars wasted worldwide for the acquisition of an unfair, inefficient (try pronouncing The Chaos poem right… it’s on Youtube http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1edPxKqiptw ) not culturally neutral language. As you can see below, French was a mistake, English is a mistake… do you want Chinese later,o español? 我在学汉语呢,因为人都常常不聪明。
      «The official languages of the League of Nations were French, English and Spanish. The League considered adopting Esperanto as their working language and actively encouraging its use, but this proposal was never acted on. In 1921, Lord Robert Cecil proposed the introduction of Esperanto into state schools of member nations, and a report was commissioned. When the report was presented two years later, it recommended the adoption of Cecil’s idea, a proposal that 11 delegates accepted. The strongest opposition came from the French delegate, Gabriel Hanotaux, partially to protect FRENCH, which he argued was already THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE. As a result of such opposition, the recommendation was not accepted.» source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/League_of_Nations

    • PhilipII

      Fácil para ti que parece que eres holandés así que claro que sí. Para los de habla hispana no es nada fácil aprender inglés. Es lógico que los que habláis idiomas poco difundidos estéis a favor de que el inglés se convierta en lengua comunitaria, cosa que nunca pasará, sin embargo hay que recordar que el francés, el portugués y claro, el castellano tienen cientos de millones de hablantes.

  116. Alex Grech.

    Yes,it is a good idea,and may be they change their mind,and stay in EU.

  117. Manuela Mcmoura

    If the rumour is true that English will become the second official language in Germany, then English will definetly become very important in the whole of EU. I did forsee that already 40 years ago and so afterwards my sons attended a bilingual German-English school BUT did continue to speak Portuguese at home…They are fully fluent in the 3 languages at mother language level. The earlier a child starts, the best…

  118. Bruce Chuff

    I’m from the USA so I really have no say so, as far as the USA goes definitely English.

  119. Francisco Garcia

    Most of people can not learn difficult language as English is. English does not have the characteristics that a language must have to be international. Esperanto has them but the governments did not give it an opportunity because they do not think enough about the people, more about their own interests.

  120. Artur Silva

    Why in -insert your deity here- ‘s name does everybody go on “redneck ” mode when someone speaks about making english the official language of the EU, along side the national language? NEWSFLASH !!! this ALREADY happens!!!!!. This is ragged, bigotted, raw nationalism at its best! For the sake of all that is holy someone with a Cyrillic keyboard (quite probably russian ergo not EVEN in the EU) said no it should not….
    If you truly don’t want english to be the official alnguiage we can always go back to esperanto which was a very good language except that , guess it…. tha’ts right nationalism stepped in and said it was bad…..

  121. Ivan Drvarič

    Courrse not. Its not matter of equality.but matter of allowing curiosity, matter of diversing daily life enriching European.with desires for new vocablaries. Hopefully the one with the.desire learning and reading and.studying in other languages than english will be motivated and rewarded. Because now the one is punished through personal efforts. Think about new big languages of Euro

  122. Brian McLaughlin

    No, the government of the United Kingdom, does not do enough in Europe. There should be several official languages, but at the same time I suppose having fewer will cut bureaucracy.

  123. Movimento Do Cidadão

    And a new language? Or an english basic? Avec les paroles d’autre pais? Com a saudade de Portugal? Com la pizza italiana? …

  124. Martin Lavallée

    We could consider Interlingua as the successor of the international Latin of the Middle Ages. Lumine is light, lumière, luz, but illumination, luminario is everywhere. Digito is finger, doigt, dedo, but digital is everywhere. Lumine and digito are Interlingua words from classical and medieval Latins. A modern Latin for Europe? Ita ad Interlingua!

  125. Gastone Losio

    We need Esperanto as unique official language, no more an EUglish clone! A E-Ugly-sh clone!
    Another monster-language! We want a unique comon democrtic language, stop with colnes such as English (exept USA) – English USA – English (Australia/New Zealand) .look at the Swatch instructions e.g. ! …..
    Wenn nicht Esperanto, lieber Deutsch die meistgesprochene Sprache in Europa, und besser verstanden im Osten, bis zur Beringstrae.
    PS If, hypothetically only, it would be necessary, for any reason, an idiom of the UK, we want instead to adopt Scots. At least those do not spit on Europe!

  126. Olivia Sena

    it is extremely funny how everybody is responding to this question, IN ENGLISH yet some are saying NO to English, in English! :))) Most of the communication on this page, is done in English… yet English shouldnt be the common official language??? Viviane Reding has her page in NOT english, and see how not that popular she is! :)))

    • Jimmy Hunter

      If a question is posed in a language, it is normal (indeed polite) to respond in the same language.

  127. Тодор Николов

    I don’t think so. The people must to learn languages. All official languages should be official for EU too but for now some of them aren’t official… even if big population speak one language. If you sticking plaster on the mouth then that doesn’t mean people to stop talking on their own or native languages. The europeans must to feel free to speak in EU on european languages. This could be reason EU to fall down to a lot of former EU-members. Partial is possible to be created great artificial languages which to be more understandable for one specific language group or for more people.

  128. Mihai

    Its really hard to do bussines and work in Europe with 24 languages or more. I think english should be the primary one and make it official in the future years.

  129. MP

    I’m a native English speaker, and this is frustrating to hear. To make matters worse, I’m training to be an interpreter. I put a lot of hard work learning these languages. Seems like technology is just putting everybody out of work, except for sitting behind a computer. And eventually that will be replaced by technology. So frustrating!!!! Please everyone, hang on to your languages, fight for them.

    • Edward

      Where do you study interpreting?

  130. M Oakley

    Whilst no doubt all citizens of each member state will harbour nationalistic feelings, perhaps if we can we should put these aside and view this as an exercise in reality. This is that it is undoubtedly the unify language amongst all those spoken within the EU. I do not doubt that France and Spain will argue that their respective languages are also widely spoken on a global view, however not as widely at the European level. So if we wish to view this dispassionately, the argument for one official language is unanswerable. In my country ( UK ) we have Government, local and national, literature published in a plethora of languages. This in my view does nothing to assist creating unity amongst the various nationals that have come to our shores. The EU in much the same way surely needs the citizens of the nations that comprise it to somehow feel that the business discussed has a unity of purpose, a unifying language would go someway to dispel a perception of each country pursuing narrow national goals, rather than fostering the greater one of the common good.

  131. Jimmy Hunter

    Nee. De heersende mode voor Engels is geen reden om hem als unieke taal in Europa te hebben. De mensen dat Engels praten zullen de goede banen hebben, en de andere zullen de slechte banen hebben. Dus natuurlijk de mensen van Groot Brittannië zullen een dispropotionele invloed in de zaken van Europa hebben. De Britte (en ik ben zelf Schots) hebben deze recht zeker niet verdiend.

  132. Violeta

    YES, YES and YES for all EU level institutions. This will improve efficiency, decrease burdens and save euros that all we pay as taxes

  133. gian

    No se usiamo l’inglese diventeremo tutti anglofoni.
    L’Esperanto rispetta le altre lingue, è facile e democratico-
    Viva l’Esperanto
    Ne, se ni uzas la anglan cxiuj farigxis anglalingvanoj.
    La Esperanto respektas aliaj lingvoj, ĝi estas facila kaj demokrata.
    Vivu la Esperanto

  134. Neil Blonstein

    Esperanto estas la plej efika komunikilo, ignorata de la pliparto de homoj, i.a. amaso de unulingvaj parolantoj de la angla. Esperantistoj volas krei du-lingvan au’ tri lingvan mondon.

  135. Ivan Vorotiaghin

    Does it sound logical to make English the official language, while the UK, the only country where there are native speakers, is the greatest eurosceptic and wants to leave the EU? Remember that you choose the official language of Europe, not the Globe.

  136. Seán Ó Riain

    NO, NO, NO! Absolutely not. It would give permanent, unearned advantages to native English speakers, like myself. Esperanto is 10 times easier to learn and would be fair to everybody.

  137. Mickael

    I think that no. If Eu have to speak only one language, that language must be a neutral language, like Esperanto. The Esperanto is easy to learn and neutral, I think that it can be the solution of this issue.

  138. Robb Kvasnak, Ed.D.

    I teach English for Academic Purposes as professor (I earned my doctorate in second language acquisition). Based on my studies and my experience teaching English, and having learned and acquired several other languages fluently, I highly recommend that the EU NOT adopt English as its vehicular language since it is very depend on Anglo-Saxon culture(s) for its expression. This may also be a problem for its use in science – an example is the idea that microwaves are waves – a metaphor from English. English is a very good language in business deals since it is a source of enormous ambiguity often hinging on cultural usage within its own native speaking communities.
    I have studied Esperanto and was surprised at the ease with which I acquired it and with which I can express myself clearly in it, since it avoids the cultural ties to a specific ethnic community. Yes, many of the words in it are of Latin origin but they are roots more than words, similar to the zi in Mandarin, that is dependent morphemes which only take on meaning when combined with other morphemes. I am now studying Portuguese since I am considering moving to Rio. I bought a Portuguese-Esperanto dictionary for my readings in Portuguese, since the renderings are less ethnically slanted than if I were to use a Portuguese-English (which one? British or American) dictionary. The logical option in my view would be for Esperanto rather than (British) English.

    • Alejandro Carlos

      [e.g. my using my mother tongue as a born citizen of the USA] Question what is the mother language of a born citizen of the USA?

      Also, you may have earn a doctorate in English as a second language but didn’t do too well in science “This may also be a problem for its use in science – an example is the idea that microwaves are waves – a metaphor from English.” It is not a metaphor, microwaves are waves unless you think that sea waves are the only waves. Or maybe the real waves are the ones people do in stadiums while losing the game.

      “Yes, many of the words in it are of Latin origin but they are roots more than words” The same as in most other languages that adopt word from unrelated languages, although many of them a pretty unchanged, fiancée, résumé, electricity, physics, electromagnetism. Bah! they re too many to count.

      And finally, is ther jazz or Bosa Nova in Esperanto. Blues, Country, Cha cha cha, salsa o merengue. No? then it is a boring language.

    • Alejandro Carlos

      Sorry! I am making too many mistakes, too sleepy. Chao, I´m going to bed, need to wake too early. Got to make the donuts!

    • Christa H.

      About microwaves – how is Esperanto different from English in this regard? “Ondo” – wave; “mikroondo” – microwave, cxu ne?

      @Alejandro Carlos

      Why do you ask ” Is there … in Esperanto? ” and then say “No? then it is a boring language” without giving a chance to answer? The fact is, that music has been a significant part of the Esperanto movement since the very beginning; the first songs in E-o being written by Dr. Zamenhof himself. Since then, people have been writing songs in just about every musical genre; just knock about on YouTube a bit; it’s not too hard to find. I read somewhere, I wish I could remember where, that there are more songs translated into Esperanto than into any other language. Add that to all the original Esperanto songs (and there are a great many) and… boring? I think not. :-) I’d provide links to some of my favorites, but that would be to much hassle to do on my phone.

  139. Aaron Irvine

    No, there should not be only one official language in the EU. However, consider that Esperanto could actively protect the EU’s linguistic diversity (via much greater ease of learning and the propaedeutic effect, for people of all abilities and situations), and could eventually save the EU 25 billion euro annually (Grin report). Drifting into universal simplistic English for the current generation as we now are should be cause for concern, but the momentum behind English is so great that at best we might hope for English+Esperanto for the next generation, and Esperanto+diversity for the generations after that. Change can’t be rushed, nor can it be forced, but (very) short Esperanto taster courses in European schools might be all that is required to achieve success.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Aaron Irvine
      The biased POLITICAL LANGUAGE Esperanto is NOT as diverse as English.

      English borrows from European, African, Asian and Oriental sources and is a far larger language than any other EU language. Esperanto is a Latin/Romance based political language with NO gravitas and NO kudos.

      Esperanto is at best the province of the naive AND ignorant and at worst the shield of the counter-Darwinian zealot.

  140. Rasta

    Yes definitely ! english because its a global language, and 1 language because that is the simple way, why complicating things with more… english also because most of the people in Europe that speak a second language are in fact speaking english. …

  141. Karel Martel

    No. In any event this is not something that belongs to the competencies of the EU.

  142. Christos Mouzeviris

    Yes… English at least.. The more languages the better, but we can’t force everyone to speak a lot of languages. But if we want to achieve mobility in the EU, a second official language would help..!!

  143. Ivan Burrows

    Don’t they already ?, I read somewhere that 90%+ of schools in Europe already teach English.

  144. Miguel Bigotte Mota

    Isn’t one of the major rights of European citizens the right to speak their own native language, or any official one for the matter? This question shouldn’t even be here, to be honest.

    The European Union should stress it’s importance in order to empower communication between European citizens. Yet under no circumstance should it be mandatory, not by European legislature.

  145. Rob Riley

    I would say no, not mandatory but encouraged, I agree with Karel that this is not an issue for the EU.

  146. Laurinda Seabra

    I would say yes. English is the accepted business language worldwide. Learning any languages breaks down communications barriers in the future.

  147. Narcis George Matache

    In order to have an united European feeling, we all need to be able to speak lingua franca of the Union, which is english. After all, we, the Europeans, are multilingual by nature.

    • Seán Ó Riain

      English is not a lingua franca, and never can be. But yes, Europe does need a real lingua franca, which gives parity of esteem to all languges and all peoples. And such a language already exists.

  148. George Titkov

    As long as English is not the official language in each EU country, it cannot be mandatory to learn it. Don’t turn the EU into the new USSR, please.

  149. Nikolay Kosev

    ?????! ???? ??????? ???? ?????, ?? ?????? ?? ?? ?????? ? ?????????, ?? ?? ???????? ?? ?????. ? ???????? ?????? ?? ???? ?? ????? ????? ????? 1989, ?????????? ???? ????? ??? ??.

    ?? ??? ????????? ?? ??????????? ???? ? ??? ????? ?? ????????? ?????? ?? ???? ? ??????? ?? ?????????.


    Bravo! This is what the USSR used to do, but instead of forcing us English they were forcing Russian. Everybody in Bulgaria had to study Russian before 1989 and nobody cared if you like it or not.

    I am an EU citizen and I would like to use my native language and my native alphabet.

  150. Bronco Petrovic

    it should. at least we would have one language to understand each other. I had difficulties in Brussels cos no one wanted to speak english, even if they know it. If it becomes official even better! More work opportunities!

  151. Dionìs Koçi

    Yes, and I think it already is. Then chosing another main EU language, from any country who is more determined to be part of EU, that will encounter problems with inferiority/superiority complexes among people of the biggest EU countries. So seems easier to keep english, which for more is the international language (two in one).

  152. Yliana Aphazius

    Each country should have their own as official language, and then encourage to learn a second one. It is quite frustrating going to another EU country and not being able to communicate.

  153. Dimitris Athanasopoulos

    Almost 100% of the Greeks under the age of 35 speak very well english.. It is mandatory in my opinion if you want a country to be tourist friendly!

  154. Daniele Scaramelli

    But do people read and understand what they are reading? The issue is not to replace national languages with English, but to introduce English as a mandatory foreign language at school. You can agree or disagree, but without distorting the terms of the discussion. On the “market”: the market does not do anything, on the contrary, it suggests that in order to be more employable people should know, and therefore ‘”study” at least one foreign language (and here the Brits are greatly disadvantaged, as in this area they are mostly illiterate). Last but not least, this is a discussion at European level, but education policies are decided at national level, so spare us the usual anti-EU ranting.

  155. Nikos Trikilis

    Sterile dualism. Were we to legislate we should aim higher and make trilingualism the standard. At the moment English is not exactly compulsory, tuition of foreign languages is, and English merely ranks first among them. Its a different dynamic entirely than that of designating English as a mandatory course by parliamentary vote and not by decision of some education or school board.

  156. Jason Cotterill-Attaway

    No, absolutely not!

    The EU can not being in any legeslation that will cause unemployment; as this would not only put all the ESOL tutours out of business, but also all the translators working for the EU directly; and the EU wont do anything that would harm thwir own wallets.

  157. Jesús Rgz

    Definitely! In Spain people have a really low english level. I blame to the educational system which has not promoted a more effective learning in foreign languages (mostly english). It is the international one and it is the best vehicle to communicate with other people all around the world.

  158. Hanna Pieńczykowska

    I think we should have more bilingual schools. Most of Polish pupils learn English at school, but many of them cannot use it later. If there were compulsory maths or history lessons in English, they would have more input and the chance of gaining decent language skills would be much bigger.

  159. Luis Sancho

    No, but more language learning and earlier in school would be very beneficial. Europe should aim for each citizen to know – at least! – three languages, which is not very hard (I myself speak four and can get by in another two)

  160. Hanna Clairière

    I think it’s better to leave choice – many young people and children have parents or grand-parents from diffrent countries and in that case they should have the possibility of choosing another language than English – its never good to force – it’s natural that they prefer emotional relations.

  161. Tzvetelina Merdjankova

    No, and I don’t think that would be legally possible. There is a fundamental right of choice that EU should not try to violate by imposing too much obligations on its citizens.

  162. Tzvetelina Merdjankova

    No, and I don’t think that would be legally possible. There is a fundamental right of choice that EU should not try to violate by imposing too much obligations on its citizens.

  163. Gabriela Malinowska

    In my point of view bilingual schools are the best possible option if we want to speak another language fluently. I would like to mention that is necessary to enjoy your time during learning, because nobody can force us to gain knowledge.

  164. Gabriela Malinowska

    In my point of view bilingual schools are the best possible option if we want to speak another language fluently. I would like to mention that is necessary to enjoy your time during learning, because nobody can force us to gain knowledge.

  165. Herbert Hermatschweiler

    what should be mandatory is that english people stop being lazy and arrogant demanding the whole world to learn their language because they are too stupid to learn other languages…. ;-)

  166. Herbert Hermatschweiler

    what should be mandatory is that english people stop being lazy and arrogant demanding the whole world to learn their language because they are too stupid to learn other languages…. ;-)

    • Abraham

      Ich bin English und Ich Kann Englisch und Franzozisch sprechen und Ich lerne Deutsch.

  167. La Fed Ham

    While English is a widely spoken language the EU should reconsider the value of the romance tongues. In about a generation Hispanics will overshadow other Anglo white Americans. Mexico, one of the so called MINT nations, is also a large state whose growth can only grow. Furthermore, the Spanish speaking Philippines is also an economy which is often overlooked in the Asian region. Likewise the force of the French idiom has not lost it’s force in Canada or the rapidly accelerating economies in S.E. Asia. And let’s not forget about Brazil and some of Portugal’s former territories in an African continent still heavily dependent upon Europe. While English is essential to trade with many nations this does not mean that other languages cannot provide access to other lucrative markets where many opportunities are still there to be found.

  168. La Fed Ham

    While English is a widely spoken language the EU should reconsider the value of the romance tongues. In about a generation Hispanics will overshadow other Anglo white Americans. Mexico, one of the so called MINT nations, is also a large state whose growth can only grow. Furthermore, the Spanish speaking Philippines is also an economy which is often overlooked in the Asian region. Likewise the force of the French idiom has not lost it’s force in Canada or the rapidly accelerating economies in S.E. Asia. And let’s not forget about Brazil and some of Portugal’s former territories in an African continent still heavily dependent upon Europe. While English is essential to trade with many nations this does not mean that other languages cannot provide access to other lucrative markets where many opportunities are still there to be found.

  169. Jude De Froissard

    Not mandatory. …we have enough rules to furnish the whole universe.
    Would you english speaking countries like to have french for example as mandatory…..?
    People learn english anyway. No need to impose it.

    • Greg

      Please read the above statistics and you will understand that your statement is not correct

  170. Jude De Froissard

    Not mandatory. …we have enough rules to furnish the whole universe.
    Would you english speaking countries like to have french for example as mandatory…..?
    People learn english anyway. No need to impose it.

  171. Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

    Well we should include esperanto as a.Muss instead of English so no country can take an advantage out of that their language is a must. But it should be obliged a round the world.

  172. Björn Eric Ingemar Grahn

    Well we should include esperanto as a.Muss instead of English so no country can take an advantage out of that their language is a must. But it should be obliged a round the world.

  173. Filipe Oliveira

    No, it shouldn’t. The only language mandatory in each country should be its official languages. English should be advised because nowadays is one important language in the world. But spanish for instance will soon be more widely spoken than english. And portuguese is rappidily gaining terrain.

    • Greg

      Why you feel this way Filipe ? Is it because you are proud and you think your own community is somewhat different from the rest of us ? FYI, this is not coming from an native English person

  174. Filipe Oliveira

    No, it shouldn’t. The only language mandatory in each country should be its official languages. English should be advised because nowadays is one important language in the world. But spanish for instance will soon be more widely spoken than english. And portuguese is rappidily gaining terrain.

  175. Ivan Burrows


    If your using a language after English for business I would suggest Standard Chinese, Japanese or Indic

    From a purely business prospective the languages of Europe should only be taken as recreational pursuits.

  176. Ivan Burrows


    If your using a language after English for business I would suggest Standard Chinese, Japanese or Indic

    From a purely business prospective the languages of Europe should only be taken as recreational pursuits.

  177. Cristian Titus Raicu

    If you want to do good business with a strong economy, learn German.
    The Portuguese only serves for CPLP.
    The Spanish just to hispanic America .
    If you want business with China, learn Chinese.
    English is good only fot IT.

  178. Cristian Titus Raicu

    If you want to do good business with a strong economy, learn German.
    The Portuguese only serves for CPLP.
    The Spanish just to hispanic America .
    If you want business with China, learn Chinese.
    English is good only fot IT.

  179. Eric Spaniol

    No! The most common language in the EU and Europe is German and not English. No one has to learn English as first language. Most people in the EU are living nearby boarders. So it’s more important to learn these languages and to ease the communication in these regions.

  180. Eric Spaniol

    No! The most common language in the EU and Europe is German and not English. No one has to learn English as first language. Most people in the EU are living nearby boarders. So it’s more important to learn these languages and to ease the communication in these regions.

  181. Olivier Gbezera

    No. The (supposed) mantra of the EU is “United in Diversity”, and as anyone who speaks various languages knows, languages are far more than just a tool to communicate, but are vectors of culture. Making English the official language would not only go far beyond the competency of the EU, it would be leaving culture and diversity, supposedly European values, in order to promote some sort of anglo-saxon concept of”efficiency”. Thus, yet another “business” approach to a fondamental issue in the EU. It would also give a vast advantage to native english speakers (Brits and Americans) since they would de facto speak the language for which Europeans have all but abandonned their own. It would also give advantage to Europeans from the West and the North whose native languages are far closer to English than say Spanish or Croatian. It would also give an advantage to the wealthy because unlike what people who live in certain expat bubbles might believe, not EVERYONE speaks english. It would promote laziness and eventually lead to the death of other languages, because what’s the point in learning Swedish or Polish anyway if “we all speak English”? We already see that in Brussels where most EU-expats (this goes from civil servants to interns) have no intent to learn local languages, no matter how long their stay, and some actually get offended when locals do not speak English. Non, nee, no grazie.

  182. Türker Yener

    EU should fix the official language of its own asap. In order to reduce the costs of translation.

  183. Tiago Miranda

    Certainly. English is currently the most spoken language by non-natives, which means that, by de facto, it is the worldwide international language. It’s not just a bonding link between European Countries and with other English speaking countries, but everyone in the world. We are currently writting here in English and we all share our thoughts in a language that everyone understands and can have discussions with. And that’s good!
    Certainly I think that both the mother tongue and English should be taught in every school, and a third, optional, language, for use with neighboring countries. It’s currently done in Portugal and, although some people think it’s pointless, once you get used to the internet and international social networking, knowing AT LEAST English is completely necessary to get in touch with more than just your inmates.

    The only thing I disagree with is that learning English on a school as a 1rst foreign language is currently recognized only locally. It has no international recognition. I worked hard to have near perfect score at the end of 7 years of study in English and it’s sad to know that outside of Portugal my qualifications are not recognized, having to do an IELTS exam to have any sort of recognition of my level of English. I think that students can and should do an IELTS at school as their last English Test, to have their qualifications recognized worldwide, so that they can assure confidence on their performance if there’s ever the possibility of working abroad.

  184. Dionìs Koçi

    China is the biggest country in the world ( chinese language is obviously used in it), then german is the most spoken motherlanguage in EU. Still none of these two examples can for the moment challenge english usage in the EU. The first one because not all people want to go to China to live, and the second one (I speak german so I personally wouldn’t have any problem, and for more I like it better than english) because the gap that an eventual retreat of english laguage from the EU scene would leave, it will cause a lot of troubles with chosing another main EU language, troubles coming moslty from inferiority/superiority complexes among people of the biggest EU countries (we all have heared abou them). So seems easier to keep english, which for more will still be the international language (two in one).

  185. La Fed Ham

    As far as the EU realm is concerned German and French offer incredible versatility when it comes to education, trade and commerce. However, one should never underestimate the value of ANY language. There was a time not to long ago when my parents were urging me to learn Japanese to prepare for the imminent Japanese surpassing of the US. Oh yes, we believed! Despite its size and in spite of its problems in recent years this hasn’t stopped people from learning a language only spoken by one still reasonably influential nation in the world. While all eyes have been on China in recent years which is understandable given its size and influence it has nevertheless amazed me to see the number of people enrolling to study Korean at various language colleges where i live. Interestingly, here in New Zealand, where I’ve been working, many people have advised me that vocational doors literally fly open when you can demonstrate that you speak Maori and official language along with English but spoken by perhaps as little as 5% of the population. Perhaps its not a very useful language outside of NZ but inside of it, wow you can literally pick your post of preference many those who do not possess it cannot largely because European Kiwis still prefer to see their sons or daughters studying a continental tongue for cultural, historical and also economical reasons i guess. It is still commendable but there would certainly be no harm and much more to gain if they chose Maori instead. So less common languages should not be written off as irrelevant whether they be Czech, Danish, Finn or any one of the other Unity in Diversity languages.
    Just because an ethnic groups numbers are small that doesn’t mean that their influence will also be. Returning to Europe, given the origins of the EU, i think that the Franco_Germanic language should certainly be the major tongues of the continent and to give English the place of prominence would be an insult. That certainly doesn’t mean that knowing English serve as an asset to you. My point is to keep your options open. Most of the world has been infected for better or for worse with a European language. And it is not always the English one.

  186. Pierre Samu Tandorf

    We Need pur in language besides the local ones. What makes more sense than Latin!? But school needs to be the same across the Union.

  187. Ivan Burrows


    Great Britain is the most cosmopolitan nation on the planet & we appreciate other cultures for what they are so the idea of all the countries of Europe adopting English is counter to our principle of individuality & ‘diversity’.

    Please don’t allow the EU elite to force English on you as the (their) official language of the EU, you will all lose your identity if you do..


    • Grzegorz

      I don’t

    • Christa H.

      Neither do I. It’s so irregular. Especially the spelling; it’s a pain in the neck even for native speakers!

  188. Narcis George Matache

    The question is completely rhetoric. Most of the educated youth in Europe speaks English and thinks in English, while most probably, speaking two or three other languages. This makes us, the Europeans, a prized commodity around the world. The idea that, English belongs to Britain is overdue, and people need to understand that the new English is the language of everyone, in Europe for now, and in the rest of the world, in the close future.

  189. Lars Jorgensen

    No!!! There are other, more beautiful ones and even more spoken in the EU languages that I will prefer. And if GB leaves the union, it would be a dead language, only spoken by people, who don’t have English as their mother tongue.I don’t wish nor hope that the GB does so, but in case that they do, I will say “peace be with them and goodby to every interest that I and others might have had for this country” Glorious past, which they try to reestablish, but they will have non of this glory. They will be the outskirts of Europa, which can very well manage without this narcissist country.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Lars Jorgensen
      FYI Ireland speaks English BTW.

  190. Ed Cocks

    It would be a good idea for any culture to adopt a bi-lingual focus within an existing, successful, educational system. English is the lingua franca and would seem the obvious candidate but a case can also be made for emerging languages which clearly dominate large regions. If the students are fully functional and there is room in the curriculum, go for it!

    • Grzegorz

      Easier? To what? Not phonetic spelling. More than 1000 phrasal verbs. Thousands of idioms. Huge, irregular vocabulary with doubled, tripled entries.

  191. La Fed Ham

    Yes Ivan, i did indeed answer in English :) i suppose because the question was addressed in it and because most people were answering in it lol. I had no intention in devaluing the significance of speaking, writing, reading or listening in this language. However, i do not feel that one is any more cultured for knowing English over other equally valuable and precious tongues. There is a lot of knowledge out there and while a lot of it is presented in English this does not mean that other cultures and their words lack sophistication and importance. You may learn a lot about the world through English but you’ll appreciate it even more if you can feel it through the sounds and words of another culture. Haere pai atu, hoki pai mai (travel safely/take care).

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Lars Jorgensen
      FYI Ireland speaks English BTW.

  192. Nando Aidos

    And the reason is?
    What is the goal?
    The objective?
    The benefit and to whom?
    Let us not create rules just for the sake or regulating!

    Before I vote yes or no I want to know why we need this rule and what for. I want the answers to my questions above.

  193. Talis Briedis

    You would think most would want to. Just make it available for them. Don’t force the issue.

    • Grzegorz


  194. Robert Levin

    apprende le franais, deusch lernen, aprender a lingua portuguesa,….. and many more.;-) the linguistical treasure of europe ;-)

  195. Gatouli Gatoulini

    European Union has bigger problems than this at the moment but if you are asking me I say no! I speak 5 languages not because I was obligated to study them but because I enjoyed doing it!

  196. Michelle Maria

    absolutely, i would say keep the integrity of your language to keep your national identity, but most launguages are bastardised and only have less than 1/2 its individual core and it is nice to have a common new core (2 cores) so we can all be closer with and learn from each other, especially in europe, isn’t easier to learn 2 languages rather than 28. some media is very open bringing the best of europe together, whilst some countries are still behind excommunist curtains where language is used to keep news from europe out and have them only integrating with neighbours, therefore moving forward toooo slowly for the countries own good if one wants to evolve into the world and not just the world of Me.

    • Grzegorz

      Speak for yourself. Should be: yes! for me! I prefer Esperanto (for me too).

  197. Yannick Cornet

    English, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish. But sure, AT LEAST English. It would be irresponsible not to.

  198. Helena Feio

    English is spoken by millions of people everywbere. If you know show to speak English you can comunicaste oito almost everyone. So I think English should bem mandatory.

    • Seán Ó Riain

      This is simply not true. Only 8% of EU citizens have a very good knowledge of English. i.e. would be comfortable in political debates in the language. Many know some words and phrases in English, but that kind of communication is very basis. And a majority of the human race does not speak English, and never will, in my humble opinion.

  199. Akpans Intel

    That question is a very difficult one.Because one can not just write an answer without having to think about the history of english as a universal language,the influence of the UK in world politics,economy,common wealth,slavery,the EU,etc.Why not German,or French?Or why not even all languages the EU member states officia speaklAnother food for thought is…The UK or England is not so commited to this Europian project!They dont use the Euro,most of their Reps. in the EP.are working against the Europian dreams just like …Pen in France and some others in Germany etc.They feel like leaving the EU.when countries like Germany,France,Spain etc.are doing all it takes to make sure this great EU project works.Why is Germany to blame or thanked if the EU works or fails when a super power like the UK is also a strong member?Because……..And here we are,faced with this question of English.With due respect to the language and the people,I would say lets find the solutions to Greece’s problems,Isis,poverty in the EU,Education,Terror,Paris,etc. than this language and culture debate for now.

  200. Filipe Chichorro de Carvalho

    As a proud european, I think that is a bad idea. English is already spoken by the majority of the younger people in europe. For that reason, why would it be necessary to make it a compulsory language?

    • Grzegorz

      I hope you mean: absolutely not!

  201. Marco Peel

    Europe is more than the sum of its parts precisely because of its cultural and linguistic richness and diversity. We should all learn other languages, aside from English, which is already the international norm.

    • Grzegorz

      No, it is certainly not!

  202. Gatouli Gatoulini

    2 friends are sitting in a park on a hot summer day somewhere in Athens.Suddenly approaches them a tourist who wanted some directions: “do you speak english?” he asks.The 2 friends look at him wondering what had he said.”Sprechen Sie Deutsch?”, asks again.No reaction by the 2 men.”Parla italiano?”,”Habla Espanol?”, “Francais?”. NOTHING. The tourist whispers something and goes away. One of the friends says then to the other: “See?? We should have learned a couple of languages.We would have understand the poor guy”.And the other man replies:”I saw him who spoke 5 what did he come up with!!!!!!”

  203. Thiago Crocco

    I also agree that there should not be only one official language in the EU. Every country as well as every culture have the right to have their own language as an official language of the EU.

  204. Maëva

    English is one of the most-spoken languages in Europe and obviously people need to learn it. But English isn’t a neutral language. Indeed, those who have English as native language would be advantaged since they know this language better than anyone. So the official language, if there must be one, must be neutral, such as Esperanto.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      Only a few thousand naive zealots speak DEsperanto and thus obviously people do NOT need to learn such a basket-case language.

      Esperanto is NOT a neutral language, it is a political and biased [toward Romance languages] construct that has the emotional attractiveness of hexadecimal and offers a lesser cultural attribution than Klingon.

      With POLITICAL UNION comes LANGUAGE UNION – one people, one language and that language is English.

    • M. D.

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      I don’t understand why you are so hostile to Esperanto, even though you obviously know nothing about it.

      “biased [toward Romance languages]”
      Esperanto is much less Romance than you think. In my experience the pronunciation and the grammar are easier for Slovaks than for French speakers, for instance. I have used Esperanto with people from almost every EU country (including Hungarians, whose language is very different from other European languages), Esperanto was easy for all of them.

      “that has the emotional attractiveness of hexadecimal and offers a lesser cultural attribution than Klingon.”
      This is a ridiculous claim. More than a century of use has proven that you can use Esperanto to write poetry and express love. It has as much “emotional attractiveness” as any language.

      “With POLITICAL UNION comes LANGUAGE UNION – one people, one language and that language is English.”
      Your claims that “Esperanto is biased” are hypocritical – isn’t English biased? Seriously?! The “bias” of Esperanto is neglibible compared to the use of one single national language. I don’t see why the speakers of one language should be given an immense privilege and have disproportionate influence, and I don’t want to live in America 2.0.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @M. D.
      LOL! If English is biased then ALL natural languages are biased! Your logic is flawed, funny and febrile.

      Furthermore, English is a multi-national language, indeed it’s a world language spoken by more people than any other language on the planet.

      Esperanto IS biased – do some research for proof and STOP ignoring the facts

      Methinks you are a bit of a lingofascist – please add that neologism to your rather thin Esperanto ‘dicktionary’.

      Let Darwinism run its course and stop trying to FOIST upon the world a BIASED and ARTIFICIAL plastic language like Esperanto; with each generation, lesser languages [like some in the EU unfortunately] will change/die – however, just as genes retain DNA fragments from millennia ago, so too will English contain fragments of the changed/expired languages as it has done throughout its existence.

    • M. D.

      @Tarquin Farquhar
      I don’t even know what to respond because you make no sense at all.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      If you spent more time learning English and NOT DEsperanto then maybe you could have understood my postings.


    No. English is the main language in the EU , it’s a fact , but we think that it’s important to carry on speaking other languages because it’s the culture of each country and these differences make up the identity of the EU

  206. guillem p.

    Even if we decide that English must not be the only official language, English is being actually the common language of the Union because of its global preeminence, as it is the only language which is taught in all schools of Europe. But we must consider which would be de consequences of the fact of being English the common language. It seems to me that this situation would make it difficult for people to feel themselves European. Of course if we think from individual point of view, a person goes to Ebglish because of its world hegemony, but for Europe it would be a good investment to have its own and common language.

    • Tarquin Farquhar

      @Guillem P.
      What ‘incontinent’-alist poppycock!
      British people are European too I believe.

  207. ancylostomiasis

    Yes to can, no to should.

    What a silly question, which part of In Varietate Concordia you don’t understand?

  208. George

    Yes! Makes perfect sense! English is relatively easy to learn and is the worldwide dominant language for business. It would make working and business easier across European countries.

    • Grzegorz

      relatively to what? Chinese?

  209. British Patriot ;)

    No, English should be the second language of Europe and used in situations where neither party speaks the others first language. Taking decisions like this would cotinue to strip Europe of its real identity, which is a continent of diversity, and would premote the idea that we are all one country. We are not

  210. PhilipII

    Absolutely not, there are 2 Anglophone nations in the EU, the biggest even considering an exit from the EU. Christos says that everyone should learn English as a 2nd language so that e.g. if a Greek person moves to Hungary they can get a job! How absurd! That would give a vast advantage to English speakers plus make them lazy and reluctant to integrate. Thank God this will never happen as France will never accept it and neither will Spain, which has 500 million speakers of its own language. Only a small percentage of the people in the EU are English speakers so English is punching well beyond its weight. We need linguistic diversity. Knowing a language enriches a person, helps them see the world from another perspective and aids intercultural understanding.

    • Chalks Corriette

      Actually – I understood that the main questiosn to see if Europe would benefit from one common language. I know that English is being proposed – but it could be any language – the idea is to find a common one to ease day-to-day life, work, transactions, business and so on. Diversity in languges is brilliant and should always be promoted. Having an easier way to communicate with each other – that would be brilliant.

      On another note, I understand that France and Spain would have a problem with English being forced into thier societ; as would we here in Belgium. But, the world is heading that way anyway, so it may just happen with or without our approval.

  211. PhilipII

    Most of those favouring English, I notice, are those who speak minority languages. I don´t notice, like myself, many Spaniards or Francophones.

  212. jag vet inte

    My favorite would be Dutch, there is lot of similarities to other European languages.
    Lots of similar words with English, German, Scandinavian and even french languages.. So Dutch would be my choice, only thing what should be changed is the spelling. Those throat g-s and else… Spell how you write it and this would be perfect.

  213. Chalks Corriette

    If we are to choose a common language to use within Europe, it should also be one that can be used in all Regions of the world. And, having a common langauge does not mean that all other EU languages are not important – they are. But life would be a little smoother if we shared one common way to communicate within Europe and, with the rest of the world.

  214. Sophie_CJD

    At my point of view, it’s so important to be able to communicate with people all over the world. How should globalization and multinational teamwork take place without a common language? So I think English should be taught every european child since primary school, to give young people a chance to advance an opinion all around the globe. Nevertheless I don’t like the idea of English as the only official language of the EU. If English would be the only official language, it would be kind of uprated compared to all the other languages. Tongue is always about culture too and for me it’s a little downgrade for all the other countries if we would call English the ONLY official language.
    All in all I just want to say that English should be taught everywhere to have a possibility of international communication and of course it should be an official language of the EU, but all the other languages shouldn’t be subjected to it.

  215. Chessy

    I think English is already the international language and it wouldn’t be logical to make an European language. Why should all Europeans learn Esperanto? The important fact is, that English is the language of the internet. Everything is in English: tutorials, videos, all kind of debates, etc. You won’t come far with for example German and Esperanto on the internet. You’ll just be able to communicate with Europeans but not with Americans or Asians or people from other continents, and what’s the point of that? If that happens, a lot of forums will be made just for Europeans in Esperanto and other forums would be in English. Through globalization we can easily talk to people in Canada or Australia and learn about their lives and cultures, how they see the world from their perspective and what they think about Europe. I also can’t imagine how some people in Europe still speak only their language. Do they never use the Internet?
    In Sweden everyone already learns English because Sweden’s population is too small to translate movies and TV shows from English to Swedish. I think that’s really helpful for the children over there to learn English, and this is probably not just in Sweden, there are a lot of small countries in Europe.
    I think Europe would maybe unite with Esperanto as a language all Europeans speak, but on the contrary, they would isolate themselves from the rest of the world. With the internet, globalization has made a really big step and that’s the reason why I think everyone should learn English as their first foreign language. If everyone speaks English, you can travel wherever you want and communicate with everyone there without any language barriers. Of course, it’s cool to learn the language of that country, but if you learn, for example Italian, you would be able to communicate with others in Italy and a small portion of people around the world.
    These days it’s not practical to express yourself to the whole world unless you speak English. It’s (at least in my experience) an easy language to learn in comparison to other languages like french (uhh, school) and we have had English as the world language for many years. Who is going to translate the internet to Esperanto for all the europeans? My world would be very limited without understanding English, the global language.

    • Christa H.

      Why do you say that, on the internet, you can communicate in Esperanto only with Europeans? In my experience of Esperanto chat rooms, Brazilians seem to be the majority (at least outnumbering any other single group), followed by Americans. I’ve also met several Asians, as well as Europeans. Of course chat rooms are not a reliable indicator of the overall demographic, but I think it is significant that most of the users are from the Americas, not Europe, although there are plenty from there too.

  216. Alejandro Carlos

    Let’s get the question of the Esperanto out of the way first. I am only going to say that Esperanto was created in 1887 and to this date more people learn Chinese in one year than Esperanto, and Chinese is a very difficult language to learn while Esperanto is tooted as the easier one.
    Presently there are over 500 million speakers of the English language, only outnumbered by the number of Chinese speakers. The other eight languages in decreasing order of speakers are:
    Hindustani, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Bengali, Portuguese, Malay-Indonesia and French.
    Now let’s be honest! The only practical alternatives to the generalization and adoption of English as the World (and European) language would be Mandarin or Spanish. Who wants to learn Hindustani when more people speak English in India than any other local language.
    Mandarin is way to difficult, lacks an alphabet and a person needs to learn between 5 to 10 thousand symbols to be considered well educated. Spanish is not as difficult as Chinese but still more difficult to learn than English. Just from a practical point of view English is way ahead of any other language.
    The question is not if ENGLISH is being imposed on the rest of us by the capitalistic expansionism the USA/UK business conglomerate but, and that is a really big but, are we interested in creating a WORLD in which all people can understand each other and have the same opportunities of individual development and progress? Is there any other language out there that is as democratically represented as English is? The opposition to the adoption of English as a European (or of the World for that matter) unifying language is more based on political resentment than in practical considerations.
    Business, financial and scientific information is disseminated and published more often in English than in any other language and the only market larger than the English speaking one is the Chinese. Does Esperanto compare? Any other language?
    The way I see it is that no matter what the reasons of the spread of English in the World, presently, it is the most prevalent, spoken and understood language in the World and besides not being and overly difficult language to learn, it will be the best and easier choice from a practical standpoint.
    The idea is not English as “the Language of the World” but just to use it in addition to any native language, representative of the local culture and traditions. It is not to “rob” people of their history and customs but simply give them a new tool to use in bridging differences, not creating them, to provide a means of understanding and basis of World Peace. Let’s not forget that the USA is a country of immigrants, most countries and their cultures are represented in their present population.
    Nothing to do with politics and everything to do with creating a better World.

    • Robb Kvasnak, EdD

      Mi vere ŝatus ellerni la ĉinan [mandarenan] lingvon kaj mi studas ĝin ekde multaj jaroj. Mi komenĉis kiam mi estis studento ĉe Univeristy of Pittsburgh. Sed politiko estas la stumblilo de la instruado de la ĉina: Ekzsitas DU skribsistemoj – la malnova kaj la nova. Pro politikaj kialoj, kelkaj landoj preferas la malnovan (Tajvano, Singaporo, Hongkongo, ktp). Multaj enmigrantaj ĉinaj en Usono ankaŭ nur uzas la malnovan. Ankaŭ ekzistas diversaj latinliterumoj: Wades-Giles, Pinyin, tajvana, Yale-a, ktp. Krom tio ekzistas diversaj sistemoj por serĉi mandarenajn vortojn en vortaro KAJ la instruistoj ĉiuj insistas ke SIA elpparolo estas la korekta. Frenezigas min. Mi vere ne povas esprimi KIOM DA HOROJ mi jam studis la ĉinan skribadon sed ankoraŭ mi apenaŭ povas legi. Se mi ne multe legas, mia vortprovizo ne kreskas. Jen la problemo. Beiĵingo devus trudigi al ĉiuj ununuran sistemon. Eduksistemoj, kiel tiu de Usono, devus apudlasi la politikon kaj instrui NUR la beiĵingan dialekton. Jam tio estas giganta laboro. Post la lernado de la baza lingvo, oni povus uzi tempon por lerni la malnovan skribmanieron, la kromajn dialektojn, ktp. Kion vi opinias pri tio?

  217. Robert

    It is clear that the European Union will never allow to impose the language of any member state as the only official language of Europe, no matter how dominant that language is in Europe or even in the rest of the world. In other words, the EU Commission does not recognize a language as international by its dominant position. A language with dominant position is just a dominant language, not an international one. History confirms that dominant languages are the main reason of the extinction of languages. This is why the EU Commission promotes linguistic diversity, to protect endangered languages. Behind every language, there is culture, knowledge, people living out their lives. Let us never forget that.

    Back to the question: Should English be the only official language of the EU? My answer is no, I support the position of the EU Commission that no national language should be, let alone one dominant. In any case, it should be a truly international language, one that is suited for communication among people from different nations, one that respects linguistic diversity. No national language fulfills those requirements.

  218. Alex Bell

    Yes, since large majority of people speak English in EU and translating to every language costs EU 1 billion a year

  219. Γιάννης Οικονομόπουλος

    That reminds me of the original british House of Cards.The PM in that show wanted the same.Anyway back to the point.I don’t see why not.If by official we mean the language of governance,not our everyday transactions,then this should be a welcome change.Translating everything in 20+ languages is far from practical.

  220. Ed Cocks

    Nope. People will learn what they want to learn. Simply, if a business person in Romania doesn’t want to learn it or hire someone who does, then they must be willing to lose the business.

  221. Darren Gleeson

    It would save a lot of money in translation costs, but then accessibility to non-English speaking citizens would be impaired. Perhaps a solution would be to have a number of core languages, as the UN does, and to translate documents into other languages on demand?

  222. EdC

    Nope. People will learn what they want to learn. Simply, if a business person in Romania doesn’t want to learn it or hire someone who does, then they must be willing to lose the business.

  223. Simone Rossi

    I disagree. Also because English is the official language of a EU member which might be soon out. So 300 million would speak a language which is not the official one of any EU country. Silly

  224. Arkadi Sharkov

    Yes it should. I will lower the bureaucracy and remove the payments to thousands of translators – therefore reducing the buget, which is enourmous enough.

  225. Nikos Trikilis

    Lets also withdraw all numbers over 100 and eat only apples and oranges till the end of time. Oversimplification for the sake of standardization and economic efficiency. Disgusting.