Wed. May 12th, 2021


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Speak FRENCH! MEP erupts and demands English language cut from bloc – ‘NOT acceptable!’

4 min read

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However, a Tory MP responded by saying France – led by President Emmanuel Macron – needed to get over its “bruised” ego, while suggesting most EU states would continue to use English regardless. Meanwhile a former Irish diplomat has suggested the comments were ominous for Ireland, which is the only country left in the bloc where English is spoken as a first language.

Dominique Bilde, a member of the right-wing National Rally party, made her remarks during a speech in the European Parliament, in which said she would be taking steps to minimise the use of English throughout the continent.

She said: “Stop the contempt of the EU towards the French language.

“Europe is not only populated by technocrats from Brussels speaking wannabe English.

“Stop ‘Globish’ and long live the languages of our nations including the beautiful language of Molière!

“Since the British departure, the language of Shakespeare has become the official language only of Ireland and Malta.

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“Brexit means that English has moved from the 3rd to the 17th language spoken in the EU while more than 70 percent of the documents still produced in the institutions are in English. This is no longer acceptable.

Ms Bilde added: “In addition, the various European agencies in question today, publish almost exclusively in this language on their various sites.

“This is a problem: we fund organisations that don’t write in the languages actually spoken in our continent.”

There were many translations which summarised the main ideas, but the rest was “inaccessible” to French speakers, Ms Bilde explained.

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She added: “To use words you love so much, wouldn’t this be linguistic discrimination against nations whose language is not English?

“The problem is the following, that makes tens of millions of Europeans. Indeed, in many countries like France, a net contributor to the EU budget, but also Spain and Italy, the rate of people speaking the language of globalisation is only 50 percent.”

Even in states claiming to speak English well, only seventy percent of the population spoke “the language of Shakespeare”, she claimed.

Ms Bilde said: “The least would be to respect the French who pay institutions that do not even show the courtesy of trying to speak to them in their own language.

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The French will have to continue to feel bruised on this issue

Daniel Kawczynski MP

“We therefore consider that respect for multilingualism is necessary. We will be proposing amendments along these lines in order to force the various European agencies to produce in the language of Europe which Umberto Eco rightly said was ‘translation.’

“Stop ‘Globish’ and long live the languages of our nations!”

Daniel Kawczynski, the Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, was unfazed by Ms Bilde’s remarks.

He told “The French will have to continue to feel bruised on this issue.

“The vast majority of European Union member states and officials understand the power and wide reach of the English language and will continue to use it rather than French even though Britain is no longer a member.”

Ray Bassett, Ireland’s former ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, said: “I warned about the probability of some decrease in the use of English in the EU Institutions in my book Ireland and the EU, Post Brexit.

“I said that Irish politicians would learn in the future the cost of failing to make the necessary compromises with the UK prior to Brexit.

“As far back as July 2017, then President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said mockingly that ‘English is losing its importance in the EU’.

“With only five million native English speakers (the Republic of Ireland) in the EU today, the French and German authorities sense they can elevate their own languages at the expense of English.

“In recent years, the English language has come to dominate in Brussels, curiously enough the Lingua Franca of the EU.

“This has caused resentment among French officials, who have seen their language decline in importance internationally and will undoubtedly now use this opportunity to push hard to diminish English as a working language.

“This is hardly a comforting prospect for the normally linguistically challenged Irish politicians and officials.”

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