French perfectionists have never enjoyed having English language forced on them, and following UK’s Brexit vote, they have seized the chance to campaign for them to be stripped off of the English language — at least at EU headquarters.
The UK made a historic decision to leave the European Union on Thursday, following the much-talked-about Brexit vote.
And since Britain’s seismic decision to divorce the European Union, two French politicians have been calling for Britain, before finally shutting the door on the EU, to take its language along.
Robert Menard, the far-right mayor of the southern town of Beziers tweeted:
“The English language no longer has any legitimacy in Brussels”.
The contempt for English language seemed to cross all political divides, as the leader of the far-left Left Party, Jean-Luc Melenchon also tweeted:
“English can no-longer be the third working language of the European parliament.”
Several Twitter users queried Menard and Melenchon about what the fate of majority English speaking Irish would be if they dump English in the scrap-heap.
In response, Menard pointed out that Ireland’s first language was officially Gaelic and suggested they should adopt the language once again.
The European Union has 24 official and working languages including Bulgarian, Danish, Croatian and, obviously, English. In the European Parliament, all documents and talks must be translated simultaneously into the 24 languages.
This means that an official language of a member state can’t automatically become an official language of the EU. Therefore, with other English speaking countries still in the EU, English might never be abolished in the bloc.
However, one can understand the stance of the French politicians given that France often takes the lowest position of the class across the association in English language proficiency.
In 2014, a survey done by international language training company Education First found that France had the weakest adult English proficiency, and “making little effort to improve” among the countries in the EU.
However, many younger French people are not shying away from the language unlike their adults. They are keen to improve their skills, and have adopted numerous anglicisms in every day language.
Also, countless television adverts have English slogans, obligingly translated into French in small print at the bottom of the screen, showing that their willingness to adopt the language despite what the older generation thinks, English, “c’est cool”.
The EU is the latest of a series of multinational organizations created after World War II to ensure that there would never again be a pan-European war and to create the conditions for a new European prosperity after the deep destruction wrought by the war against the Nazis. Admirably, the EU has succeeded at both and of course Brexit vote may not have a significant effect on the EU.
Since the Britian’s decision to leave, many have opined that the country will lose a lot for opting out of the bloc.
Very well respected economists have predicted that Britain will incur significant losses as a result of leaving the EU, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, which estimated that British economic growth would be 5% smaller by 2030.
In fact, the consequences of Brexit vote go far beyond just economic ones and it seems that has caused the UK to relent from finalizing her leave status.
Recently, European leaders expressed frustration at the UK’s failure to immediately invoke Article 50, which will get them out officially, as they are effectively powerless to force Britain to leave.
It is entirely up to the defecting EU member to invoke Article 50 and no one in Europe can trigger the mechanism except the Britian’s government.