Another EU tantrum: No more English!

The petulant children who run the European Union have been throwing epic tantrums since the Brexit vote, looking to punish and humiliate Great Britain for disobeying them.  They refuse to meet representatives of the British government informally to discuss how the mechanism of an EU exit can be implemented.  EU president Juncker haughtily questioned why members of the UKIP party were attending a meeting of the EU parliament to discuss Britain's exit ("Why are you here"?).

Now it's been proposed that since Britain is leaving the EU, English, the official language, be dropped.

Forbes columnist Tim Worstall explains why that's a really, really dumb idea:

Now that Britain is leaving the European Union they’re moving to insist that English no longer be used in that institution. And the thing is that these sorts of things just don’t work that way. Which language people use is a market. Just as which currency they do, which pub they go to or how fashion changes over the years. These are not things decided by bureaucrats miffed that the world isn’t giving them enough respect. They’re things that we decide ourselves and with language it’s something that we decide every time we open our mouths.

I say this not because I am the traditional monolingual Englishman (my Russian was once good enough to do business in that language, my Portuguese and French are good enough to navigate through life in those two countries, my Italian would come back with a month or two in country. Not claiming fluency in any language, not even English, but I can cope) but because markets just don’t work in that manner. Language is simply a means of communication – people will use whatever language aids in that. Demanding that people use one or the other simply does not work. As the French actually ought to understand.

The French were horrified when terms like "hamburger" and even "french fries" attained widespread usage when U.S. fast food companies expanded on the continent.  The official arbiter of the French language, L'Académie Française, ordered that all English language terms be dropped from ads in favor of their French alternatives.  Needless to say, it didn't work.

If English is dropped, M.P.s will have to go back to using their native tongue.

I, for one, just cannot wait until all Irish MEPs are forced to speak in Gaelic, a language almost none of them have past about 8th grade, maybe 10th. And the joke has already been made that all Maltese who are actually bilingual are already working for the EU translation service. Would be amusing trying to find the Maltese/Lithuanian pair, or the Maltese/Gaelic even, in a simultaneous translator. Which is, of course, why such things are not attempted. Document translation often works through an intermediate language (English!) and certain translation pairs in simultaneous work just aren’t attempted.

The proposal is not only impractical, but an embarrassment.  And it is indicative of how EU leaders view ordinary Europeans.  They think they can order them around like little children.  But those days – if they ever existed are now over.

The EU can pass legislation on what language to use all they want.  Getting people to comply is an entirely different matter.

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