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What does the unification of Europe mean for linguistic and cultural diversity?


What does the unification of Europe mean for linguistic and cultural diversity? Robert Phillipson Faculty of Languages, Communication, and Cultural Studies – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What does the unification of Europe mean for linguistic and cultural diversity?

What does the unification of Europe mean for
linguistic and cultural diversity?
  • Robert Phillipson
  • Faculty of Languages, Communication,
  • and Cultural Studies
  • Copenhagen Business School

Paradox 1 the EUis not what it seems
  • EU is at root a Franco-German project
  • BUT
  • French and German are being marginalised
    nationally and internationally
  • Language policy is an explosive topic

European unification
  • European reconciliation and economic
  • subordination to US global aims

Condoleezza Rice, 2000George W. Bush, 2000
  • The rest of the world is best served by the USA
    pursuing its own interests because American
    values are universal.
  • Our nation is chosen by God and commissioned by
    history to be a model to the world.

  • is a normative project a pseudo-concept that
    incarnates the most accomplished form of the
    imperialism of the universal, which consists of
    one society (USA) universalising its own
    particularity covertly as a universal model .
  • Pierre Bourdieu, 2001

New American Centurythe grand design
  • www.newamericancentury.org
  • www.truthout.org
  • A.G. Frank ignore conspiracy theories, the
    conspiracy is real http//globalresearch.ca/articl
  • Language in the New Capitalism LNC email network

Finland v. Germany 1999small and big
language rights
  • Die europäische Integration scheint für
    Lipponens Finnland nur so weit von Interesse zu
    sein, wie sie zur internationalen
    Wettbewerbsstärkung beiträgt. Europäisering wird
    offenbar als Spielart der Globalisierung
    (miss)-verstanden. Und die Globalisierung kennt
    nur eine Sprache, das Englische. Sprachenvielfalt
    ist somit nur eine Barriere für die
  • Andreas F. Kelletat,
  • DeutschlandFinnland 60 SaksaSuomi 60,
  • Deutsche Studien Universität Tampere 4, 2001, 40

(No Transcript)
One Europe? One language?
  • Spanish Foreign Secretary, Ana Palacio, El
    País, 16 December 2002
  • The motto One Europe, solely in English,
    requires a reflection. Even though Copenhagen did
    not face the question of languages, this is one
    of the pending subjects that sooner rather than
    later must be debated for the very survival and
    viability of this project of Europe with a world
    vocation. Within it, Spanish, one of the official
    UN languages, spoken by more than 400 million
    people in more than 20 countries, must take on
    the place it is entitled to.

Paradox 2 diversity is subject to the unfree
  • EU rhetoric supports cultural and linguuistic
  • BUT
  • There is in practice laissez faire in the
    linguistic market, as is confirmed in the draft
    EU Constitution, which provides weak support for
    linguistic equality and diversity

Language status
  • parity of twenty languages
  • French primus inter pares
  • English the current linguistic cuckoo

European linguistic apartheid?
  • European citizenship, within the limits of the
    currently existing union, is not conceived as a
    recognition of the rights and contributions of
    all the communities present upon European soil,
    but as a postcolonial isolation of native and
    non-native populations a true European
    apartheid, advancing concurrently with the formal
    institutions of European citizenship and, in the
    long term, constituting an essential element of
    the blockage of European unification as a
    democratic construction. (Balibar 2004, 170)

David Rothkopf, Foreign policy, 1997
  • It is in the economic and political interest of
    the United States to ensure that if the world is
    moving toward a common language, it be English
    that if the world is moving toward common
    telecommunications, safety, and quality
    standards, they be American and that if common
    values are being developed, they be values with
    which Americans are comfortable. These are not
    idle aspirations. English is linking the world
    Americans should not deny the fact that of all
    the nations in the history of the world, theirs
    is the most just, the most tolerant, the most
    willing to constantly reassess and improve
    itself, and the best model for the future.

Corporate English
  • Farvel til dansk
  • Børsens Nyhedsmagasin
  • 19, 28 May 10 June, 2001
  • Should everyone speak English?
  • Business Week (European edition)
  • 13 August 2001

Fluidity in language policyin Europe
  • unresolved tension between linguistic nationalism
    (monolingualism) and european institutional
  • competing agendas at the European, state
    (national), and sub-statal levels
  • the under-class in Fortress Europe of
    non-citizens with marginalised languages
  • increase of grassroots and elite bilingualism
  • largely uncritical adoption of englishisation,
    lingua economica/americana
  • rhetoric of language rights, and some national
    and supranational implementation

Languages in EU institutions and services
  • Separate services for the written word
    (translation) and speech (interpretation)
  • Separate services for the Parliament, European
    Court of Justice, and the Commission Council of
  • Rights enshrined in Regulation 1, 1958, with
    additional languages at each enlargement
  • Terminological confusion (official / working /
    procedural languages) obscures inequalities
  • Policy follows economic rationales

Linguistic imperialism
  • English should be the sole official language of
    the European Union.
  • Director, British Council, Germany, cited in
  • Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 26 February 2002
  • Newsweek interviewer, 31 May 2004
  • A unified Europe in which English, as it turns
    out, is the universal language?
  • Romano Prodi It will be broken English, but it
    will be English.

Factors accounting for paralysis in language
policy formation (1)
  • different cosmologies in national linguistic
  • confusions of terminology (e.g. lingua franca,
    multilingualism, working language) in discourse
    (politics, media, business etc) and in distinct
    academic disciplines
  • linguistic human rights a recent development in
    international law
  • criteria for guiding equitable supranational
    language policy are under-explored

Factors accounting for paralysis in language
policy formation (2)
  • EU institutions are inconsistent in living up to
    ideals of multilingual equality (website,
    communications with member states)
  • overall responsibility for language policy in the
    EU is fragmented (Council of Ministers, DGs for
    Education Culture,Translation, ), and
    ultimately (inter-) governmental
  • alternatives to market forces (the comparative
    advantage of English in the European linguistic
    market) and linguistic nationalism (e.g.
    Esperanto) are unexplored
  • power politics, linguistic nationalism, economics

Concern at Englishisation1 (nation-state)
  • LAlliance pour la Souveraineté de la France
  • Legislation in France, Poland, Hungary
  • Belgian government EU discriminates
  • Vienna Manifesto The cost of monolingualism
  • Nordic Council of Ministers surveys of domain
    loss in each Nordic language
  • Swedish parliamentary committee national
    languages policy plan, Mål i mun

Concern at English invasion2 (supranational/inte
  • European Council conclusions Linguistic
    diversity and multilingualism, 1995
  • Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
    Recommendation on Linguistic diversity, 1998
  • European Parliament Commission Year of
    Languages 2001, and the ensuing Resolution
  • Resolution on Linguistic and Cultural Diversity
    , NGOs at Porto Alegre, 2002
  • Esperanto association discrimination campaign

Paradox 3 Panglossian faith in Danish in EU
  • the most senior Danish translator Danish is
    thriving, expanding
  • Head of interpretation services Danish risks
    marginalisation, need for policy formation,
    need for interpreter training

  • at elevernes sproglige udvikling i folkeskolen
    styrkes gennem en forøget indsats i skolen og på
    pædagog- og læreruddannelserne at forskningen
    følger en parallelsproglig strategi, hvor dansk
    styrkes, uden at engelsk eller andre relevante
    fremmedsprog nedprioriteres som videnskabs- og
    forskningssprog, og at formidlingen af
    videnskabelige resultater på dansk styrkes

Mangler i Sprog på spil
  • strategier for andre fremmedsprog end engelsk (EU
    forpligtelser, 2003 Action Plan), helhed
  • veje til flersprogethed for majoritets- og
    minoritetsbefolkningen, indvandrersprog
    (forpligtelser i konventioner)
  • dansk i EU institutioner og i medlemslandene
  • konkrete populariseringsstrategier.
  • Udvalget anbefaler at man følger opmærksomt
  • indvandrersprogsspørgsmålet og igangsætter
  • udredning af dansk i EU-sammenhæng.

EU Commission Promoting language learning and
linguistic diversity An Action Plan 2004-2006,
24 July 2003
  • The range of languages for learning
  • the smaller languages as well as the larger ones
  • regional, minority and migrant languages as well
    as those with national status, and
  • the languages of our major trading partners
    throughout the world.

EU Commission Promoting language learning and
linguistic diversity An Action Plan 2004-2006,
24 July 2003
  • The language friendly school a holistic
    approach appropriate connections between the
    teaching of mother tongue, foreign languages,
    the language of instruction, and the languages of
    migrant communities.

Obstacles tosupranational language policy
  • poor infrastructure nationally and
  • weak infrastructure in research
  • international coordination among national
    language bodies is in its infancy
  • EU translation and interpretation services are
    impressive in many respects, but subject to an
    economic rationale, see themselves as a service
    function rather than policy-making, and are
    detached from international research
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