Friday, 23 September 2011

Brace yourselves for Monday

For it will be, get this, the 10th European Day of Languages.

The highlight would appear to be this:

"Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, will sign a joint declaration with Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, to re-affirm their commitment to multilingualism".

I think I might have to ask the long-suffering Mrs QG to wave the smelling salts somewhere near my nose.

Other details are far too dull to focus on, but there are some moderately interesting factlets in the footnotes to the press release.

EU translating / interpreting costs €1bn a year, or about 1% of the total budget.  Fairly alarming, frankly.

The least multilingual EU countries are Ireland (34%) and the UK (38%).  That comes as a surprise, given that our 'pupils are obliged to take Irish to Leaving Certificate level' .  (Source)  An Irishman of my acquaintance swore by the utility of the language for holding loud but private conversations while abroad.


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