Monday, March 15, 2010

Europa по-русски

Make Russian an official language of the European Union!

Yes, I know that EU official languages are supposed to be official in at least one member state.  I know that the existing 23 original languages create a cacophony in Brussels which is befitting of biblical Babylon.  I know that adding another language will require the employment of legions of 'eurobabblers' to translate the existing acquis communitaire into Russian, not to mention the ongoing translation work.

But think of this:
  1. Russian is a major European language and has around 280m native or near native speakers.
  2. Even though it is not the state language in any EU country, it is spoken by significant minorities in the Baltics, Bulgaria and in aspirant countries such as Serbia, Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia.  Making Russian an official language of the Union will make those minorities feel more at home, without unduly threatening the position of the national language.
  3. Having the aquis in Russian will facilitate its adoption (in part or in whole) by former Soviet States, improving the quality of their law, their ability to trade with the EU and their chances of later accession.
  4. Having ongoing EU discussions translated into Russian will improve the quality of EU - Russia dialogue and the understanding between the two parties.
  5. Making Russian official within the EU will make Russians feel good about themselves (without having to do something stupid like invading a small neighbouring country for no good reason.)
Я жду ответа от Брюсселя!

10 comments:

  1. hren tebe, a ne aquis po-russki

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  2. Thanks for the horseradish. :{

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  3. I rarely agree with your point of view, but this is a great idea.

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  4. 1. Not really relevant, English is the only international language and except for a few persons in countries neighbouring Russia, there is no point for anyone to learn it.
    2. If the countries where the Russian-speaking minority lives have chosen not to make it a official language, I see no reason for the EU to do so.
    3. Which former Soviet states?
    4. The Russians will just have to learn English like the rest of us
    5. The EU is already bending over backwards to accommodate the Russian ego. There is no need to do anything like this, instead we should get serious with Russia and not be afraid to make demands and to criticize them when it is warranted(eg their human rights record)

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  5. In point 1 above, "it" of course refers to the Russian language, not English

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  6. what for?
    english has been established as a global lingua franca without that bundle of negative historical connotations as some other languages; the basics are easy to learn and among youngsters, it has a lot of prestige;

    english as the only language of the EU would save a lot of time and taxpayers' money and as it is globally used no one would have the impressions of any imperialist ambitions by the UK or the States;

    and this "respecting the languages and cultures of the member countries" is a lot of hypocrisy because when it comes to the hidden agendas of the eurocrates, respect is the least important issue.

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  7. I agree, but not for the reasons that you mention (at least not all of them). Making Russian another official language of the EU would certainly be beneficial in its relations with Russia, including their supply of oil and natural gas westward. At the same time it would please the significant Russian minorities in EU countries, among other things.
    The question then arises - where do you draw the line? Are you going to add Chinese as well? It is the most spoken language out there..
    And speaking of minorities, what about Arabic? There is an ever-increasing number of people immigrating to the EU who speak Arabic. Do they deserve to have their own official language in the Union as well? It would definitely have similarly positive outcomes in EU's relation with the Muslim world, maybe to an even larger extent than is the case with Russian...

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  8. would we want to allow bikes on a motorway just because the chinese love to use their bikes? would we want to have horses on a motorway just because the arabs manage their desert travel on horseback? no.
    we only would want to have cars and bikes on a motorway for a simple reason: efficiency and safety.

    first language/-s mean culture/identity/sense of belonging etc.- we know that;
    second language or foreign language acquisiton means convenience & efficiency, as simple as that.

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  9. this is an idea ..... a fucking awful idea ... fuck russia

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  10. fucking bad idea, ......\

    morning moskow

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