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 reconstruction • 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.
Globalisation 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 Century:the grand design www.newamericancentury.org www.truthout.org A.G. Frank: ignore conspiracy theories, the conspiracy is real http://globalresearch.ca/articles Language in the New Capitalism: LNC email network
Finland v. Germany 1999’small’ 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 Geschäftsbeziehungen. Andreas F. Kelletat, Deutschland:Finnland 6:0 Saksa:Suomi 6:0, Deutsche Studien Universität Tampere 4, 2001, 40
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 market EU rhetoric supports cultural and linguuistic diversity 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 multilingualism • 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 Ministers • 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 cultures • 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 Englishisation:1 (nation-state) • L’Alliance 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 invasion:2 (supranational/international) • 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 atPorto Alegre, 2002 • Esperanto association discrimination campaign
Paradox 3: Panglossian faith in Danish in EU institutions • the most senior Danish translator: Danish is thriving, expanding • Head of interpretation services: Danish risks marginalisation, need for policy formation, need for interpreter training
DET DANSKE SPROG SKAL STYRKES · 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 CommissionPromoting 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 CommissionPromoting 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 supranationally • 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