QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

How will all European officials be able to master Modern Latin?


Modern Latin is a modern variant of Latin, the grammar of which has been greatly simplified while retaining its rich vocabulary and nuances. As a result, Modern Latin can be learned in just a few months. Everyone can speak it fluently in less than a year, at the rate of a few hours of lessons per week. A specific program is being developed to enable European officials to learn and speak this language fluently in just one year, at a lower cost as the courses will be mainly online and free. Therefore we would just need to decide that this learning becomes compulsory for all European officials, so that within one year the European institutions can start working in Modern Latin.




What about all the documentary and legal history of the European Union?


A major translation program is planned, aimed at translating into modern Latin all official documents issued by the European Union since its creation. Thus, the entire European legal corpus will be available in this language, providing the European institutions with the working bases they need.




Is this project of a common European language achievable?


Mark Twain said, "They didn't know it was impossible, so they did it." Beyond this quote, the roadmap we are proposing is quite realistic. Indeed, it can be implemented quite easily and at low cost, while bringing significant benefits to Europe. The benefits provided are human (equality between Europeans, European sovereignty, etc.) but also financial (strong cost savings).




Why should we adopt a common, neutral and easy language?


The linguistic question within the European Union is at the same time a question of democratic efficiency, sovereignty, equity between European citizens, and respect for the peoples. Today, apart from the large plenary meetings, all the European institutions, agencies and attached organizations work exclusively in Anglo-American, a language much more difficult than one might think and which is only mastered by native English speakers and a small minority of non-native speakers. The result is that the first criterion for recruiting European institutions is based on a good level of English to the detriment of the intrinsic qualities necessary for the job. The EU is thus depriving itself of a large part of the skills available in Europe and of skills acquired elsewhere than in English-speaking training institutes, which also poses a problem of the diversity of cultures and currents of thought. The other even more serious consequence is a problem of equity. Excluding from the European Union, in recruitments, in information made available in English only by EU media outlets, those for whom English is not the language poses a serious democratic problem. It is also a big mistake to think, as some say, that the problem could be solved by strengthening the learning of English for non-English speakers. On the one hand, this method has already shown its ineffectiveness, on the other hand, is it fair to impose on a part of the population a tedious learning of a difficult language with which people will never be so familiar? comfortable that a native, native who can devote this time to learning any other language or subject of his choice. The result of this linguistic policy, officially multilingual but in fact favoring English, is that we have a two-speed Europe with English speakers, privileged citizens, and non-English speakers, second-class citizens. This linguistic discrimination which contributes to the creation of a ruling elite and citizens who are infantilized by the system is certainly not unrelated to the rejection of this form of Europe by Europeans who feel excluded from it. Unable to identify with this Europe, the result is a withdrawal of Europeans towards their own national culture, their own values, and the formation of a line of fracture between the ruling elites and the citizens. History teaches that many political systems, including the most prestigious and the strongest (seemingly) collapsed for these reasons. Consider the fall of the USSR, whose decades-dominated non-Russian-speaking peoples regained their freedom as soon as the opportunity arose. Let us look at all these sometimes deadly conflicts where people defend their linguistic rights which they feel, rightly or wrongly, threatened. The European Union therefore risks being built on an explosive mixture which will not withstand a crisis a little more serious than the others ...




Isn’t translation the best solution for Europe?


With 24 official languages, translation within the European Union does not work. Despite high translation and interpretation costs (around 1 billion euros per year), barely 5% of documents and discussions are translated! Direct debate between citizens is impossible because no language is spoken by all Europeans. In addition, when some people are able to understand and respond to documents and discussions directly in the working language, while others have to wait for translation (often several weeks or months), this creates a huge distortion in the ability to understand negotiation and response between these two categories of population. Native speakers and the few percent of the population who speak the working language perfectly (generally English if one speaks about the European institutions), therefore have a clear competitive advantage over the others, which is not acceptable in a Union based on equality between all citizens.




But doesn't “everyone speak English” already?


No: less than one out of ten Europeans now speak English at an acceptable level. And even among these, very few can express themselves in this language as a native speaker. In fact, vehicular English used today is, by its poverty and the number of errors made, an affront to the language of Shakespeare. For example, many European officials denounce Brussels English, the victim of a race to the bottom, each being forced to conform to the lowest common denominator, which in turn weakens the mastery of other European languages. Very often, the European elected representatives start their discussion in English, then when it comes to defending more technical or political points, they go back to their mother tongue. Except that in general, there is no interpreter in the room … We must distinguish two types of foreign language learning: learning as a cultural approach (learning Russian to read Dostoyevsky in the text), and the acquisition of an effective communication tool between speakers of different languages. So, what do we want: that our European institutions work in an approximate, complex and poorly mastered foreign language (impoverished English), a source of errors and misunderstandings, or use a rich language, easy to master and allow to express finer shades (modern Latin)?