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Maciamo
08-04-04, 05:47
Translating is EU's new boom industry (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3604069.stm)


When 10 new countries join the European Union on 1 May, they bring with them an extra nine languages to add to the EU's existing 11.


Translators, builders and electronics suppliers are busy ahead of 1 May
There could even be 10 new tongues, for if Greek and Turkish Cypriots vote for reunification before then, Turkish will become the EU's 21st language.

How will it cope? Even with 20, Europe's tower of Babel is creaking.

Twenty languages gives a total of 380 possible combinations (English-German, French-Czech, Finnish-Portuguese, etc), and finding any human being who speaks, for example, both Greek and Estonian or Slovene and Lithuanian is well-nigh impossible.

To get round this problem, the parliament will use much more "relay translation", where a speech is interpreted first into one language and then into another - and perhaps into a fourth or fifth.


The European Commission already has 1,300 translators, who process 1.5 million pages a year in the EU's 11 languages.

In two years that is expected to rise to almost 2.5 million pages - and the staff, based in two enormous buildings in Brussels and Luxembourg, will almost double in size to cope with the output.

The cost will rise from roughly 550 million euros today to over 800 million euros after enlargement. Is it worth it?
...

"Translation costs less than 2 euros per citizen, so it is less than a cup of coffee or a ticket to the cinema," he says.

"I think it's worth it because it is part of democracy.

bossel
08-04-04, 06:41
To get round this problem, the parliament will use much more "relay translation", where a speech is interpreted first into one language and then into another - and perhaps into a fourth or fifth.]
Now that will be nice. Just think of the mistakes made in one translation, which are almost invariably there. Will be like playing Chinese Whisper.

Not to mention the costs.

IMO, it's about time to agree on a European lingua franca. There will still be the need for translation, but nothing like Chinese Whisper & with a fraction of the costs.

Maciamo
08-04-04, 07:55
I think that English will impose itself as European lingua franca with time. It's not just because it's becoming the international language par excellence, but because it is the easiest language to learn for Western European (i.e. Germanic or Latin languages speakers, as English is the only 50-50 Latino-Germanic hybrid). In the mean time, French, German and maybe Italian and Spanish could side up as othr official communication" languages, as they are the most spoken. That leaves Eastern European languages apart, but except Polish, none have more than 10 million speakers.

Rachel
08-04-04, 17:58
I think that English will impose itself as European lingua franca with time. It's not just because it's becoming the international language par excellence, but because it is the easiest language to learn for Western European (i.e. Germanic or Latin languages speakers, as English is the only 50-50 Latino-Germanic hybrid). In the mean time, French, German and maybe Italian and Spanish could side up as othr official communication" languages, as they are the most spoken. That leaves Eastern European languages apart, but except Polish, none have more than 10 million speakers.
English is already being used by german engineers and scientists because its more comprehensive for describing ideas and theorys than their own language.

den4
08-04-04, 18:50
Now if you can get the Japanese to adopt some form of conformity (aside from their Engrish) on a system that would make it easier to follow (since they use scientific and medical terms from German, food items from Euro-languages, outdated English slang for daily conversation attempts, and mis-used translations in their Jpn to Engrish and Engrish to Jpn dictionaries), I think there would be fewer things that would really be Lost in Translation :D

of course, if that ever did happen, I suppose engrish.com would suffer :D

Frank D. White
08-04-04, 19:52
deal with so many different languages spoken by the students! Our local high school has over 30 different languages by students from all over the world. Good
thing young people are so smart! They all seem to pick up on English in a year or less.

Frank

:happy:

den4
08-04-04, 20:56
yes...

and they pick up Engrish in less than a day! :D

but watch....just as everybody finally gets a universal language, it will all get disrupted again due to some Vogon Constructor Fleets arriving :D

(for those not aware of Vogon Constructor Fleets, check out the H2G2 website) :D

bossel
08-04-04, 21:13
English is already being used by german engineers and scientists because its more comprehensive for describing ideas and theorys than their own language.
That's only a rumour!

English is used mainly because the US has the most influence in science & technology. Another reason is that it is considered modern to use English expressions.




In the mean time, French, German and maybe Italian and Spanish could side up as othr official communication" languages
If I remember correctly English, French & German are already "working languages" (Arbeitssprachen, not sure of translation), whereas all others are official languages. That means all official documents are first published in E, F & G (except for the official gazette, which is published in all languages).

I've found one stastic on the subject which says that of all documents 57% are originally written in English, 29% in French & 5% in German. Ten years ago French had a percentage of 47.

It seems, the development is really going in the direction of English. Although I still expect some resistance of mainly the French, this is probably the way it is. The sooner the better, I say. This whole translation business is too costly.

bossel
08-04-04, 21:16
Stastic should of course read statistic!

Can't edit, don't know why!

Maciamo
09-04-04, 03:22
deal with so many different languages spoken by the students! Our local high school has over 30 different languages by students from all over the world.

You didn't get it. 30 official languages does not mean that they are all official in every region, but that each region only has 1 (sometimes 2) official languages. Even inside present countries. For example, there are 3 official languages in Belgium (Dutch, French and German) but the country is divided into 3 linguistic area (+ Brussels bilingual Dutch-French) which all have their own federal government and different education system. So if somebody wants to study in French, they must go to a French speaking area, otherwise classes will be in Dutch (or German) only. Some regions (Ithink Wales, Catalonia...) have bilingual schools with lessons in 2 languages (ex: Welsh/English, Catalan/Spanish...).

But you are right that young people will have to be smarter as the elementary school students will soon have to learn 3 of the EU's official languages in all Europe. So far, learning foreign languages has started from 10, 12 or 15 years old...

Rachel
09-04-04, 17:07
. Some regions (Ithink Wales, Catalonia...) have bilingual schools with lessons in 2 languages (ex: Welsh/English, Catalan/Spanish...).


Yes Wales is bilingual, Welsh is compulsory at school.