More WordPress Translation Plugins: now also Traducteur – Uebersetzer – Traductor – Traduttore – Tradutor – Vertaler

Although unrelated to my usual posts, I thought it interesting to announce here more language pairs for my very simple text-only WordPress translator plugin.

These new plugins don’t support as many language pairs as the English one – due to limitations from Altavista and Tranexp translation engines -, but Google translator is able to translate already-translated-texts from Altavista, so you may find some new languages to translate into in this release.

Translations other than direct ones are indeed not clean, and thus not usually trustworthy; but, it’s the most I could achieve at present. If you have more ideas on how to improve it, either change it by yourself (remember it’s GPL) or contact me per email, or just leave a comment if something goes wrong.

Btw, I invite you to visit a new DNGHU site on Proto-Indo-European history and maps and also remember you that DNGHU is now a legal corporation (a non-profit Association) you can easily join, either as a person or as another national legal corporation if it has similar aims.

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The ‘Grin Report’ and its pretended support of Esperanto over Indo-European as European Union’s official language

We have received at Indo-European Language Revival Association an email suggesting us learning more about Esperanto, describing its advantages, and especially talking about the Grin Report, an expert study supposedly favoring Esperanto as the only language for the European Union. This mail comes probably from a reader of Spanish newspapers who read about recent news on Indo-European revival, who possibly didn’t read about our proposal, maybe because we use mainly English in our writings and he just can’t speak but Spanish and Esperanto…

I think that specially any study written about linguistic policy – in our outside the EU – before 2006 (i.e., before we made our proposal) is indeed not intended to support Esperanto over Indo-European, and that even present-day studies supporting the adoption of Esperanto are not – unless expressly doing so – against Indo-European, but just ignoring our project, thus invalidating almost any future use of it against us.

Here is an extract of the open letter sent to the European Parliament defending the adoption of one language for the EU – when it says Esperanto we will write Indo-European, and the Grin Report and the letter will still be saying the same…

We pay € 17 THOUSAND MILLION each year into the British economy!

Dear Member of Parliament,

October 2005 saw the publication of a particularly interesting report, accessible in French in PDF Format, by the Swiss Professor François Grin.

The most startling conclusion of the report is that, due to the current dominant position of the English language, the United Kingdom gains € 17-18 thousand million each year, which is more than three times the famous British rebate, or 1% of its GNP. In other words, each of the 394 million non-English-speaking citizens of the EU, including those from the poorest new Member States, are subsidising the British economy!

This amount comes from the sale of books and other goods relating to the English language, from the 700.000 people each year who go to Britain to learn English, as well as from the savings that stem from the neglect of foreign-language teaching in British schools. This does not account for all of the languagerelated economic transfers to the United Kingdom but for 75% of them, which the author sees as the fruit of the hegemony of English and not just of the demographic weight of the language itself.

François Grin who is a professor at the University of Geneva and a specialist in the economics of language, has released an extensive dossier in which he analyses the language policy of the European Union. The study was commissioned and published by the French Haut Conseil de l’évaluation de l’école (High Council for School Evaluation) – an independent public body which evaluates and analyses the state of teaching in France.

The report poses the question “What would be the optimum choice for working languages in the European Union?

A more equitable system would save the EU at least € 25 thousand million annually!

The Swiss economist proposes a comparison between three possible scenarios:
1. English as the sole language,
2. multilingualism,
3. Esperanto Indo-European as an internal working language the EU institutions.

The third option, Esperanto Indo-European, comes out as the least expensive and most equitable, but Grin believes it is not currently viable because of the strong prejudices against Esperanto Indo-European based on simple ignorance. He believes, however, that it is strategically possible for a new generation, on two conditions:

  • a sustained large-scale information campaign throughout the EU about language inequality and
    Esperanto Indo-European,
  • the cooperation of all Member States in the campaign.

This could lead to net annual savings for the EU of approximately € 25 thousand million! “That is directly and manifestly to the advantage of 85% of the population of the 25 states”, Professor Grin claims.

Now do the same with the Grin Report itself and substitute “Esperanto” for Indo-European as the best option, and you will have a natural, democratic, culturally neutral and thus better language alternative for Europe than Esperanto, supported by previous economic and linguistic policy studies which didn’t take our alternative on account because they couldn’t.

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About European Union's push for 'Multilingualism'

It’s not new, but still many newspapers want to present such “multilingualism” initiatives as ‘fresh’. Nothing changed while Jan Figel was the commissioner in charge of languages for the European Union, and nothing is changing with the take over of Romanian Multilingualism Commissioner Leonard Orban.

When politicians in the EU talk about the advantages of ‘multilingualism’, it’s like when they talk about ‘multiculturalism’ and its benefits for society: the more they talk about it (specially when there is a right-wing government like this one), the more they are afraid of its consequences, and the less solutions they (want to) find for the current situations – if you don’t have a better solution for present-day language and immigrations’ problems, let’s just pray their consequences…

I cannot say it’s not a good strategy: we, for example, have been working for real multilingualism – i.e., defending our regional languages through the adoption of one single language for Europe, Indo-European – more than 3 years, while the European Union has always defended just the ‘official languages’ – and still, when we contacted them to present our project one year ago, they felt brave enough to answer us that they don’t defend ‘imposing one language’, but that their central policy was to defend multilingualism!

So, after their multilingualism, if you live in an official country (say Malta or Monaco), you are entitled to use the language of your parents before the European institutions, even if it’s only spoken by some thousands in your own country, but – always after EU’s current rules of multilingualism – if you are not part of an independent country (like, say, the Basque Country, Wales or Brittany) you can’t use your own language in the EU.

I haven’t seen such a demagogy go uncontested in politics for so long. But, who is to blame? Aparently blind conservative politicians, leftists wanting to avoid the real problems, or nationalists from wealthy regions wanting to enter this unstable system, to be able to compare their languages to the official ones, like (say) Catalan speakers wanting to see their language declared official side by side with Spanish? No one seems to be willing to challenge the current unstable policies, so as to avoid the possible consequences of a policy change in their long-term strategies.

The only lesson one could learn from Europe’s and Europeans’ attitude towards ‘multilingualism’ and ‘multiculturalism’ is that there are many multilingualisms and many multiculturalisms, and everyone should state clearly which one is being talked about at any given moment; that’s now the only possible way to avoid this blatant hypocrisy.

Sometimes I just feel like living in a mad world. Happy European Day of Languages!

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