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,
EsperantoIndo-European as an internal working language the EU institutions.
The third option,
EsperantoIndo-European, comes out as the least expensive and most equitable, but Grin believes it is not currently viable because of the strong prejudices against EsperantoIndo-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
- 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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