English becomes Europe's second language. Or maybe not so much...

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/10/05 09:28 -07:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2010/10/05/10071540.aspx

So I read the English becomes Europe's second language story from the Telegraph.

Of course the title was a bit sensationalistic, since that isn't really what happened....

The subtitle explains what the story was really going to say.

Rather than:

English becomes Europe's second language

The subtitle said:

English has become Europe's second language of choice with two thirds of people in the continent able to speak it, according to a survey.

Now that is a fairly large difference!

The article goes on a bit further to stir the pot with some more kind of incendiary text:

The study found that English is the first foreign language studied in secondary schools in every country outside Britain and Ireland.

The results of the survey are a particular blow to the French, who recently launched a failed bid for their language to be made the sole official language of the EU headquarters in Brussels, claiming their mother tongue was "more precise".

Now I suppose I could go on, but you should probably read it yourself if you want to see some good old fashioned muckraking.

No, I'll do a little more:

It has also prompted calls for the EU to cut back on the £1 billion it spends every year translating official documents into the organisation's 23 recognised languages.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "It's only right that the EU institutions think carefully about every penny they spend to ensure that they're getting the most from their money.

Though there is some truth in the article, I guess I'd be more impressed if a non-English speaking country were having it's foreign office making the statements. And if so many different issues were given the clear timeline of a full story instead of a bit of sensationalistic fluff.

On the other hand, this is a sign of the times... or rather, The Telegraph.... :-)

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