View Full Version : Neil Kinnock responsible for "perfidious British plot"

Evening Star
14th Aug 2001, 17:44
From BBC News online:


(Go for it Neil (boyo) :D . Interesting comment about the air traffic controllers.)

EU translation plan provokes protest

European Commissioner Neil Kinnock has been accused of trying to increase the dominance of the English language in the running of the European Union.

The French and German foreign ministers have formally protested to European Commission president Romano Prodi about Mr Kinnock's proposals for cutting down the commission's translation budget.

They argue the plan, which would restrict some documents to the language in which they were written originally - would favour English.

A commission source told BBC News Online Mr Prodi had responded to the French and German protests maintaining he is fully committed to multi-lingualism and arguing he is only trying to reform the commission's internal workings.

The proposals would not be finalised until the autumn and only involved the translation of internal documents, said the source.

It is understood those internal papers are not currently translated into all the languages used in the European Union but only into the limited number of working languages used by the EC.

Conservative MEP Chris Heaton-Harris, who speaks on European budgetary matters, said the translation costs were already tremendous and could run into hundreds of millions of pounds as the EU expands.

Mr Heaton-Harris told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "There has got to be some common sense somewhere.

"We are spending more on translation and producing paper that has languages that few people read with everyone's exciting speeches across Europe - we are just wasting money."

Mr Heaton-Harris argued English was the language of the internet and was used by air traffic controllers across the world, with the exception of France.

That did not convince Marc Roche, London correspondent of Le Monde newspaper, who pressed for commission documents to be produced in all the EU's languages.

He criticised Mr Kinnock's plans: "I think it's a terrible idea... It's a perfidious British plot in order to transform the EU into a sort of English speaking area."

Mr Roche stressed on the Today programme that the founding fathers of the union were French and German and the commission's base was in French-speaking Brussels.

As the commission's vice-president, former Labour Party leader Mr Kinnock is trying to push through a reform package that will persuade the European public that the EC is working more efficiently.

He provoked protests from European Commission staff in February over proposed changes to their working practices.

14th Aug 2001, 17:57
Shall we tell them about Alta Vista - World or Gist-in-Time? ;)

Tricky Woo
14th Aug 2001, 19:45
It's time these strange European chaps learned that it's damn inefficient to use all these silly little European languages. All those unnecessary translations, misunderstandings and 'cultural differences' are totally unnecessary. Give up on 'em, that's what I say. All of the world knows that the only logical language of the future is Mandarin Chinese. It should be taught by law in all EU countries, and anyone refusing to speak it should be executed.

About sodding time those Belgians got with the times.


tony draper
14th Aug 2001, 20:13
I have noticed that a lot of them foreign folk still use our alphabet, they just mix it up and call things by different names, thats not right, at least tham arabs invented their own alphabet made of squiggle lines. when they didn't want to speak like us ;)

Tricky Woo
14th Aug 2001, 20:32
I think that lines of Arabic doesn't start off as being squiggly, but ends up so 'cos they write from right to left. Arabs must end up with lots of ink on the sides of their right hands.


14th Aug 2001, 20:50
Not if they're left-handed like me. ;)


gravity victim
14th Aug 2001, 21:13
We southpaws can cause great consternation in Arab lands - just try dipping into the communal grub with the left (as I unthinkingly did) and watch the horror on the faces of your fellow diners!
What is it with towelheads and bog paper anyway?

15th Aug 2001, 10:08
I take it that Neil Pillock isn't a Welsh language fundamentalist then boyos, isn't it?

Through difficulties to the cinema

16th Aug 2001, 07:53
gravity victim,

Right hand for eating; left hand for cleaning bum.

Is it correct therefore to suggest that you southpaws are very messy eaters with exceptionally clean bottoms?

I apologise for being so direct, but at the risk of offending, in this case gathering introspective data seems the preferred method of carrying out field reseach.

Through difficulties to the cinema

You want it when?
16th Aug 2001, 13:13
Blacksheep - I may be a southpaw, and I may be a meesy eater (white shirt + lasagne = whoops) but I refuse to answer the third!