April 26, 2016

Could EU survive if it wanted to decide on an official common language different to English?

Sir, Gideon Rachman writes: “any Brits who feel nostalgic for the Anglosphere, and a little resentful about Mr Obama’s ‘back of the queue’ comments, might reflect how much they still benefit from the cultural power of the US. The traditional Anglo-sphere may be in disrepair. But a different sort of Anglosphere has emerged in Brussels, with English now the common language of the EU institutions”, “Obama and the end of the Anglosphere” April 26. Here some varied comments.

It is surprising to hear an Englishman hold that the importance of English is a result of “the cultural power of the US”. Will Rachman get clobbered or is this a generally held view?

With respect to English let me ask, when does a language become so important that it does not belong to anyone more? Scary eh?

So, if Brexit happens, should EU have the right to keep English? And if the answer to that is no, or EU having been rejected does not want it, what language would win? A German-French War? Could EU survive that?

And in regard to Obama’s “back of the queue’, and though I am not a Brit, I was surprised no one asked him: “Are you telling us it is easier for the US to negotiate with Germans and French than with Englishmen?”

Finally Sir, let me repeat two related questions that I made in a recent letter

America is home for Americans. Is not Brexit just a symptom of Europe not aspiring to be home of Europeans?

How many at FT wish one day for Englishmen to call Europe home, as Americans call America home?

PS. Or could one of you even be dreaming of calling Asia home? L

@PerKurowski ©