There are some reports that the EU plans to drop English as an official language when the UK leaves, on the grounds that once that happens, no country in the EU will speak English. A short time later, they added that Ireland, a country in the EU that speaks English, will have the ability to veto this.
People are saying this is petty and "mean spirited". I wanted to look at the math to see if that is true. As such, I've developed 4 different numbers that we can use to look at language in europe.
Note that people can speak multiple languages, as such, this will add to over 100%.
Population that speaks the language in the current EU
Population that speaks the language without the UK, or Ireland
Share of the above
Share of population that speaks the language outside of the main language nations*
*This means any country that speaks, for example, German as a native tongue is disincluded. As such only countries where other 'smaller' languages are the main language are included in this number.
Given the scale of the use of English across the EU, even outside the British Isles, it is clear that any such a move would indeed be petty and mean spirited.
I should note that 51% of the current EU's citizens speak English.ReplyDelete
English is an official language of Malta and Ireland and therefore not dropped by the EU - even without the UK six of the official languages in the EU will still have fewer native speakers than the remaining native English speakers in the EUReplyDelete