After decades of worldwide effort for a common language that led 1.15 billion people to speak English, France insists on replacing it with Latin as the official language of the European Union, as suggested by the French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune. He emphasized that there is no need for English on the continent.
It seems that the French-speaker’s longing for the Golden Age when their language was the privileged one in Europe is becoming a force to drive out English as well, as a consequence of Brexit, noted TRTWORLD on March 13.
French right-wing commentator Eric Zemmour pushed for a boycott of English, accusing it of having “crushed” French and arguing that only in Malta and Ireland is it used as the first language. He also demanded that French return as the official EU language.
“I think this is the time to launch a counteroffensive in favor of French, to recall that French was the original language of EU institutions,” said Zemmour.
However, French politician, François Asselineau, drew attention to the context that made English the predominant language in European administration and outlined a strategy to position the French language.
“To give the French language its full place in the world, France must regain an independent diplomacy from the USA, redirect its cooperation of all kinds towards Africa, Russia, Asia, and Latin America, and strengthen its industry, research, defense, and education,” Asselineau emphasized.
He also recalled that “the EU is a geopolitical unit under the USA and NATO’s domination for 75 years.”
But EU law requires that any such change must have the unanimity of the European Council.
Another voice insisting on displacing English from the EU is that of the College of Higher Education graduate and senior civil servant, Sundar Ramanadane, who advocated that Latin should take its place.
Although it would mean the complex process of resurrecting a dead language, Ramanadane illustrated his proposal by referring to the procedure used with Hebrew, which cemented the development of Israel and Jewish communities around the world.
Ramanadane wrote, in Latin, according to Google translate, “Latin has structured the languages we speak in Europe, in their grammatical construction or their lexicon. … There is the symbol that would convey a Europe that would speak again in Latin, that of strength, rigor, the will to power. … Latin is the language of “Virgil and Catullus. It is that of Saint-Augustine and that of Luther, Descartes, and Erasmus and that of Spinoza. It is also that of these monasteries that allowed the preservation of culture during barbarian invasions.”
He added, “Latin is the language of great orators and that of law.”
A reason for Latin’s extinction was because of how difficult and complex it is. The language is by design, highly affected by vocal inflection. That means nearly every spoken word can be modified based on context, voice, mood, person, number, gender, tense, and delivery. With no central authority governing what authentic Latin was, it quickly fell out of everyday usage.
In Brussels’s European administrative field, English is the preferred language, both officially and unofficially, with almost 90% of the legislation being in English.