More than half of Europe’s citizens did not vote in the elections for the European Parliament, but the institution faces more challenges than those of credibility. One of the great challeges faced by the Parliament is the number of languages it uses: after the admission of Bulgaria and Romania these now total 23, practically one per European state. Etymologically, the word Parliament derives from a word actually meaning “speaking”, but if the members of Parliament speak 23 different languages, what kind of Parliament can this be?
It is odd and awkward in this day and age spending taxpayers’ money in order to entertain linguistic nationalism.
It is no easy task, even for the European Parliament, to find translators from Finnish to Greek, or from Portuguese to Bulgarian. However, Eurocracy is ingenious, and to reduce costs it uses double translation: those who speak less widely known languages are first translated into the principal languages (English, French or German) and then retranslated into all the other less common languages. One wonders how much the substance of the MPs speeches is altered by the second or third translation.