31 votes
Accepted

Will English be dropped as an official/working language of the EU after Brexit?

Contradicting Carpetsmoker's answer, let me cite the official statement on behalf of the European Commission Representation in Ireland linked from the article linked in that answer: We note the media ...
  • 334
31 votes
Accepted

Has any US state passed a law in a language other than English?

Louisiana's civil code was originally (before statehood) written in French and translated into English. Even after statehood, however, the code was bilingual for several decades: The first Louisiana ...
  • 15.5k
25 votes
Accepted

Do any non-anglophone countries plan to introduce English as an official language?

Rwanda is such a country, having made the switch from French, the colonial language under Belgian rule, to English, in 2008. The country has also joined the Commonwealth of Nations, despite never ...
  • 15.5k
25 votes
Accepted

How would the Crown change New Zealand's name to Aotearoa in order to help restore the status the Māori language?

The Crown-in-Parliament would legislate to the effect that the name of the country would be Aotearoa as of some date. This would be the typical New Zealand parliamentary process as for other laws: A ...
24 votes
Accepted

Are there countries in Europe where there's a 10% (or similar, but low) numeric threshold for minority language rights?

In North Macedonia, Amendment V to the Constitution - passed in 2001 after the signing of the Ohrid Agreement between the government and the Albanian minority - enshrines the status of 'official ...
  • 84.9k
23 votes

What are some examples of Ur-Fascist Newspeak?

Despite being a new word, the use of the term 'woke' to describe everything 'I don't like' is a form of Newspeak. It uses reductionism of any issue to something the listener has already decided they ...
  • 21.6k
20 votes

Besides the Philippines do any countries have bilingual presidential debates requiring two (or more) languages to know what the candidates are saying?

Kenya has presidential debates where a mix of English and Kiswahili is used - see for example the second presidential debate in 2013. Candidates generally prefer to speak English but do slip into ...
  • 84.9k
20 votes

Besides the Philippines do any countries have bilingual presidential debates requiring two (or more) languages to know what the candidates are saying?

Prior to the invasion of Crimea, this was common in Ukraine. In this 2009 video from the debates between Yushchenko and Yanukovych, you can see them switching freely between Russian and Ukrainian. ...
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19 votes
Accepted

What is the language of the Swiss national parliament?

Traditionally, in politics, French and German-speakers use their own language and are expected to have at least a passive knowledge of the other. Top-level politicians frequently talk to the media in ...
  • 29.7k
19 votes
Accepted

What are the benefits for Ireland to have a separate language, rather than exclusively relying on English?

There is a value in a language that goes beyond mere utility. Asking about economic benefits entirely misses the point! There is a 2000 year tradition of Gaelic in Ireland, and the native speakers of ...
  • 96.5k
16 votes

Why do EU countries never use language tests to help select/educate refugees?

The primary reason why countries take refugees in the first place are humanitarian concerns. The EU Charter of Fundamental Human Rights Articles 18 and 19 say: Article 18 The right to asylum shall be ...
  • 69.1k
15 votes
Accepted

Why wouldn't EU recommend Baltic states and Ukraine to give Russian language the official status?

This is a matter for the individual countries. For example, in Ireland the official Language is Irish, The majority language, English has a Secondary status. Other countries, such as the UK, have no ...
  • 96.5k
15 votes

What are some examples of Ur-Fascist Newspeak?

I think Mozibur Ullah's examples are good, but missing a critical component. I think about Orwell's example, though it is more where there is a brainwashed forced agreement. Winston raises 5 fingers, ...
  • 423
14 votes

Why do people make the mistake of calling it a "job market?"

It's a market in the economic sense, as in the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. (The merit - or at least the efficiency - of which is, in passing, disputed.)
14 votes

Does Pete Hoekstra, the US Ambassador to the Netherlands, speak Dutch?

Below is a short quotation from an article in the Holland Sentinel ("Speaking Dutch in West Michigan"), published on 7 September 2008: U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-Holland, came to the United States ...
14 votes

What are some examples of Ur-Fascist Newspeak?

It's worth reading the appendix to Orwell's "1984", where he lays out the nature and reasoning behind Newspeak. That might clear up your question on its own. But that aside... The first ...
  • 55.7k
14 votes

Besides the Philippines do any countries have bilingual presidential debates requiring two (or more) languages to know what the candidates are saying?

Belgium doesn't have a president, but considering that the monarch is largely symbolic and it's the Prime minister who holds all the power I guess that counts as a president here? Since Belgium is a ...
  • 249
13 votes

What are some examples of Ur-Fascist Newspeak?

Surprisingly, no answer has yet produced the most obvious examples of what Eco meant in the essay, which the author himself gave directly following the quote given in the question: the language used ...
  • 13k
13 votes

Are there countries in Europe where there's a 10% (or similar, but low) numeric threshold for minority language rights?

germany Some traditional minorities are recognized and their language and culture is protected by the German state. This includes schools in their language, road signs, and some use of their language ...
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12 votes

Does the EU acknowledge that the lack of a common language is a large trade barrier within the Union?

If you frame the issue a bit more broadly, it should become clear that the EU has acknowledged and tried to address it for decades. Efforts to promote multilingualism, language teaching, monitor ...
  • 29.7k
12 votes

If Puerto Rico votes to become USA's 51st state, what effect would it have on Spanish being the primary official language?

There is no official language in the US and the fact that Puerto Rico's official language is Spanish will not have any bearing on its becoming the US state in the future. Whether to designate a ...
  • 1,737
12 votes
Accepted

Who decides on state names in foreign languages?

A country's government can insist on a specific name being used (and some countries like Côte d'Ivoire insist on their name not being translated) and other countries or international organisations ...
  • 29.7k
12 votes

Will Brexit effect a linguistic change across EU?

The most common language for all high-level meetings and contact has been English, up to now. And I was reading recently that Brexit, paradoxically, is likely to further confirm English as the ...
  • 10.1k
11 votes

Are there countries in Europe where there's a 10% (or similar, but low) numeric threshold for minority language rights?

finland Swedish is an official language in Finland but only spoken as only language by about 5% of the population. Swedish does have a strong legal status as all services need to be available in ...
  • 211
10 votes

How do leaders cross the language barrier during phone calls?

Phone calls between world leaders are much more complicated and are thoroughly planned. It's not one would imagine -- pick up a phone and say Hi President Putin! I'm Trump and I would like to talk to ...
  • 45.8k
10 votes

Why isn't English the official language of the US but it is necessary to know it to become a citizen?

Because while the United States federal government does not declare a de jure official language, English is de facto the standard language, as all laws and regulations are published in at least ...
  • 88.4k
9 votes

Why do EU countries never use language tests to help select/educate refugees?

A refugee is someone fleeing a war-torn country. A migrant is someone seeking to move to a country for economic (or familial, etc) reasons. The EU accepts refugees for compassionate reasons. If the ...
  • 4,106
9 votes
Accepted

What dictates the order of languages used by the UN?

The rules don't provide any directive on order of languages. It seems likely that the order is "Alphabetical in English". So Arabic (the only right-to-left language is placed first (on the right). ...
  • 96.5k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible