For fifteen years, Brussels has been working on an unprecedented challenge: to allow one of the oldest member states to use its national language within European institutions. It’s complete: Irish, the official language of the Republic of Ireland, along with English, joined the EU’s 23 other working languages earlier this year after trying to gradually increase the number of translators, lawyers and other commentators over the years.
Inquiry. Ireland celebrates its irrelevant Gaelic
“The question of Irish status arose when I wanted to ensure that people could use their mother tongue to access European laws and institutions.”, Explains Emir Ni Brouin, head of the language office at the European Commission. Although this provision is still problematic within Ireland, hundreds of complaints are filed each year in protest of Gaelic’s lack of access to public services.
When Ireland became one of the six countries in the European Economic Community in 1972, the question of language was far from a priority. Only the treaties will be translated into Irish and were not given official status until 2007. The addition of ten new members in 2004 speeded things up. Because they include Malta, Estonia, Latvia, and Slovenia: many languages that use very few languages.
But soon the labor crisis erupted and the twice-renewed five-year initial humiliation was needed to give the country time to train translators to work on all legal and official texts in Brussels. Candidates, initially, are low. “When I left university 20 years ago, there were only a few choicessouligne Eimear Ní Broin. One can work for the Irish media and then turn to full development, or education. ⁇
Translation, 0.2% of the Commission’s Budget
Governments, universities and European institutions are making great efforts to train and recruit adequate staff. European institutions now have 200 Irish speakers, and the number of pages translated is increasing from 58 in 2016: 45,000 in October 2021, five times as much as in 2016. No need to worry about the commission already appointing 2,000 translators. 0.2% (34 349 million) of the budget is set aside for this activity.
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“A whole system needs to be put in place for students to consider these opportunities. While there was already an international interest in the Irish language and culture, the EU brought a new dimension and a new way of using the language.se rjouit Eimear Ní Bhroin.
“An energetic community of Irish speakers has developed in Brussels. He adds. There are even students studying the language in other countries to qualify for these European positions. Of course, Irish will never have the popularity of French, but for those who grew up speaking the language like me, it is important to see that it is actively used. ⁇ But, as in the other 23 languages we hear in the European Parliament, we need to continue to support its use to ensure its sustainability.
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