language policies (Europe)

This article discusses linguicide as a parallel to genocide, using the example of Kurdish in Turkey. It also challenges the assumption of linguistics as a field of neutrality. The Politics of A-political Linguistics: Linguists and Linguicide


Some interesting titles and descriptions listed at Paul Treanor’s site, Language Futures Europe, have bad links, such as The Hegemony of English and Strategies for Linguistic Pluralism: Proposing the Ecology of Language Paradigm “…Hegemony of English creates and reproduces inequality, discrimination, colonization of the mind as well as Americanization, transnationalization, and commercialization of our contemporary life. In order to solve these problems and realize equal and emancipatory communication, the Ecology of Language Paradigm is very much needed as a theory of resisting the Hegemony of English.”
Paul definitely has a bias going, as he continues to characterize certain stances as “defensive” – he used this term regarding those who want to preserve (defend) national languages, and again in reference to the Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights.
Here’s another one with a bad link: Translatio and comparative literature: the terror of European humanism. Who knows if it would apply to my present purposes, but the title is intriguing! There are a couple of articles on Esperanto that I didn’t check out. I glanced at Interlinguistics in Europe, by Otto Jespersen, 1931, attempting to sell the idea of an artificial language such as Esperanto (or his own invention, Novial).
Be sure to print Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity: An Action Plan 2004 – 2006, Commission of the European Communities. COM(2003) 449 final. Paul’s note: “This is the nearest thing to an official EU language policy. The member states make national language policy, there is no European language policy. The report says: “Linguistic diversity is one of the European Union’s defining features.” However, it is not a defining feature of nation states, which often have hostile attitudes to minority and ‘foreign’ languages. The document summarises current EU programmes on language.” Also print the Charter of fundemental rights of the European Union.
Promoting and safeguarding regional and minority languages and cultures, a report by the European Commission.
The European Bureau on Lesser Used Languages is a resource I noted before: it seems more useful at the national level rather than at the EU level? I need to check out this assumption more thoroughly. They have a new site.
An announcement for the 2006 series of Socrates conferences and Culture 2000 states that “less widely used languages prioritised” in the 2006 call for the Comenius project (aimed at what we in the US would call K-12 eduction), Lingua 2 (standards for language instruction), and Grundtvig (adult education). The caveat is that applicants must be working with the Action Plan on Promoting Language learning and Linguistic Diversity (this site includes links relevant to official EU language policies).
I was in Brussels when this breakthrough happened! ­čśë “The Council conclusions continue that, “within the framework of the efforts made to bring the Union closer to all of its citizens, the richness of its linguistic diversity must be taken into account more. The Council estimates that the possibility for citizens to use additional languages in their relationships to the institutions is a significant factor to reinforce their identification with the political project of the European Union.” A timely comment considering the recent ‘No’ votes against the constitution.
Then there’s Mercator,
Kuijpers Resolution in the European Parliament

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