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Brexit – the future of the English language in Europe

Brexit – the future of the English language in Europe

When the inhabitants of the Great Britain voted in favor of leaving the European Union, it turned out that no other EU country has English as their official language. Therefore, after the UK completes the process to leave the European Community, it can lose its status and may not be recognized as one of the European Union’s official languages. Such a change would have a great influence on translation services since translating documents to English will not be necessary. This may be the beginning of its demise as an international language.

According to EU rules, the representatives of each country have to be provided with the documentation in their own language. Since the countries that use English such as Malta or Ireland did not register it as their national language (because it had been registered by the UK), there is no need to prepare English translations for them.

In the past, French was the official language of communication within the EU Institutions. However, when Sweden, Finland and Austria joined the European Community, English began to replace French. This change was strengthened by the accession of 10 new member states mostly from Central and Eastern part of Europe in 2004.

English as a working language?

Even though English may stop being one of the official languages of the European Union, it may remain a „working language” for the vast majority of EU officials use it in their everyday work. However, this status doesn’t guarantee that documents will be translated to English hence working on projects in this language may become more difficult.

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