Every now and then a little language war breaks out in the EU institutions. Spain lobbies for Spanish to become one of the official working languages (at the moment: English, French and German) because it is one of most spoken languages worldwide. Germany (sometimes together with Austria) claims that German became more popular after the EU Enlargement. Italy, a big and proud country also wants its language to be considered….Usually not much is happening after attempts like that. And normally these lobbying activities are also quite diplomatic…..
But now the French really exaggerated it. Following a translation mistake a while ago, it seems that Maurice Druon (a member of the Academie Francaise who was also awarded with a K.B.E!) is heading an emergency task force to save French as the universal language in the EU (which is to a certain extent English). And his arguments are really convincing:
“The Italian language is the language of song, German is good for philosophy and English for poetry, French is best at precision, it has a rigour to it. It is the safest language for legal purposes.” He argued that French should be “the authoritative” language as it is both related to Latin – in which Roman law was written – as well as the language of the Napoleonic code.
Obviously, there is quite an extensive list of songs, poetry, philosophy and literature written in all languages and it is really disgrace if such an educated man like Mr. Druon makes such a simplistic statement. Indeed, French is routed in Latin but this is also true for Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Romanian. And besides Roman law and the Napoleonic code we have (fortunately) other legal traditions as well….