AR

BE

BG

BN

BS

CA

CS

DE

EL

EM

EN

EO

ES

ET

FA

FI

FR

HE

HR

HU

ID

IT

JA

KA

KN

KO

LT

LV

MR

NL

NN

PA

PL

PT

PX

RO

RU

SK

SR

SV

UK

VI

ZH

The languages of the European Union

Today the European Union consists of more than 25 countries. In the future, even more countries will belong to the EU. A new country usually means a new language as well. Currently, more than 20 different languages are spoken in the EU. All languages in the European Union are equal. This variety of languages is fascinating. But it can lead to problems as well. Skeptics believe that the many languages are an obstacle for the EU. They hinder efficient collaboration. Many think, therefore, that there should be a common language. All countries should be able to communicate with this language. But it's not that easy. No language can be named the one official language. The other countries would feel disadvantaged. And there isn't a truly neutral language in Europe… An artificial language such as Esperanto wouldn't work either. Because the culture of a country is always reflected in the language. Therefore, no country wants to relinquish its language. The countries see a part of their identity in their language. Language policy is an important item on the EU's agenda. There is even a commissioner for multilingualism. The EU has the most translators and interpreters worldwide. Around 3,500 people work to make an agreement possible. Nevertheless, not all documents can always be translated. That would take too much time and cost too much money. Most documents are only translated into a few languages. The many languages are one of the biggest challenges of the EU. Europe should unite, without losing its many identities!

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