IntroductionThe European Union(EU) hosts members from a linguistically and culturally diverse region. Thereare about 24 different official languages spoken by member states alongside 60other unofficial languages in the same region. As such, most of the contentmeant for consumption by all the members is in each of the official languages.In light of the gravity of languages to Regional Corporation and development,the EU has set up steadfast measures in place to promote multilingualism amongthe citizens (Czyzewska, 2014).
One of the goals aiming at realizing this isteaching the European citizens at least two foreign languages. The manybenefits thereof ranging from trade, regional understanding, and education, hasseen many Europeans approve these efforts. At the center of learning foreignlanguages is translation, a key component of the process of language training.The purpose of this paper is to examine how translation supportsmultilingualism in Europe. The EuropeanCommission is very keen to promote language learning and linguistic diversityacross Europe so as to improve basic language skills (“Multilingualism- Education and training – European Commission,” n.d.). When a person is exposed totexts in different languages regularly, they are capable of mastering morelanguages gradually in terms of speech and writing.
Translators bridge the gapbetween the speakers of close to fifty different languages by making known eachother’s version of the same text. Continued interaction in this manner makesdiverse linguistic groups appreciate other cultures and languages (Pommer,2012). Children can access translated material in libraries enabling them tograsp a bit of the other language, which progressively builds in them andtransforming them into multilingual with time.The EU in generalemploys over 1500 translators and interpreters, the highest of its kind in theworld.
The EU parliament alone employs about 700 of them to do about 506translations from 23 official languages to 22 minor languages. Every documentrelevant to the body is translated to all the languages engaging about 700translators on a daily basis (Czyzewska, 2014). They translate to their nativelanguages from the official languages. Translation plays a big role supportingmultilingualism not only in Europe, but also around the world, bringing culturesand languages together. As a result of translation, it has made most peoplethat live in Europe to speak different languages. Since every legislativemember is free to address the house in his preferred language, the translatorstogether with every other party in parliament get to hear many other languages(Gazzola, 2016). This has prompted most people living in Europe to know manylanguages so as to enhance direct translation without much misinterpretation.
The relay languages, that is English, French and German are the most learned inthis manner because every text is first translated into them and thereforeevery other translator repeatedly is exposed to them building on theirmulti-lingual skills.Translation makesit possible for leaders from the member states to join the assembly regardless oftheir linguistic competency. This prevents bias when it comes to selection ofrepresentatives by member states and hence only the best leaders find their wayinto the legislative body of EU (Spataru-Negura, 2014).
They bridge the gapsthat would otherwise arise in the efforts to build multilingualism and ensuringequal representativeness. In the assembly, other leaders speak other languagesand translation unveils the message to them. Continued interaction in thissetting builds on the multilingual skills of these leaders as well as theirappreciation of this phenomenon (Ferreri, 2014). Back in their countries, theyare most likely to call for adequate measure that will facilitatemultilingualism.Translators makerelevant content available to a diverse population of over 500 million peoplein their preferred language.
This makes even the smallest communities feelappreciated despite their small numbers (Duff, 2015). The appreciation buildsregional coherence and unity, which facilitates interactions leading to thespread of multilingualism in the process. People feel that they share commoninterests in which case, they overcome the barriers that limit them fromsharing their ethnicity, culture, and language with their neighbors (Gazzola,2016). Recognition brings the feeling of belonging to an even bigger thing,that is the EU, and since multilingualism is one of the goals laid down by thebody, the process of learning new languages becomes easier.Linguistic diversityis one of the foundations of the EU and all through; the body has beenacknowledging and recognizing new languages as official languages. This makesnew languages know and appreciated especially when content is translated intoand from the language (Ferreri, 2014).
Once a language assumes this status, anyofficial message can be made in it, then translated to other minor languages.As the number of official languages grows, so does translations and thereforetranslations fit a new language into the system. It facilitates its use, andappreciation by the other linguistic groups because representatives may use itin parliament in which case all other translations arise from it (Duff, 2015).The recognition and translation of a new language both introduces it to thepeople and facilitates the process of learning the same.Translators aredrawn from all over Europe to the headquarters where they serve in the variousorgans of the body. These people come from diverse backgrounds with respect toaspects such as language, culture, beliefs and so on (Gazzola, 2016). Whenthese people come together in a working environment, they exchange a lot and indue time, they learn each other’s language.
Once they get back home, they arelikely to pass on the multilingual aspects to native people and in this way multilingualismspreads throughout the region. Human interaction, which forms the basis uponwhich we learn new languages and ways of life, is laid down when translatorscome together (SPATARU-NEGURA, 2016). The translation platform is the singlemost effective tool used by the European Union to express appreciation formultilingualism. This has made the body stand out the world over as a strongregional cooperation body that has successfully brought together people andnations with widely varied cultural and linguistic background into one strongunion.
ConclusionIn conclusion,multilingualism is one of the principles of the European Union. One of the waysused by EU to achieve these goals is laying down a comprehensive translationplatform. This facilitates multilingualism by bringing translators together,raising the people’s appreciation for each other, providing a learning platformand recognizing people from all over the region.
The EU spends a lot totranslation which has paid off very well in return by cementing the union’sroots in the region. Many Europeans have learned foreign languages bringingabout an enabling environment for trade and other aspects of internationalcooperation. The learning of many languages across the globe in EU has helpedit to interact with individuals from diverse origins. The future is verypromising with a plan to make it mandatory that children learn a minimum of twoforeign languages early in their lives.
The plan is to make multilingualism aculture among the member nations so that every citizen in the member states ispart of the big EU family.