Euro English

Dear all,

We will all become witnesses of the rise of a new English variety: Euro English. Those of you, who are not yet familiar with the term or the variety, do not panic. To cut a long story short, Euro English is a new English language variety spoken by citizens of the EuropeanUnion whose mother tongue is not English.

Language and politics can be a sensitive issue which often is connected to a national identity. Having decided against German as official language, the European Union issued a 5-year plan which aims at gradually introducing Euro English in Europe.

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”. In the first year, “s” will  replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter. In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away. By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”. During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas. If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl…

 

In zis kas, gut lak evrivun.

 

 

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About Carmen Ebner

Carmen Ebner is a PhD candidate at Leiden University Centre for Linguistics and currently investigates attitudes towards British English Usage. Carmen is part of the project Bridging the Unbridgeable: linguists, prescriptivists and the general public, which is supervised by Prof Ingrid Tieken-Boon van Ostade.
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2 Responses to Euro English

  1. Morana Lukač says:

    Today’s BBC article elaborates on how simplified spelling could be used in promoting world peace. “If people pronounce and speak in the same way it makes people feel closer to one another. I do think the world with a single alphabet would be a more peaceful place.”, says the inventor of the simplified alphabet: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21505114

  2. caebner says:

    This can also be seen along the lines of English as an International Language, in particular its phonology. Jennifer Jenkins proposes a different approach to teaching English pronunciation in which mutual intelligibility is foregrounded. (article in ELT: http://eltj.oxfordjournals.org/content/52/2/119.abstract)

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