Eu_ 28 countries, one common language

According to a Eurobarometer poll in 2012, it is spoken by 38% of Europeans, compared to 12% for French and 11% for German. List of countries in eastern europe A quarter can read a newspaper, understand TV news or communicate online in English. Top countries in europe About 5% can do so in French.

Countries in europe quiz Over two-thirds of respondents said English was one of the two most useful languages, compared to 17% for German and 16% for French.

So for the first time since the Roman Empire Europe now has a language a large chunk of its people can converse with each other in. How countries in europe That is something to be celebrated, not scorned. List of poorest countries in europe It makes travel smoother, communication quicker and doing business easier. Name the countries in europe But most of all, it allows Europeans to connect with each other. Map of all countries in europe Language of the past

I will never forget standing on Charles Bridge a few months before the 1989 Velvet Revolution and trying to talk to a group of disgruntled young Czechs.

As I couldn’t speak their language and they couldn’t speak mine we were, quite simply, unable to communicate. Number of countries in europe continent When I visit Prague these days, almost everybody speaks English – and quite a few German. How many countries are in europe union That is progress. Ten countries in europe And that is one of the reasons why 69% of Europeans think we should be able to speak a common language, according to the 2012 poll.

In European terms, the harsh truth is that French is the language of the past and English the language of the present and future. Learn countries in europe Four out of five Europeans believe it is important for their children to learn English, compared to 20% for French – down 13% in the last decade.

Most young French people get this, which is why the journalism students I recently taught in Lille – in English – understood the need to speak the language fluently to make it as a reporter.

This is not Anglo-Saxon triumphalism, which would be difficult for a proud Welshman. Name 10 countries in europe Neither is it schadenfreude – French is, after all, the mother tongue of my children. Map of countries in europe It is simply the reality of Europe in 2015.

At present, the EU institutions have three working languages – French, German and English – with the interpretation or translation of most meetings and documents into all 24 official languages.

The cost of this is over €1 billion a year and will increase as the EU takes in new members. List of countries in europe continent At a time when all European governments are having to make painful budget cuts, EU institutions should do likewise.

This means doing away with interpretation at press conferences, working groups and commissioners’ meetings. All the countries in europe Few would miss it and, anyway, it’s hard to see how you can be an effective commissioner, correspondent or diplomat in Brussels without speaking the language most people communicate in.

The Commission could also save money – and trees – by reducing the 2.3 million pages it translates every year. 2 countries in europe Draft proposals and EU legislation should continue to be translated into all official languages, of course. Countries of europe But does every discussion paper, video on Europarl TV, crummy kids’ comic book and Eurobarometer report?

Most Europeans think not, with over half agreeing that EU institutions should adopt a common language when communicating with citizens. European countries and capitals Unfair advantage

If it did, there would be more British than French officials in the EU institutions and the most popular blogger about EU affairs would have a name like John Fourseas. How many countries in europe Neither is bad English the root cause of the tortured texts coming out of the Commission.

Finally, there is no evidence that the French language – or any other one – is being destroyed because French people can increasingly speak English. What countries are included in europe As the German President Joachim Gauck said two years ago, it is perfectly possible to be in favour of multilingualism and English as the EU’s common language. Countries in europe game If the German head of state can entertain these thoughts, why can’t a free-thinking French journalist?

Gareth Harding is Managing Director of Clear Europe, a communications company. How many countries in eastern europe He also runs the Missouri School of Journalism’s Brussels Programme. How many countries of europe Follow him on Twitter @garethharding.