ESTONIAN ACADEMY
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TRAMES cover
TRAMES. A Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences
ISSN 1736-7514 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-0922 (Print)
Impact Factor (2020): 0.5

“TWO LANGUAGES IN ADDITION TO MOTHER TONGUE” – WILL THIS POLICY PRESERVE LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY IN EUROPE?; pp. 41–63

Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/tr.2009.1.03

Authors
Tõnu Tender, Triin Vihalemm

Abstract

This article discusses the problem of the maintenance of linguistic diversity in Europe, on the basis of an analysis of the European Commission’s multilingualism strategy and a qualitative study among language experts from the member states of the Council of Europe. The problem is that the strategy allows the language environment of Europe to be regulated by market logic. The Less Widely Used Languages (LWULs) are expected to take care of themselves. The results of this study suggest that the European Commission’s policy “mother tongue plus two foreign languages” will foster the formation of a “language market” within Europe and a hegemony of widely used languages. In order to preserve multi­lingualism in Europe, groups who carry the cultural value of language, rather than single individuals, should be clearly addressed in the language strategy. The LWULs ought to be supported by language planning initiated partly by the Council of Europe and the central institutions of the European Union.


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