ERIC Number: ED192564
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Language Equality in International Cooperation. Esperanto Documents, New Series, No. 21.
Harry, Ralph; Mandel, Mark
The policies of the United Nations with regard to the six official languages have left holes in the fabric of international cooperation. Maintaining language services in all six languages has proved to be an impossibility because of the scarcity of trained interpreters and translators between, for instance, Chinese and Arabic. English, French, and Spanish are of necessity favored and are often used exclusively for various U.N. activities. Reliance on relay translation leaves many delegates at a disadvantage. Maintaining extensive language services is a strain on limited financial resources. Even full language services would not bring linguistic democracy to the United Nations; many delegates would still be hampered by the need to communicate in a language not in use, officially or culturally, in their country. Ironically, a single official language could prove more of a diplomatic force than pluralism, since delegates could count on being able to communicate in a spontaneous and unstructured manner with each other. However, it is not possible in the present day to impose any national language as the sole diplomatic lingua franca. Esperanto, as an established, easy-to-learn, international language with no attachment to any particluar nation or people, should be considered as the solution to the communication difficulties of representatives from the nations of the world. (JB)
Descriptors: Communication Problems, International Relations, Interpreters, Official Languages, Translation
Universal Esperanto Association, Nieuwe Binnenweg 176, 3015 BJ Rotterdam, Netherlands (Hfl 3.00)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Universal Esperanto Association, Rotterdam (Netherlands).
Identifiers: Esperanto; United Nations
Note: Based on a paper presented at the Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (18th, St. Louis, MO, March 1977).