What a pity

But if Britain leaves the EU, there will be a dramatically reduced pool of native English speakers to recruit from, because you need to have an EU passport to work in the institutions. As people retire, fewer native speakers will work in the EU, meaning they will have less and less influence on and authority over the use of English in these contexts. This means “EU English” will likely move away from British English at a faster pace.

Seriously, who cares how foreigners jabber to each other? As we all know all we’ve got to do is speak louder and they’ll understand perfectly well.

32 comments on “What a pity

  1. Plenty of Irish and Maltese native speakers, and the Dutch and Swedes generally speak English as well as the average Brit. Plus we will be negotiating Brexit for the next 50 years.

  2. Not quite. Those European kids learn to speak English so they can get jobs in London, New York and Singapore, not fucking Brussels.

    British English may eventually come under threat from Langley, but it won’t from EU English.

  3. The only reason you need an EU passport is because Brussels insists on it. Yet another example of the EU putting rules in front of efficiency and the good of their citizens.

  4. Have they sorted out the issue of English no longer being an official language of the EU after Brexit?

  5. As a young Johnny Foreigner in Reading uni I became friends with Nathan from Long Eaton. We both loved beer and pubs and it took me a good few weeks to get the gist of what he was on about. I would listen to him and nod in all the right places. Little by little I did start to understand what the heck he was saying. What a language school that was, I would say that from those days on no accent was difficult to me. After a few decades I moved oop north and I have to say Nathan taught me well. Although anyone can hear I am not a native, I always make the effort and like to learn and have fun with regional accents, I take the piss and perhaps for that reason I have never experienced any prejudice or racism that all the other EU citizens seem to experience.

    When in Rome, do as the Romans do, Pet.

  6. Jussi,

    Perhaps you don’t experience racism cause you demonstrate social skills. I have found a lot of arseholes like to claim racism to avoid admitting their poor character…

    Yes, I appreciate racism is still a thing and will be genuine, potentially explained by both parties being Dickson from different places…..

  7. Does that mean that the Irish will actually have to speak Gaelic? That is almost worth the price of admission

  8. @ Lockers
    And the BBC run all the negative comments that it can find.
    No report of her actual speech, just any bitchy criticism that it can dredge up.

  9. Jussi,
    The company I worked for had a project manager from Germany. He came to work alongside me for 2 weeks in Newcastle. His mates back home must have wet themselves when Norbert was home for the weekends with his new “accent”. Could not shut him up for repeating “Why aye man” and “h’away man, lets gan up the toon”.

  10. The UK has had pretty much no influence on ‘US English’ for 240years. And we’ve not been a part of a unified immigration zone during that time. On top of being separated by a good 3,000 miles of ocean.

    And we still manage to understand each other just fine. Do business together just fine. Even do governmenty things (like coming to an agreement to spy on each others citizens and share that information to get around local limits) together just fine.

  11. Last time I checked there were several countries in the EU whose main language was English (Ireland, Cyprus and Malta)

    So while it may not be as common post-BRExit, there will still be some minor representation (6 million or so) who speak English as a real first language.

  12. speak louder and they’ll understand perfectly well.

    That ,ladies and gentleman, quite seriously , is the foreign Policy of her majesties government –

    Fuckng hellski !!!!

  13. Diogenes
    July 4, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Does that mean that the Irish will actually have to speak Gaelic? That is almost worth the price of admission

    The native language of Ireland is Irish (Gaeilge) not Gaelic.

  14. They can fucking well stop using our language after Brexit. It’s cultural appropriation.

    And it would fuck the Irish having to speak in Gaelic, so a result all round.

  15. The biggest influence on how foreigners learn or speak English is television, and UK dominance of that was gone long, long before Brexit was a twinkle in Nigel Farage’s eye.

  16. Surely we must own the copyright to the language?

    If they want to use it after we leave, they can pay us a fee. I suggest £39bn.

  17. I in a workshop in France with people from all over Europe,when a French guy stood up and started speaking in French. Perfectly clear French, understandable to a Brit who’d only done it at school many years before. It was a German who stood up and told him to speak English so that everybody could understand what he was saying. We Brits just kept silent after that. I also remember being in Italy and seeing a very long wall postered with adverts for English language schools where you could learn ‘the language which unifies Europe’.
    We Brits definitely had a role in this, but in fact the role of the Americans with their bastardised version of English may even be greater.
    Another factor of course is that basic conversational English is really rather easy to learn.
    In answer to CJ Nerd, can I also add that countries choosing to sing in English in the Eurovision Song contest should be made to automatically give us a lot of votes!

  18. Let’s see now.

    1. English is evolving
    -Stop the presses-

    2. It evolves differently in different places and circumstances.
    -Stone the crows-

    3. This is vaguely concerning
    -No it isn’t- (yes it is, no it isn’t I came here for an argument)

    In conclusion:
    Who Cares?

  19. So the EU keeps a pack of Gaelic translators on hand just in case an Irish rep fancies getting traditional?

  20. One of the reasons that Britons don’t tend to learn foreign languages well is that for most of us any specific foreign language is of minimal use.

    Which foreign language would be undeniably the most useful for the average non-English speaker to learn? English.

    Which foreign language would be undeniably the most useful for the average Briton to learn? Erm…

    Even if a Briton has put in the time and great effort to learn, and stay well-practiced in, a foreign language most of the time they come across a speaker of that foreign language said person would know enough English for them to have managed to communicate adequately.
    Of course most foreigners said Briton comes across won’t speak the language they have learned anyway.

  21. The great thing about english as a language for “forinners” is that you can mangle the hell out of it and still be understood. The latin-based languages not so much so. German I haven’t a clue. I’m told that Mandarin is tricky because the slightest mis-pronunciation or tonal error ends up producing a swear-word.. 🙂

  22. “Last time I checked there were several countries in the EU whose main language was English (Ireland, Cyprus and Malta)

    So while it may not be as common post-BRExit, there will still be some minor representation (6 million or so) who speak English as a real first language.”

    But those countries didn’t select English as an official language as the U.K. had already done so (though this wouldn’t have stopped them doing so as well) the Irish selected their version of Gaelic so that’s an official EU language.
    The EU has rules about official languages and what can be used, after Brexit English won’t be an official language so the EU rules will kick in, and likely be ignored until they can get one of the other English speaking countries to nominate English and make it official again. Would love to see how well that goes down in Ireland, bound to be a small shrill minority up in arms about it.

  23. “… whose main language was English (Ireland, Cyprus and Malta).”

    Cyprus? Would that be “Greek” Cyprus or “Turkish” Cyprus…

    I guess English is at least an official language of Malta, courtesy of colony, but Maltese is still the main language.

  24. @ Hector
    You are a twit.
    Before Tony Crosland decided to abolish Grammar Schools kids from the weirdest places had a chance to go to Uni. In my first year at Oxford the guy in the next room came from a Durham mining village (last but one time I saw him he was a Professor in some Commonwealth country – I assume he is now an Emeritus Professor but there were too many other guys to catch up on last time).

  25. “Last time I checked there were several countries in the EU whose main language was English (Ireland, Cyprus and Malta)

    So while it may not be as common post-BRExit, there will still be some minor representation (6 million or so) who speak English as a real first language.”

    Official languages of the Republic of Cyprus are Greek and Turkish.

    English is widely spoken but they definitely wouldn’t nominate it as an official language!

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