UPI: Study looks at how language excludes many in EU

UPI and other media outlets have covered the research of SMU economist Shlomo Weber.

In the new book “How Many Languages Do We Need? The Economics of Linguistic Diversity” (Princeton University Press), Weber and his co-author, Victor Ginsburgh, explain their research to understand the costs and benefits of the many languages across the globe.

Weber is the Robert H. and Nancy Dedman Trustee Professor of Economics at SMU and director of the Richard Johnson Center for Economic Studies at SMU. He is also a PINE Foundation professor of economics at the New Economic School, Moscow.

Weber’s main area of research is game theory and its applications to public finance, political economy and international trade. Weber has consulted on numerous projects for private businesses, international organizations and governments in Asia, North America, Western and Eastern Europe.

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EXCERPT:

DALLAS, UPI — A majority of European Union citizens are marginalized because they do not speak English, the language most EU official business is conducted in, a study says.

Shlomo Weber of Southern Methodist University in Dallas and Victor Ginsburgh of the Free University of Brussels say that for the EU’s non-English speakers, their native languages are of limited use in the union’s political, legal, communal and business spheres.

That means they have limited access to EU laws, rules, regulations and debates in the governing body, they said.

“Language is the proxy for engagement. People identify strongly with their language, which is integral to culture and traditions,” Weber said in an SMU release Tuesday. “Language is so explosive; language is so close to how you feel.”

Previous studies have found 90 percent of the EU’s official documents are drafted in English and later translated to other languages, mostly French and sometimes German.

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Other coverage:

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