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Scots Gaelic Gets EU Recognition

Scots Gaelic has been approved for use in EU meetings in a new memorandum of understanding, according to the BBC. The move is an important step forward for Scots Gaelic,although it still does not have the status of an EU “official” language like English.

In addition to being used in meetings, Gaelic speakers can now write to the EU in Scots Gaelic and get a response back in the same language.

In Scotland’s 2001 census, about 58,652 people reported being able to speak Scots Gaelic, while an additional.33,748 were able to understand it.

The Scottish Government will be footing the bill for the costs of translation for EU meetings and correspondence as part of their efforts to increase the use of the language in Scotland.

Use of Scots Gaelic, has declined significantly, especially over the past 100 years.  For example, according to Wikipedia, in 1911 there were 183,998 Scots Gaelic speakers. Also, in 1991 there were 7,300 more Scots Gaelic speakers than there were in 2001-a decline of 11 percent over 10 years!

In the BBC article, Scottish Culture Minister  Mike Russell commented on the news, saying, “This is a significant step forward for the recognition of Gaelic both at home and abroad and I look forward to addressing the council in Gaelic very soon.”
“Seeing Gaelic spoken in such a forum raises the profile of the language as we drive forward our commitment to creating a new generation of Gaelic speakers in Scotland.”
In honor of the occasion, here are some common words and phrases in Scots Gaelic, along with their English translations:

Halò: Hello
Ciamar a tha thu: How are you?
Madainn mhath: Good Morning
Feasgar math: Good Afternoon
Oidhche mhath: Good night
Dè an t-ainm a tha ort?: What’s your name?
Slàn leat : Goodbye
Slàinte: “Health,” usually used as a toast, like “cheers.”

10 Funny Euro-English Words We Might Hear More Often If The UK Leaves the EU

These days, it’s not just the UK and the US that are divided by a common language. Over the past few decades, English has become one of the most frequently used working languages of the EU.  However, most EU workers are not native English speakers. Enter “Euro-English,” an interesting dialect distinguished by common mispellings, mistranslations, false cognates and malapropisms.

These mistakes generally aren’t random. They are often influenced by the speaker’s native language. So, different people end up “misusing” the same words in the same ways over and over again, until the new meanings become commonly understood in the halls of the EU.

In 2013, a frustrated EU bureaucrat named Jeremy Stephen Gardner catalogued these “Euro-isms” in a delightfully curmudgeonly report called Misused English Words and Expressions in Publications. In the report, he explains  that

Over the years, the European institutions have developed a vocabulary that differs from that of any recognised form of English. It includes words that do not exist or are relatively unknown to native English speakers outside the EU institutions and often even to standard spellcheckers/grammar checkers (‘planification’, ‘to precise’ or ‘telematics’ for example) and words that are used with a meaning, often derived from other languages, that is not usually found in English dictionaries…

So, what happens if Brexit becomes a reality? That would leave the Republic of Ireland and tiny Malta as the only EU countries where English is an official language. Yet, EU workers and bureaucrats are unlikely to stop using it as a second language.

According to Quartz  and The Economist, that means “Euro-English” could diverge even further from the Queen’s English. And that means we could be hearing a lot more of these Euro-English words:

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English Definition: Someone who performs in a TV show, play, film or other theatrical or broadcast performance. “Do you think Tom Cruise is a good actor?”

Euro-English Definition: Via Misused English Words, “The people and/or organisations involved in doing something”. It is also used for countries involved in EU activities and initiatives. Shakespeare may have said “All the world’s a stage,” but I don’t think this is quite what he had in mind. Read more