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EU commissioner says in Prague language diversity must be backed

Prague, 4.5.2007 11:11, (CTK)

The diversity of languages in the European Union must be supported, Leonard Orban, EU commissioner for multilingualism, said in Prague today.

He said he does not believe that it would be good to introduce a single official language of the EU, for example English.Orban said he has many reasons not to support the single official language idea. From the political point of view, for example, the chance for the EU to have a single official language is nil, he said.He recalled that there are 23 official languages in the EU, but more than 80 languages are spoken in EU countries, some by minorities, migrants and small communities.

Any language is part of national identity, he said.According to previous information, nine in ten pupils in the EU learn English, which also evidently prevails in communication between EU citizens.Experts, nevertheless, say they do not fear that English could gradually oust the other European languages.

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