The EU Adds Gaelic; Translation Costs Grow

According to this AP article, the European Union has promoted Gaelic, Ireland’s native tongue, to “official” status.

This is good news for Gaelic translators, as the EU will have to churn out official documents in this language, in addition to the 20 other official EU languages. The EU translation bureau is easily the world’s largest translation agency. According to the article…

    Translation costs for the EU’s 20 official languages had already been spiraling out of control. In January, officials said the amount was set to pass $1 billion following the entry in 2004 of 10 new EU members chiefly from Eastern Europe.

Now that’s one heck of a translation bill. And this bill is only going to get bigger…

    The European Union also granted semiofficial status Monday to three other regional languages: Basque, Catalan and Galician.

    Residents of Galicia in northwestern Spain, Catalonia in eastern Spain and the Basque region straddling the Spanish-French border will all be able to receive EU documents in their home tongues — but only because the Spanish government agreed to pay for the costs of translation.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.