5-speed listening (Level 5)

Euro politicians told to stop speaking English






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The European Parliament has urged its politicians to speak more slowly and to use their native language instead of English. This is to help interpreters who work at the institution. Many interpreters are experiencing difficulties doing their job. A spokesman said: "It's extremely important that people do not speak too fast." He said politicians who use English when it is not their native language complicate things for translators. He said politicians should speak their own language because: "If the politicians speak a foreign language, the quality of interpretation goes down."

There are 24 official languages at the European Parliament. The most recent additions are Croatian and Bulgarian. A small army of 330 interpreters makes sure everyone understands each other. There are an additional 1,800 freelancers, plus more than 700 translators. If everyone used their native language, only politicians from the UK would be allowed to speak English. Many politicians prefer to use English so they do not confuse people when they need several interpreters. The parliament's annual budget for interpreters is $50 million.

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