ARROGANCE BRITANNIQUE

NDLR – La
déclaration du ministre de l’Intérieur du Royaume-Uni, M. David Blunkett, à
l’effet que ne pas parler anglais à la maison causerait des «fissures
schizophréniques» a soulevé la colère de plusieurs organisations ethniques du
Royaume-Uni et même de toute l’Europe, et pour cause ! Le texte suivant est en
anglais.
UK Minister Blunkett challenged to "speak up for
languages"
BRUSSELS. 26/09/2002.
Press release on the occasion of the European Day of
Languages.

On the occasion of the European Day of Languages, 26 September 2002, Dr Renato
Corsetti, President of the World Esperanto Association, has today challenged
the UK Home Secretary, Mr David Blunkett, to spearhead a "linguistic culture
change" in Britain, and to "speak up for languages", following Mr Blunkett’s
remarks that immigrants in the UK should speak English at home.
Mr Blunkett’s remarks that not speaking English in the home caused
"schizophrenic rifts" within the family brought protests from various
immigrant organisations, who felt strongly that they should not be told what
language to use in their own homes. Throughout Europe, the remarks were seen
as further proof of the arrogance of English speakers in a world where the
English language has become dominant.
"My concern is that the UK has a strong reputation for not making the effort
in language learning, and that the UK government is actually reinforcing this
attitude by implying a low social status to foreign languages", Dr Corsetti
told Mr Blunkett. "It would appear that Asian languages, for instance, have a
lower social status in the UK than those officially taught in UK schools. This
is paradoxical, because it means that the languages that children are in fact
best at are precisely the low-status ones, which are not taught in your
schools. It’s almost as if, if you want to learn a foreign language in the UK,
you do it
despite the education system, rather than because of it", wrote Dr Corsetti.
Bur Dr Corsetti went on to say, "The UK could within a short time have a large
work force of highly skilled linguists in most major languages of the world.
All that is required is a culture change: instead of seeing immigrant
languages just as a problem, they should be seen as part of the solution.
Britain could be best in Europe at languages". "I therefore challenge, you, Mr
Blunkett, as Home Secretary, to "speak up for languages", and to spearhead
that linguistic culture change in the UK", wrote Dr Corsetti.
The World Esperanto Association campaigns for language rights, and promotes
Esperanto as a comparatively easily learned second language, which would
enable minority languages and cultures to survive, rather than being in
competition with the language of the dominant power at any one time.
* "Speak up for languages" is the slogan launched by CILT (Centre for
Information on Language Teaching and Research) for Thursday’s ‘European Day of
Languages’ campaign.

——————————————————-
For further information:
Dr Renato Corsetti: email: <renato.corsetti@esperanto.org>,
In Italy on +39-06-9575713. Or at the international secretariat of the
Universala Esperanto-Asocio, Nieuwe Binnenweg 176, 3015 BJ Rotterdam,
Nederland. Tel.: +31 10 436 1044. Fax.: +31 10 436 1751.
www.uea.org

Universala Esperanto-Asocio: website:
www.esperanto.net
; www.uea.org

Esperanto Association of Britain website:
http://www.esperanto-gb.org
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