Adding to the confusion in people’s heads on the subject of Brexit, according to a blog piece written earlier this year on the subject, quoted below, the translation market in the EU would shrink and English would lose its status as one of the three key languages in European administrative procedures.
The panic is a little premature. The Babel fish that is the EU translation department is a massive part of spending on administration and budgeteers would welcome the chance to chop some of its remit. However, as Ireland would still remain as a member and as English is the second language of members such as Malta and Cyprus, and the only second language spoken by citizens of many countries, English language versions of legislation would still need to be produced for procedural purposes: Irish politicians would not suddenly swap to Gaelic. Moreover, due to demand for teaching English language in schools outstrectching any other, the perspective of French taking its place is a distant one.
The article on Global Voices site makes interesting reading though.
“So, what would happen to these services in Britain if they left?
It has already been put forward by leading economic think tanks that a leave-vote could be hugely detrimental to trade. As border tariffs (kept low within the EU) would lurch upwards, incentive to do business with the UK may fall dramatically.
Along with French and German, English is one of the three leading business languages in the Union. Following an exit, the importance of English may be called into question and cease to be considered relevant. France have already hinted at this outcome, suggesting – albeit in jest – that French could be the next dominant language.
Another result of the sliding linguistic status would be the reduction in demand for translating material into English. Whether it’s French, German or Spanish, the focus may shift towards translating business and legal documents into another language, taking business away from UK translators”.