04/06/2005

Legalise English

I herewith propose to amend Art. 4 of the Swiss Federal Constitution to contain German, French Italian, Retoromantsh and English as languages of the country.

Such a move would have lots of advantages: For starters, it's just a reflection of reality. Just look at commercials & day to day language. When people from different parts of the country meet, they tend to resort to speaking English because that's the second language most people have the best active command of. The traditional federal practice of everybody speaking his mother tongue with the expectation that everyone understands it passively is slowly disappearing from daily use. Then we would be able to end an unspeakably boring debate about which language should be the second language to be taught at school. And thirdly, such a move would be perceived as rather innovative & daring.

There's not many arguments against it. The cost argument about having to translate official documents in yet another language can be moderated by a phased introduction. But I suspect that very many documents would then be drafted in English first. The only serious argument - which is one of fiat, not of ratio - is that English is not in our tradition or history. To that, I say: Let's put it there!

Please give me your vote in the new online survey in the sidebar!

1 comment:

nchenga said...

you've got my (non-valid) vote