Welcome to Linguis Europae, the EUC's language blog!

Linguis Europae is dedicated to a range of topics involving official state, regional, and minority languages in the EU. Posts are written in five languages by UI students and faculty! Check back regularly for updates!

Bridging the Gap: Language and Community in Action in East Central Illinois

Skye Mclean discusses the East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center (ECRIMAC), which provides services essential to refugee and immigrant resettlement in East-Central Illinois and aids in the exchange and preservation of their respective cultures.

Place and Space: Another Perspective on Crimea

Senior Andrey Starosin offers his perspective on the current events taking place in Crimea.

French Professor Revamps Course on "Language and Minorities in Europe"

Linguis Europae's own Zsuzsanna Fagyal and her course "Languages and Minorities in Europe" were featured in a recent issue of the School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics.

Un'Ode al "Dialàtt Bulgnaiś": An Ode to the Bolgnese Dialect

Kaitlyn Russell muses on her fondness for the Italian dialect, Bolognese.

Monday, March 5, 2018

A Bulletproof Culture

By Angelica Wozniak

A map labeled in Polish, showing what appears to be a Kashubian-speaking area in pink, and the surrounding areas in yellow.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
“Cherish the values and the heritage that define your identity”, a notable quote said to the Kashubian people by Pope John Paul II, a quote that deeply resonates within a culture that has been pulled away from prominence and pushed into monotony. Looking back in time, the Kashubs, a people inhabiting Northern Poland in an area near the city of Gdańsk, have both been juggled between Germany and Poland during WWII and have had their culture diluted during post-war Communist times.

During World War II, Poland was struggling to maintain its own identity and language. A whole nation was forced under submission by three different nations wanting more power and land to call their own. Polish and Kashubian were forbidden within what once was the nation of Poland. The consideration of ethnic groups was not a major concern, especially considering the fact that together with the Kashubs, minorities in Poland only constituted a total of 5% of the population during the time of the Second World War, a minimal amount. Therefore, priorities after the war were to try and regain a sense of what it meant to be Polish, with Standard Polish becoming the requirement to be a true Pole. The goal was mono-ethnicity, not cultural diversity, and “Kashubian culture…existed only as a subset of Polish folklore” (Rybińska 138). Discussing minorities was dangerous and considered a taboo, and as Poland was rising from its ashes, Kashubian was beginning to become extinguished.

Near the end of twentieth century, after WWII and Communism, Poland was becoming more modern and urbanized, and inter-generational transmission of Kashubian was on the decline, as the youth of the time were focused on attaining a more successful life. Kashubian started to die out more rapidly, with mostly older generations speaking it. Yet again, it was not considered a priority, and the culture was boiled down to the folkloric memory of farmers and fishermen. Thus, the Kashubs have been stuck in a constant battle contending for the smallest awareness of their dire situation. The Kashubs were fighting for the recognition and support of their culture, their heritage, and most importantly, their identity.

Years later, the Kashubs finally started winning this battle and became “perhaps the most powerful and most active of all Poland’s minority institutions” (Majewicz 154). Currently, there are around 500,000 speakers of Kashubian from Poland to the USA, and even in Canada.

A scan of a printed page showing two columns of text showing dictionary entries in Kashubian.
A Kashubian dictionary. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Linguistically, Polish and Kashubian stem from the same language branch (West Slavic). However, when looking at Kashubian one can see the heavy German influence on the language. For instance, the stress on a word falls on the second to last syllable (penultimate stress) in Polish, while in Kashubian the stress tends to land on any syllable. Kashubian stress is variable, and differs between the various dialects of Kashubian. There are also a couple of differences between the Polish and Kashubian alphabets. Kashubian lacks the Polish Ą, Ę, & Ź, and instead has Ã, É, Ë, Ò, Ô & Ù. It does not distinguish (or contrast) the Polish Z, Ż, and Ź. These sounds are more similar to those in German. Kashubian also has a dual form, like Arabic, and it has more vowel contrasts than Polish does. Also, like German, Kashubian keeps its subject pronouns, whereas Polish is a pro-drop language that does not need to explicitly use its subject pronouns. (Znajkowski 23-36). For instance, the sentence ‘I’m going to the store’ can be translated in Polish as: “Ja ide do sklepu’ or in a simpler manner, ‘Ide do sklepu,’ without the first-person pronoun.

Kashubian schools have even been created, with the opening of the first Kashubian secondary school in Brusy and a primary school in Głodnica in 1991. In 2005, there were 100 Kashubian primary schools with 8000 students and growing. Other schools also allow parents to request that their children be enrolled in a course that teaches Kashubian for three hours a week. Interestingly enough, Kashubian has found its way to the university level, where students who are studying Polish philology are required to take a course on Kashubian.

In terms of power in government, the first Kashubian Congress fell apart in the 1950s. A second Kashubian Congress was thus established in June of 1992 in Gdańsk called “The Future of the Kashubs”, which organizes weekly events to help with the upkeep of the culture.

The Catholic Church has also begun to support and even promote the Kashubian language by holding services in Kashubian and translating both the New and Old Testaments of the Bible.

Kashubian has even become a protected regional language thanks to the National and Ethnic Minorities and Regional Language Act implemented by the Polish government, as well as Poland having ratified the European Charter for Regional and Minority Languages in 2009.

This is without mentioning that hundreds of books have been published in Kashubian thanks to the Kashubian-Pomeranian Society, which includes handbooks that have been written about Kashubian orthography and grammar and Kashubian dictionaries that have been published as well.

Most importantly, the Kashub youth are using the language to shape their identities. They are no longer avoiding and forgetting their language and their roots. Instead, they are promoting it by making it a part of who they are; a part of their identity. There is still much work that needs to be done and much maintenance that needs to be upheld to make sure the Kashubian language stays strong. However, it is worth noting that if the Kashubs can push through years of obstacles, then they can bring their language and their culture back from the shadows of mono-ethnicity. The Kashubs will not let themselves be dissolved into folkloric myths again. This bulletproof culture will thrive and promote diversity. It will fight as valiantly as its nation once did to reclaim its spot in the world.

Kuloodporna Kultura

The Lord's Prayer in Kashubian, in black text on a tan background, with yellow, green, and red geometric designs in the margins.
The Lord's Prayer in Kashubian
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
"Drodzy bracia i siostry Kaszubi! Strzeżcie tych wartości i tego dziedzictwa, które stanowią o Waszej tożsamości", to są znaczne słowa od papieża Jana Pawła II do Kaszubów. Ten cytat od Jana Pawła II głęboko rezonuje w Kaszubskiej kulturze, która straciła wartość i prawię zaginęła. Kaszubi, którzy mieszkają w północnej Polsce w pobliżu miasta Gdańsk, zostali rzuceni między Polską a Niemcami podczas Drugiej Wojny Światowej, jak również, podczas Komunizmu w Polsce.

Podczas Drugiej Wojny Światowej, Polska zaledwie utrzymała swoją tożsamość i bardzo starała się utrzymać swój język i swoją kulturę. Całe państwo było zmuszone do poddania się przez trzy różne narody, które chciały więcej mocy nad światem. Język Polski był zabroniony. W pewnym momencie dumny kraj, o bogatych kulturach, przestał istnieć. Kaszubska kultura nie była brana pod uwagę, szczególnie że mniejszości w Polsce osiągnęły zaledwie pięć procent populacji ludności Polski. W tym czasie, priorytetem było wzbudzenie Polskiej kultury, języka Polskiego i narodu Polskiego. Kiedy Polska powstawała ze swoich popiołów, Kaszubska kultura zaczęła zanikać.

Ponadto, po Drugiej Wojnie Światowej Polska znalazła się pod sowieckim komunizmem. Celem komunizmu było monoetniczność, a nie różnorodność kulturowa. W tym czasie, Kaszubska kultura była tylko “...podgrupą polskiego folkloru”(Rybińska 138), i niczym więcej. Rozmowa o mniejszości była tabu, a nawet przestępstwem. Kaszubska kultura szybko umierała.

Pod koniec dwudziestego wieku, po Drugiej Wojnie Światowej i po komunizmie, Polska stała się bardziej nowoczesna i miejska. To był problem Kaszubów, ponieważ młodzież Kaszubska koncentrowała się na osiągnięciu lepszego życia, a nie uczenia się o  języku i kulturze Kaszubskiej. W związku z tym, międzypokoleniowa transmisja języka Kaszubskiego zmniejszała się i tylko starsze pokolenia mówiło tym językiem. Ta kultura była znana  tylko dla rolników i wędkarzy.  Kaszubi utknęli w nieustannej bitwie o ich uznanie i tożsamość.

Nadal istnieje nadzieja dla Kaszubów.  W dzisiejszych czasach Kaszubi są jedną z “...najbardziej potężnych i najbardziej aktywnych Polskich mniejszości” (Majewicz 154). Po wielu latach, w końcu, udało się Kaszubom uratować swój język i kulturę. W obecnym czasie jest 500,000 mówców języka Kaszubskiego w Polsce, w Ameryce, i nawet w Kanadzie. Zostało otwarte wiele szkół Kaszubskich (pierwsze w Brusy i w Głodnicy w 1991 r.) w Polsce. W 2005 r. było ponad 100 szkół Kaszubskich i ponad 8000 studentów. Ta liczba wciąż rośnie. Rodzice mogą zapisać  swoich dzieci aby były nauczone języka Kaszubskiego przez trzy godziny w tygodniu. Studenci które studiują Polską Filologię  na Uniwersytecie Gdańskim muszą wziąć klasę o Kaszubskiej kulturze i o Kaszubskim języku.

Pomimo to że pierwszy kongres rozpadł się w 1950 r, założono drugi kongres Kaszubski który był ustalony w czerwcu 1992 r. w Gdańsku. Został nazwany “Przyszłością  Kaszubów”. Ten kongres organizuje spotkania i inne wydarzenia aby awansować kulturę Kaszubską.

Nawet kościół Katolicki wspiera Kaszubów i oferuję mszy w języku Kaszubskim. Ponadto Biblia była przetłumaczona też w tym języku (Nowy Testament był wydany w 1987 r. i Stary Testament był wydany w 1992 r.)

W 2009 r. Kaszubski stał się językiem chronionym kiedy Polska ratyfikowała Europejską Kartę Języków Regionalnych i Mniejszościowych. Rząd Polski stworzył prawo Mniejszości Narodowej i Etnicznej oraz Ustawę o Językach Regionalnych żeby chronić języki które szybko gasły.

Works Cited

Dołowy-Rybińska, N. (2015). Young Kashubs and language policy. In M. Jones (Ed.), Policy and Planning for Endangered Languages: (pp. 123-137). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/CBO9781316162880.011

Gorter, Durk, ed. Fourth International Conference on Minority Languages: Western and Eastern European papers. Vol. 2. Multilingual matters, 1990.

Jones, Elin Haf Gruffydd, and Enrique Uribe-Jongbloed, eds. Social media and minority languages: Convergence and the creative industries. Vol. 152. Multilingual Matters, 2012.

"Kashubian Language." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 20 Apr. 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.

Majewicz, Alfred E. "Kashubian choices, Kashubian prospects: a minority language situation in northern Poland." International journal of the sociology of language 120.1 (1996): 39-54.

Majewicz, Alfred F., and Tomasz Wicherkiewicz. "Minority Rights Abuse in Communist Poland and Inherited." (1992).

Majewicz, Alfred F. "Minority situation attitudes and developments after the return to power of''post-communists''in Poland." Nationalities Papers 27.1 (1999): 115-137.

Otwinowska, Agnieszka, and Gessica De Angelis, eds. Teaching and learning in multilingual contexts: sociolinguistic and educational perspectives. Vol. 96. Multilingual Matters, 2014.

Trudgill, Peter. "Ausbau sociolinguistics and the perception of language status in contemporary Europe." International Journal of Applied Linguistics 2.2 (1992): 167-177.

Znajkowski, Nick. "Language Contact in Pomerania: The Case of German, Polish, and Kashubian." Linguistics.as.nyu.edu. New York University, n.d. Web. http://linguistics.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/29862/KashubianThesis_FINAL.pdf.


Angelica, a heritage speaker of Polish, was a sophomore in Speech & Hearing Sciences, Linguistics & Arabic Studies at the University of Illinois when she wrote this text in 418, 'Language and Minorities in Europe'.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Out of the impasse? (Un)realities in the political and educational systems of Bosnia and Herzegovina

by Marija Vishinova

This image shows the international border of Bosnia and Herzegovina superimposed over the flag of that country.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
After the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1990-1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina became one of the successor states that suffered the most in the ensuing Yugoslav Wars of Succession (1990-1999). After many traumatic events, the war finally ended with the Dayton Peace Agreement, signed in Dayton, Ohio, in 1995 (Majstorovic and Vuckovac 2016). While the agreement established peace in the country and the Western Balkans, it failed to specify future domestic and international perspectives and goals for the newly formed state. The constitutional framework of the Dayton Agreement worked as an instrument to stop the war, but it had no provisions for a functional state. Today, even though Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of the Western Balkan candidate states for a potential EU enlargement, the country is far from prepared to follow EU prerequisites for future membership. One of the remaining problems is that the territory is divided into multiple cantons and state institutions that are strictly separated along ethnic lines (Busek and Kuhne 2010).

In the aftermath of the war, the educational system in Bosnia and Herzegovina was marked by uncertainties and endless debates leading to an impasse. Originally, the schools were established on mono-ethnic and mono-national grounds that became unsustainable when refugees from several neighboring ex-Yugoslav states started to migrate back to their homes after 1997. After the Dayton Agreement, a new constitution was implemented, but it created a decentralized, asymmetric, and largely defective management system for education that mirrors the insoluble political situation plagued with multi-ethnic and multi-religious conflicts in major cities, such as Sarajevo, Tuzla, Mostar, and Zenice (Fox, Kreso, and Majhanovich, 2008). The new system has undermined unity in policies, goals, values, and patriotic feelings for the new state (Jozić 2012).

One of the direct consequences of decentralization was, for instance, the bourgeoning of parallel state institutions that lead to the establishment of 13 constitutions and, among others, 13 ministries of education (two entity level ministries, 10 cantonal ministries, and the ministry of the Brcko District). The educational system in particular is monopolized by the nationalist leaderships of Bosnian Croats, Bosnian Serbs, and Bosniaks, aiming at controlling their share of the educational process. Ignoring past mistakes in the 90s, schools in Bosnia Herzegovina have been characterized as “two schools under one roof” (Perry, 2003:29): there are Bosniaks schools teaching the Bosnian language, Croatian schools for Bosnian Croat children studying the Croatian language written with the Latin alphabet, and Serbian schools with Serbian pupils studying from books written with the Cyrillic alphabet. Compromises often lead to absurd scenarios, such as the story of a new school built with World Bank funds in the town of Stolac (Perry 2003:30):

Bosnian Croat children attended the new school, while Bosniak children were forced to be schooled out of private homes in sub-standard conditions. Upon hearing of this egregious situation, the OHR (the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia) stepped in and said that if space in the new school was available (and it was), the Bosniak children should be able to benefit from the World Bank project as well. While a good intention, the OHR underestimated the divisions in Stolac and the nationalist politics that drive the [‘hardliner’] city in Herzegovina. Rather than integrating the Bosniak children into the school, the school was essentially divided into Bosnian Croat and Bosniak sections, separating students by floor, with piles of chairs and desks serving as barriers in the corridors and with separate entrances for each group.

Neither the international community nor any of the domestic leadership-governments (Republika Srpska in Banja Luka or the government of the Federation of Croats and Muslims in Sarajevo) has been able find a way out of the deadlock. The situation has had a profound impact on the fragile state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially on younger generations who are prevented from reconciling the past and, as the motto of the European Union would want it, live “united in their diversity”.

In recent times, there have been positive developments. The Declaration on the Common Language in Sarajevo by Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbian NGOs in late March 2017 represents a new attempt at bringing together the different cultures in the region. In this Declaration, thee NGOs especially urge to silence the independent nationalisms of the three main ethnicities for the benefit of the education of new generations. The NGOs asked the authorities to consider the fact that the purportedly different Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian languages are differentiated politically but not linguistically: despite regional differences, the three languages remain mutually intelligible and are commonly referred to as the BCS (Bosnian, Croatian, and Serbian) languages.  Predictably, this request was greeted with a wide variety of emotions. Some of the political analysts and linguists in the region welcomed the proposal for a common post-Yugoslav language federating between Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbian, while others disapproved. Among the loudest opponents of this proposal seem to have been translators, whose profession may be endangered with the possible unification of the languages.

In my opinion, the proposal for a common post-Yugoslav language was a remarkable step forward. It was initiated through the reasonable examination of civil societies and their immediate needs in the region and, as such, it should be welcomed and received with greater attention from the international community, particularly the European Union, as well. More precisely, EU officials could use the common post-Yugoslav language proposal as a tool for calming down nationalistic feelings and pretensions. It might be wise to envision using it as a ‘carrot mechanism’ in the EU conditionality for accession of states like Bosnia and Herzegovina.


Busch Brigitta, Schick, Jurgen. “Educational materials reflecting Hetergdossia: Disidventing Ethnolinguistic Differences in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, Fond otvoreno drustvo, Bosna and Herzegovina, Sarajevo, 2012.

Busek, Erhard, Kuhne, Bjorn.  “From Stabilization to Integration- The Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe”, Brussels, SEETO, 2010.

Fox Christine, Kreso, Pasalic, Adila, Majhanovich, Suzanne. “Living Together- Education and Intercultural Dialogue”, Springer Science+Business Media, B.V, 2009.

Jozic, Zeljko. “Linguistic (Un)reality in Contemporary Bosnia and Herzegovina ”. University of Helsinki, Department of Languages. Helsinki, 2005.

Majstorović, Danijela, Vučkovac, Zoran. “Rethinking Bosnia and Herzegovina’s post-coloniality Challenges of Europeanization discourse”. Journal of Language and Politics 15:2 (2016), 147–172. doi 10.1075/jlp.15.2.02maj issn 1569–2159 / e-issn 1569–9862 © John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Perry, Valery. “Reading, Writing and Reconciliation: Educational Reform in Bosnia and Herzegovina”. European Center for Minority Issues (ECMI) Working Paper # 18, September 2003.


Marija was a visting student in Political Science from the Master’s program in Inter-disciplinary Research and Studies of Eastern Europe at the University of Bologna in Italy when she wrote this text in 418 ‘Language and Minorities in Europe’ at the University of Illinois in spring 2017.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Argentinians Speaking Welsh? Celtic in Patagonia

By Kelly Mui

A three-masted clipper ship, in a greyscale reproduction of what may be either an ink wash or a painting.
The Mimosa, from Wikipedia
Argentina seems like the last place you would find Welsh speakers because of how far the original homeland of the language, Wales, is from South America. However, due to mass emigrations from the British Isles in the 19th century, there has been a relatively large community of Welsh speakers in Argentina for over 150 years.

In 1865, around 150 Welsh settlers arrived in the region of Patagonia from the city of Liverpool on the Mimosa (Johnson, 2010). The exact number of emigrants from Wales in the early years is unknown, but many more immigrants were encouraged to settle in this new Welsh colony a decade later when the Argentine government granted the newcomers ownership of their land. But why not settle in North America where large numbers of immigrants were moving in order to gain religious freedom and chase their “American dream”? The answer to this question is that some settlers felt that Welsh immigrants in North America adapted to English too much and too quickly so they decided to move to an even more isolated area where concurrence from English was not threatening their language and culture (Tweedie, 2012). The goal was to build “a Wales outside of Wales” and gain religious freedom and freedom to use their language (Why do they speak Welsh in South America?).

A sepia photograph of a small canvas tent, two small wagons, and curricle. In the background is the entrance to a mountain pass with a small outcropping in the middle like a large pillar. A man wearing a wide-brimmed black hat looks out of the tent opening, and a girl in a bonnet stands in front.
Settling in a new area was not an easy task. Without any knowledge of how to farm the land and, consequently, after numerous failed harvests, many settlers gave up and moved East of Argentina or to North America (Tweedie, 2012). The few who stayed found themselves rapidly outnumbered not only by Argentinians but also other immigrants. Eventually, the Argentinian government pushed for Spanish as their official language, leading to further stigma against Welsh speakers. By the 1950s, most of the Welsh speakers had given up speaking Welsh. Not only was Welsh dying out but the settlers’ traditions were also beginning to fade away.

All hope was not lost, however, as in 1965, the 100th anniversary of the Mimosa’s journey sparked a renewed interest in Welsh. The Welsh revival movement was born. From then on, there were increased efforts by the Welsh population in Patagonia and also the Welsh government in the UK to reinvigorate the language and the culture in South America (Why do they speak Welsh in South America?).

Today, Welsh culture and the outdoors are two leading themes of the tourism boom in Patagonia. Tourism, the leading economic sector in Patagonia, has also helped efforts in maintaining Welsh. But is it enough?  There have been many successful campaigns leading to the revival of Welsh, but the real question is whether or not this success can last. Can Welsh in Patagonia gain durable ethnolinguistic vitality?

A woman in a full green skirt, white blouse, and blue apron, and a man in brown trousers, a light blue shirt, and a dark blue vest are folk-dancing in a convention center. The picture is taken from ground level looking up, and the Argentinian and Welsh flags hang from the ceiling behind them.
A study conducted by Ian Johnson in 2010 explored this question. The main focus of the study was tourism and the residents’ feelings towards tourism (Johnson, 2010). The study was conducted using a vitality questionnaire in the form of interviews. The participants were of a wide variety of professions from educators to shop owners. The participants were allowed to choose which language they wished to speak as well as the location where the interview was conducted. Johnson summarizes his results by saying that tourism is just one way in which Welsh can gain ethnolinguistic vitality. The reasoning behind this conclusion is that tourists are attracted to the “other-ness” of a Welsh-Argentinian identity which leads them to visit tourist sites. These tourist sites purposefully highlight cultural differences by having bilingual signs in Welsh and Spanish (see picture below), tea-shop owners dressed in traditional dresses, people speaking Welsh to tourists, and streets decorated with symbols unique to Welsh culture. Through these actions, Spanish-Welsh bilinguals can gain an economic advantage over the Spanish-speaking locals and thus preserve the Welsh language as well (Johnson, 2010).

Another way in which Welsh maintains its vitality is through support from the Welsh government. In recent years, Welsh language teachers were trained to live in Patagonia for one year or even longer in order to teach people the language. In recent years, a large number of religious ministers have also relocated from Wales to Patagonia to manage church and religious affairs. Besides direct support from the motherland’s government, there has also been an increase in tourists who visited Patagonia or, conversely, moved to Wales for longer periods of time, to work or even to study Welsh (Johnson, 2010). This type of transnational contact and population exchange between Wales and Patagonia also effectively increases Welsh’s ethnolinguistic vitality by showing the economic advantages that the Welsh language and culture can bring.

A black and white road sign gives place names in Spanish and Welsh. Trees and a mountainside are glimpsed behind it.
From Johnson’s (2010) study, it seems like Welsh is in a good place and is unlikely to die out any time soon. However, things are not perfect. Many residents have also expressed concern that while Welsh now flourishes in Patagonia, it is mainly due to support and contact with Wales, the motherland in the UK. What would happen if Wales decided to stop sending their teachers or stop providing economic support to Patagonia? A number of residents in the study doubted that their distinctive culture would be able to survive without this external support. Another concern is that English has a huge influence all over the globe and Patagonia is no exception. Numerous younger residents expressed their dilemma of language learning that sounds familiar in many minority language speaking regions around the world: put more effort into Welsh instead of English or focus on the most wide-spread international language and minimize investment of time and effort in Welsh? Most Patagonians of Welsh descent believe that maintaining the Welsh language and culture is important. However, since English holds so many commercial advantages, they also believe that they must learn English first (Johnson, 2010). These dilemmas are not limited to Welsh speakers in Patagonia. As in other regions around the world that wish to maintain their distinctive cultural heritage, dependency on external sponsorship is not a viable long-term solution for preserving ethnolinguistic vitality.


  1. BBC iWonder - Why do they speak Welsh in South America? (n.d.). Accessed in January 20, 2018, from http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z9kr9j6
  2. Johnson, I. (2010). Tourism, transnationality and ethnolinguistic vitality: the Welsh in the Chubut Province, Argentina. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 31(6), 553-568. doi:10.1080/01434632.2010.511228
  3. Tweedie, N. (2012, March 28). The Welsh Argentine who fought the British. Retrieved April 30, 2017, from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/argentina/9169222/The-Welsh-Argentine-who-fought-the-British.html


Kelly Mui was a senior in East Asian Languages and Cultures when she wrote this text in 418, ‘Language and Minorities in Europe’ in spring 2017.


Monday, January 15, 2018

Irish as an Ornament

by Laura Ther

Curved green lines interlaced in a pattern similar to Celtic knotwork.
It is commonly believed in Ireland that knowing a handful of words in Irish is enough to consider oneself fluent. There is a well-established cultural pretense that "a few words will do" and only a few basic pleasantries in Irish are needed. It seems that those few words are learned primarily in childhood, as the number of adult Irish speakers reporting to speak the language tends to decrease rather precipitously with age (Figure 1). Knowing no words in Irish at all can also condemn someone as a complete cultural outsider, which might bring us to conclude that the Irish language is of primary importance to its people.

This assumption is correct, but it is not necessarily reflected in everyday practice. Everyday communication in Ireland has been conducted exclusively in English for at least two centuries, which led to the relative neglect of Irish. After generations of British interference, Irish had all but disappeared from public life. The events leading up to its disappearance were described by Monaghan in the late 19th century as, “the most rigorous laws [that] were enforced against the use of the Irish language [and over time] the dominant influence of the English people over Ireland resulted in the discontinuance of the Irish spoken tongue” (Monaghan, 31). Thanks to the efforts to maintain the relevance of Irish in a culture that exclusively relies on English for commerce and daily communication, the language has indeed remained a key aspect of Irish culture and identity.
Figure 1: Shows very high numbers of Irish speakers in an education setting, with an abrupt drop at age 18 and a steady decline in overall use of the language from that point forward.
Fig. 1. (Bliain Na Gaeilge » Facts & Figures)

The practice of Irish, however, is often purely ornamental. According to "Language Policy and Language Governance: A Case-study of Irish Language Legislation" by John Walsh, in Irish, “the expression ‘cúpla focal’ (literally, ‘a few words’) is widely used by those ‘speakers’ who do not know that much Irish at all but who, to varying degrees, consider themselves part of the larger Irish speaking community.” The ideology of ‘the few words (will do)’ signals the widespread belief that “a minimal level of Irish suffices in all circumstances” (Walsh, 13), which can create a vicious circle of lack of incentives for advanced language learning. For instance, in order to be culturally accepted, it might be necessary to learn how to greet people in Irish. However, selecting the proper greeting requires advanced language skills that are informed by the context of the interaction. Knowing a few words in Irish might be regarded as a symbolic or tokenistic display of the language similar to an adornment, but few seem to realize that even the symbolic use of Irish can be more complex than wearing ‘something Irish’ on occasions…

Picture 1: A bilingual road sign showing both English and Irish place names in black text on a white sign.
Picture 1. Bilingual road sign in Ireland
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Recently, the Irish Government has made several attempts to revitalize the Irish language. The Official Languages Act of 2003, for instance, was an important step in this direction. It set out some clear rules regarding the use of Irish in public and established the Office of the Language Commissioner (Coimisinéir Teanga) that monitors and enforces the use of the language in public administration. While most signage in Ireland is bilingual in Irish and English, there have been attempts to include more Irish in the media, politics and schools. In the Irish-dominant territories of the Gaeltacht, for instance, Irish on public signs is primary while English is considered a translation (Picture 1). Irish-only signs and posters are also common (Picture 2).

The Irish government’s many attempts at encouraging language learning through education were also quite successful (see again Figure 1). One such attempt was described by Thomas Sheehan in his article, “Reviving a Dying Language”. Sheehan argues that the government’s initiative to strengthen “the national fiber by giving the language, history, music and tradition of Ireland their natural place in the life of Irish schools” (Sheehan, 215) was well-received in Ireland. However, one of the immediate concerns was that “most teachers knew little or nothing of the Irish language, it was necessary to teach the teachers” (Sheehan, 215). Many more attempts have been made since the late 20th and early 21st centuries to expand Irish within the education system. The number of people capable of speaking Irish is now on the rise. As of the 2011 census, “[t]he total number of persons (aged 3 and over) who could speak Irish in April 2011 was 1,774,437. This was an increase of 7.1 per cent on the 1,656,790 persons who could speak Irish in April 2006” (Bliain Na Gaeilge » Facts & Figures). This growth is due in large part to the inclusion of Irish as a bilingual and main medium in primary education.
Picture 2: An Irish-only placard in green and white, attached to the pole of a street light on an urban street.
Picture 2.
Irish-only sign inviting the Irish to vote for marriage equality in 2015.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Despite the fact that the Irish language still nearing extinction in everyday public life, it remains a great source of pride for the Irish. It is part of their collective identity and serves as a symbolic form of linguistic rebellion against its historical oppressors. Although the revitalization effort has become a rather complicated form of cultural resistance, the Irish language has been a tether to Irish heritage and culture. Recent attempts by the government to revitalize the language have been embraced by the Irish who realize that language is part of what makes Ireland unique from its neighbors. While the belief that a few words will suffice is still common, it is starting to be replaced with a more widely spread and widely acclaimed literacy, as a new generation of Irish people have grown up.  If anything, their pride and confidence may save the Irish language from being forever reduced to the status of an occasional cultural ornament.

Works Cited

Kelly, Aoife. "Bliain Na Gaeilge 2013- Bigi Linn." Bliain Na Gaeilge » Facts & Figures. N.p., 2012. Web. 10 Mar. 2017. http://gaeilge2013.ie/en/about/irish-language/facts-figures/

Monaghan, Charles P. “The Revival of the Gaelic Language.” PMLA, vol. 14, 1899, pp. xxxi-xxxix., www.jstor.org/stable/456448.

Sheehan, Thomas W. “Reviving a Dying Language.” The Modern Language Journal, vol. 29, no. 3, 1945, pp. 215–217., www.jstor.org/stable/318734

Walsh, John. "Language Policy and Language Governance: A Case-study of Irish Language Legislation." Lang Policy. Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012, 24 Feb. 2012. Web. 9 Mar. 2017.

Laura Ther was a senior in Political Science at the University of Illinois when she wrote this text in 418, ‘Language and Minorities in Europe’. Laura was planning on going to Law School and was interested in International and Constitutional Law.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Signora Sindaco: Debate about the Feminization of Professional Titles in Italy

By Robin Wilson

Adapted from Wikimedia
The debate about the feminine form of certain words of profession in the Italian language, specifically job titles, was brought back to the fore with the election of Virginia Raggi, the newly-elected mayor of Rome. She is, in fact, the first ever female mayor of Rome. With her election came the question of whether the word sindaco ‘mayor’ would be used to describe her as occupying the position of the major. Until recently, sindaco had no widely recognized feminine form in the Italian language.

The dominant use of masculine words for titles and professions within the Italian language, however, is not a new phenomenon. Attitudes and inequalities associated with such a dominance was raised as early as 1987 by the researcher and activist Alma Sabatini in her influential treatise Raccomandazioni per un uso non sessista della lingua italiana ‘Recommendations for a non-sexist use of the Italian language’. Although Sabatini’s recommendations were reportedly “listed on the website of the Ministry Equal Opportunities (Ministero delle Pari Opportunità)” until the Ministry was terminated by Matteo Renzi’s government in 2013, it is true that masculine forms continue to dominate when naming professions and institutional roles that were not traditionally filled by women. Examples include medico ‘medical doctor’, ingenere ‘engineer’, and minister ‘minister’ (Robustelli 2013). Many reasons are listed for the resistance of the use of feminine forms for these titles. Some consider feminine forms “ugly” while others believe that masculine forms are also acceptable to use for women exercising the same functions, which makes it unnecessary to invent new forms. On the other hand, there is no resistance to the use of feminine forms for professions and roles traditionally occupied by women, such as infermiera ‘nurse’. As Robustelli (2013) points out, the resistance to feminine forms might indicate a resistance to gender equality and the representation of women in formerly male-dominated professions.
"Mayor" on wordreference.com

La Repubblica, a large Italian newspaper, recently published a piece about how the Italian language is taking a long time to catch up to the new societal norms created in Italy’s increasingly diverse professional environment. Among the most prominent sectors are architecture and surgery (Farinaccio 2016). L'Accademia della Crusca, the oldest linguistic academy in the world and the most revered resource of the Italian language, strongly recommends the feminized versions of the words to be used rather than applying the masculine equiavalents universally. For professional titles and institutional roles relating to crafts, the Academy started recommending a general grammatical guide on how to create the feminine version of these previously solely masculine titles. The National Research Council collaborated with l'Accademia della Crusca and created a “Guide for the Preparation of Administrative Acts: Rules and Suggestions” in 2011. The report specifically mentioned the title sindaco/sindaca, due to its relevance in political life (Istituto di teoria e tecniche dell’informazione giuridica and Accademia della Crusca, 2011). Later, in 2013, the Academy reinforced its recommendations and support of the word sindaca ‘major’ (Robustelli 2013).

In 1987, Alma Sabatini submitted the book “Il sessismo nella lingua italiana" [Sexism in the Italian language] to the Italian Government and to the Commission for Equal Opportunities. This is a crucial piece of writing that is often referenced with respect to the Italian language that derives feminine forms from their masculine equivalents. Sabatini says that such a practice can create negative attitudes towards women (Sabatini, 1897). She also talks about how many conservatives are wary of any linguistic change because they see any adaptation as unnatural and infringing on current habits.

Virginia Raggi (Adapted from Wikimedia)
As Virginia Raggi was one of the catalysts to bring this questioning of the feminization of professional titles back into play, it is of interest to look at her use of the word for mayor. During her campaigning, Raggi used the masculine form sindaco exclusively. Since being elected, Raggi has consistently referred to herself by the feminine form, sindaca, and has proclaimed that gender policies will be an important focus during her term (Aimar 2016).

Changes in the Italian lexicon are undoubtedly important, but they have not yet penetrated into Italian society. Many dictionaries only include the masculine form of various names of professions, and women, specifically mayors, are still more often than not referred to with an all-encompassing masculine titles. Thus, the change from predominantly masculine to a more inclusive grammar in Italy is slow but promising.


Robin Wilson was a sophomore majoring in Global Studies and Italian when she wrote this text in 418, ‘Language and Minorities in Europe’. Robin has worked as an intern in the Illinois Department of Commerce in Chicago over the summer and is studying abroad in Bologna during her senior year. She is interested in migration and international security studies.

Works Cited

Aimar, S. (2016, August 1). What Rome's election of its first female mayor says about women in Italian politics. Retrieved December 1, 2017, from http://fortune.com/2016/06/28/rome-mayor-virgina-raggi/

 “Alma Sabatini e le Raccomandazioni 25 anni dopo”, Retrieved Decmber 1, 2017, from http://www.lauradebenedetti.it/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=65:alma-sabatini-e-le-sue-raccomandazioni-25-anni-dopo&catid=55&Itemid=490

“Guida all’uso non sessista della lingua italiana”, LINKIESTA, Retrieved Decmber 1, 2017, from http://www.linkiesta.it/it/article/2014/07/17/guida-alluso-non-sessista-della-lingua-italiana/22264/

“L’Italia non può permettersi di non avere un Ministero per le Pari Opportunità”, Vice News, marzo 8, 2016, Retrieved Decmber 1, 2017, from https://news.vice.com/it/article/italia-ministro-pari-opportunita-donne

Farinaccio, V. (2016, November 18). Sindaco o sindaca? Cinque regole per risolvere tutti i dubbi
dell'italiano di genere. Retrieved April 08, 2017, from http://www.repubblica.it/cultura/2016/11/18/news/sindaco_sindaca_crusca_italiano-152283266/

Istituto di teoria e tecniche dell’informazione giuridica and Accademia della Crusca, Guida alla redazione degli atti amministrativi. Retrieved December 1, 2017, from http://www.ittig.cnr.it/Ricerca/Testi/GuidaAttiAmministrativi.pdf

L'Accademia della Crusca. (2011). The Accademia. Retrieved April 08, 2017, from

Robustelli, C. (2013, March). Infermiera sì, ingegnera no? Retrieved April 08, 2017, from

Sabatini, A. (1987). Il sessismo nella lingua italiana. Roma: Ist. Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato,

Libreria dello Stato.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Joseph Conrad and the value of immigration in pre-Brexit Britain

by James Warning

Joseph Conrad (source)
The British novelist Joseph Conrad, a man of Polish origins who did not set foot in England until his early 20s, is today considered to have been one of the greatest English prose writers of his time.1 In his novella, Heart of Darkness, Conrad’s narrator Marlow sits on the deck of a ship coming to port in London and meditates on the Roman conquest of Britain and the idea of racism and empire: “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. An idea at the back of it; not a sentimental pretence but an idea; and an unselfish belief in the idea—something you can set up, and bow down before, and offer a sacrifice to....”2

With the United Kingdom’s 2016 decision to exit the European Union, a decision in part motivated by the racial anxieties of native British citizens towards immigrants, including Polish immigrants, Conrad would probably be dismayed to find that his adopted homeland had irredeemably resolved to offer a sacrifice to “sentimental pretence.” A populist movement has proven willing to do irreversible damage to its own country in an effort to move back towards a sentimentalized past, a past before the troubling influx of an ethnic other.

Flag of the United Kingdom (source)
Census data from Britain’s Office of National Statistics has shown that Polish is the second most commonly spoken language in the UK3 and according to a briefing paper published by the UK House of Commons library there were approximately 984,000 Polish nationals living in Britain as of 2016.4 But since the June 23 Brexit referendum there have been troubling incidents of hostility towards this substantial linguistic minority. As reported in such outlets as the Guardian5 and Reuters6, Polish immigrants in the UK have faced harassment and have been discouraged from speaking their language by locals who believe that low-skilled immigrants are driving down wages and taking jobs.

But are these racial hostilities around jobs and wages grounded in reality? A recent article in the Financial Times7 would suggest not. In interviews with business owners in the warehouse and food processing industries in the East Midlands region, FT found that there was a high level of market anxiety around finding workers to fill the low-wage jobs which locals often refuse to do and which up till now were only able to be kept filled by Polish immigrants. Thus, the uncertain future for Polish immigrants in the region presents an uncertain future to local businesses.

Flag of Poland (source)
Likewise, many analysts have shown, including a London School of Economics report entitled “The Consequences of Brexit for UK Trade and Living Standards” by Dhingra et. al,8 that the damage to the British economy caused by a substantial decrease in trade will most likely lead to a significant decrease in living standards in the UK. The idea that retreating from the EU will allow Britain to raise living standards for locals by getting rid of immigrants, including Polish immigrants, is unsupported by empirical evidence and doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

While it may be too late for the UK to back away from its unfortunate decision, it would be both humane and in Britain’s best interest to maintain a tolerant attitude toward its Polish immigrant population. As Joseph Conrad’s contribution to English letters demonstrates, immigrants can be a valuable resource to the United Kingdom, both in terms of their input on the labor market as well as their enrichment of the local culture. Either way, no Polish person should have to be afraid to speak their native language in Britain.

Works Cited

1. The Editors of the Encyclopedia Britannica. (2010, February). Joseph Conrad. https://www.britannica.com/biography/Joseph-Conrad

2. Conrad, Joseph. (1899). Heart of Darkness

3. Booth, Robert. (2013, January). Polish becomes England’s second languagehttps://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jan/30/polish-becomes-englands-second-language

4. Hawkins, Oliver; Anna Moses. (2016, July). Polish population of the United Kingdom http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7660

5. Ratcliffe, Rebecca. (2016, November) They tell me not to speak Polish https://www.theguardian.com/education/2016/nov/27/international-students-life-after-brexit-universities

6. Gumuchian, Marie-Louise. (2016, June). Polish migrants fearful over future after Brexit vote http://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-poles-idUSKCN0ZE26X

7. Chaffin, Joshua. (2016, November). Businesses fear losing Polish migrants after Brexit https://www.ft.com/content/209b0f44-a036-11e6-891e-abe238dee8e2

8. Dhingra, Swati et. al.(2016). The consequences of Brexit for UK trade and living standards






James was a senior in Linguistics when he wrote this text in 418, 'Language and Minorities in Europe'.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Languages of Innovation: the tortuous linguistic history of the EU’s Unitary Patent System

By Victoria Bauer and Zsuzsanna Fagyal-Le Mentec

At first glance, the European Union has the most liberal language regime in the world: all twenty-four of its official languages are considered equal and can be used by EU citizens to communicate with their institutions. The EU’s strong commitment to multilingualism holds despite the formidable costs associated with the enormous translation flow. Consider, for instance, that the European Commission's Directorate General reportedly spends over 330 million euros per year on translation (Translation in the EU) and the total costs of language services within the Union are estimated to be close to a billion euros. However, EU language regimes are much more constrained than they might appear.

Source: Wikipedia
In principle, the Council of Europe determines the rules governing language use (Article 342, Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), but EU institutions “may stipulate in their rules of procedure which of the languages are to be used in specific cases” (The French Language in European institutions). Typically, a handful of languages are used as ‘procedural’ or ‘working’ languages, but preference for one or another can vary depending on the context and the institution. For instance, the European Commission works exclusively in English, French, and German, while the European Council varies its rules of language use depending on the meeting. The European Parliament has an even greater flexibility: it can mandate up to seven languages per group of interpreters delivering simultaneous interpretation in its plenary sessions. Occasionally, language use in EU institutions can become a political issue.

In the late 1990s, legal and financial experts working on the newly planned European Unitary Patent System were close to a major breakthrough. Having worked for decades on replacing the systems of national patents requiring costly translations by a single European patent, the European Patent Office (EPO) was finally ready for a new era of unity and transparency. Since the EPO has been working in English, French, and German since its foundation in 1997, everyone assumed that patents under the new unitary system would continue to be written and filed in these three languages. After all, they would require no additional translations and would allow patent applications to be handled fast and efficiently. Who would possibly object to such advantages?

As it turns out, multilingualism got in the way...

EPO Office
Unexpectedly, Italy and Spain disagreed. They objected strongly to the idea of a practical status quo in matters of language when filing for patents with the EPO. They cited conflicts with their own national interests and claimed that the proposed trilingual patent system would put their own businesses at a disadvantage over British, French, and German companies. When the Council of the European Union gave the green light to proceed without the unanimous support of all member states, Italy and Spain took the EPO to court.

In May 2011, Italy and Spain filed for the annulment of the language clauses of the unitary patent regulation with the European Court of Justice (CJEU cases C-274/11 and C-295/11). They have argued that the proposed language regime was discriminatory: filing innovations only in English, French, and German would be non-compliant with EU treaties, distorting competition, and causing a misuse of the Council’s powers. Italy and Spain’s goal was to add Italian and Spanish to the list of working languages in which all patents could be translated when filed. Or, as a possible concession: use English only. When the French objected to the latter, the negotiations have stalled.

The controversy has dragged on for years. While everyone agreed that it was a good idea to ‘streamline’ the patent application procedure, how to do it without undermining national interests remained an open question. In 2012, a second version of the patent scheme was debated in the Parliament and the Council. Most state parties seemed satisfied with the idea of proceeding without the agreement of Italy and Spain, as the financial gains of the new scheme looked promising enough to prompt further action. According to the European Commission: "an EU patent validated in only 13 Member States cost on average €20,000, compared to €1,850 in the United States” (see Last hurdle for EU Patent: translation). Translation costs, which then stood at €14,000, would be reduced to approximately €680 per EU patent. It was also estimated that adding a single language to this translation scheme could add up to €1,500 to the cost of a single patent.

Image Source
And yet, it took until October 2015 for Italy to agree on a new version of the Unitary Patent system. On the Spanish side, the opposition remained unchanged. The Spanish Employers Organization (CEOE), among others, explained that it “strongly supported the position of the Spanish Government” resisting the “unbalanced and discriminatory language regime” of the proposed unitary system (see reference). While Catalonia has been ready to join for several years, Spain’s central government continued to argue in favor of an English-only system that the French continued to refuse. Despite a non-binding vote in the Spanish Parliament in March 2017 in favor of joining the unitary patent system, the Spanish government resisted. The Spanish government pointed out that patents are an important way of disseminating and protecting technological and scientific innovations and that the Spanish language could be just as useful in doing so within the EU as it already is everywhere else around the world. Economic and legal reasons for resisting a language regime not including Spanish were foregrounded:

  1. Spanish companies would not be able to file European patents with unitary effect ("Unitary patents") in their own official language;
  2. Since the Unitary patents would not need to be translated into Spanish in order to produce effects in Spain (unlike the case of "traditional" European patents), the Spanish companies would not benefit from the disclosures therein;
  3. The linguistic regime would also produce legal uncertainties for Spanish companies, which would have to respect the rights conferred by more than 95,000 new patents per year (not translated into Spanish).
  4. Spanish companies would bear the translation costs of every new patent;
  5. Spanish companies would be forced to plead in English, French or German in invalidity and non-infringement declaratory proceedings which would be heard by the Unitary Patent Court’s ("UPC") central division.
  6. Spanish companies sued for infringement before the local divisions would also have to litigate in a language chosen by the patentee.
To date, neither the Unitary Patent System, nor the Unitary Patent Court have been ratified in every EU member state. The Brexit vote, unsurprisingly, threw an additional wrench in the works, and this summer Germany's constitutional court has also put a halt to domestic legislation trying to ratify Europe’s single patent system. On the German side, the objections appear to be legal rather than linguistic, but the outcome remains the same: the entry in force of the unitary patent scheme might again be delayed well beyond the currently intended date of December 2017.

Although the winners and losers of this particular language controversy are still too early to call, one is reminded of the warning of the late Joshua Fisher, sociologists and expert in multilingualism: “Do not leave your language alone”, if you want it to make it to the next era of global innovation and language use.


‘Unitary Patent & Unified Patent Court’, official site of the European Patent Office https://www.epo.org/law-practice/unitary.html

“Patents: Commission proposes translation arrangements for the EU patent – Frequently Asked Questions”, 1 July 2010, MEMO/10/291 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-10-291_en.htm?locale=en

‘Patent Translations, Language Wars, and the EU Patent’, March 15, 2011 https://www.morningtrans.com/patent-translations-language-and-the-eu-patent-2/

‘Italy and Spain sue over patent language’, EU Observer, June 1, 2011 https://euobserver.com/innovation/32434

‘Language Winners and Losers -The 40-Year European Patent War is (Almost) Over’, byLibor Safar, July 4, 2012 http://info.moravia.com/blog/bid/182942/Language-Winners-and-Losers-The-40-Year-European-Patent-War-is-Almost-Over

‘The unitary patent’, Library of the European Parliament, June 12, 2012 http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/bibliotheque/briefing/2012/120404/LDM_BRI(2012)120404_REV1_EN.pdf

‘Unified EU patent scheme moves a step closer’, April 16, 2013, http://www.computing.co.uk/ctg/news/2261808/unified-eu-patent-scheme-moves-a-step-closer

‘Spain would have been better off inside the Unitary Patent and the Unified Patent Court’, Kluwer Patent Blog, October 20, 2015, http://kluwerpatentblog.com/2015/10/20/spain-would-have-been-better-off-inside-the-unitary-patent-and-the-unified-patent-court/

‘The European Patent Office (EPO) Doesn’t Like Spanish, So Why Should the Spanish Tolerate the EPO?’, January 8, 2016 http://techrights.org/2016/01/08/epo-vesus-spanish-speakers/

‘False alarm: Spain will not join the Unitary Patent System after all’, March 27, 2017 http://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=5567f802-70fa-4f48-814e-27fa1378e6b0

“Germany puts halt on European unitary patent”, June 13, 2017 https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/06/13/germany_halts_european_unitary_patent/


Victoria Bauer is a second year MAEUS student and a French FLAS fellow, and Zsuzsanna Fagyal-Le Mentec is an Associate Professor of French Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They collaborated on this blog post as a follow-up to Victoria’s work on procedural languages in the EU in the FR 418 ‘Language and Minorities in Europe’ seminar.