1st Edition

Language Policy and the Future of Europe A Conversation with Seán Ó Riain

By Alice Leal, Seán Ó Riain Copyright 2023
    172 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume offers an insider perspective on language policy in the EU, bringing together two key figures well acquainted with its development to reflect critically on the future of language policy and practices in post-Brexit Europe.

    Born out of Alice Leal’s English and Translation in the European Union, this volume features annotated interviews with Seán Ó Riain, newly appointed Multilingualism Officer by the Irish diplomatic service, whose decades of experience in key milestones in EU language policy offer a unique perspective on its development. Each chapter, bookended by a contextual introduction and a closing commentary by Leal, addresses such key questions as: How long can the EU keep linguistic and cultural spheres off the policy-making agenda? How has the ECRML impacted linguistic diversity in the region? How widespread is the dominance of English in EU institutions today and what impact does it have on EU multilingualism? Why is EU language policy not given the attention it warrants? What does the future of language policy hold in this post-Brexit era?

    Providing exclusive insights into EU language policy, this book will appeal to scholars in applied linguistics, translation studies, sociolinguistics, and political science, as well as stakeholders in language policy and planning.

    Preface (Seán Ó Riain)

    Introduction (Alice Leal)

    Chapter 1: The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

    Questions 1-3


    Chapter 2: The status of multilingualism in the European Commission

    Questions 4-5


    Chapter 3: The European Commission and English as a “lingua franca”

    Questions 6-8


    Chapter 4: Migrant and non-territorial languages in the EU

    Questions 9-10


    Chapter 5: Language policy and official EU status

    Questions 11-12


    Chapter 6: Ireland and multilingualism in a post-Brexit EU

    Questions 13-15


    Conclusions (Alice Leal & Seán Ó Riain)


    Alice Leal is Associate Professor of Translation and Interpreting Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

    Seán Ó Riain is an Irish diplomat and linguist with over 40 years of diplomatic service, presently in charge of the promotion of multilingualism at the Irish Foreign Ministry.