miércoles, 21 de octubre de 2015

sábado, 12 de septiembre de 2015

lunes, 13 de abril de 2015

Should English be the official language of the EU?


The European Union has 24 official and working languages. They are:
The European Commission maintains the policy that all EU citizens have the right to access all EU documents in the official language(s) of the Commission, and should be able to write to the Commission and receive a response in their own language.


Translation in the EU's headquarters is a complicated – and often costly – business. The European commission has three official "procedural languages": German, French and English. But with the union expanding and 23 languages now spoken in member states, the number of translators has ballooned from 200-300 to 2,000-3,000. It is estimated that the EU produces 1.76m pages of translation work a year, costing €300m (£257m). As of 1 July, when Croatia joins the EU, there will be one more language to add to the pile.
In these austere times, national governments are eager to trim the EU budget, which is one reason why a recent speech by the German president was welcomed with such enthusiasm. In a keynote speech on the future of European integration in February, Joachim Gauck suggested English should become the EU's official language: "It is true to say that young people are growing up with English as the lingua franca. However, I feel that we should not simply let things take their course when it comes to linguistic integration." It was music to the ears of federalists and fiscal hawks: with English spoken in the corridors of Brussels, the EU would become more streamlined and more efficient.

lunes, 12 de enero de 2015


UPDATE 2015 (World Happiness Report): Index of global wellbeing sees Switzerland push Denmark from top spot as Nordic countries dominate top 10


Happy Planet Index:  http://www.goodnet.org/articles/map-happiness-around-world-infographic?utm_source=outbrain&utm_medium=outbrain-paid&utm_campaign=outbrain-april-2014

"The HPI survey comes from the interesting point of view that happiness is most strongly influenced by living long lives and feeling good - within the environmental limits of the planet."

WIN/Gallup International’s annual global End of Year survey: 
  • 70% of people worldwide say they are happy with their life up from 60% last year, although just 42% believe that next year will be one of economic prosperity for their country;
  • Fiji is the happiest country in the world (93%) while Iraq is the least happy (31%);
  • Africa (75%) and Asia (63%) are the most confident that 2015 will be better than 2014;
  • Just 12% of Western Europeans believe that 2015 will be a year of economic prosperity;
  • Three out of five people globally would go to war for their country, with MENA (77%) in stark contrast to Western Europe (25%)

Contradictions with World Happiness Report (United Nations): 
"While basic living standards are essential for happiness, after the baseline has been met happiness varies more with the quality of human relationship than with income," the report read. "Policy goals should include high employment and high-quality work; a strong community with high levels of trust and respect, which government can influence through inclusive participatory policies; improved physical and mental health; support of family life; and a decent education for all."
Based on its "life evaluation score," which is rated on a scale of 0-to-10, the report found that Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands outstripped all other nations with an average score of 7.6 between them.
On the other end of the spectrum, Benin, Central African Republic, Togo and the Sierra Leone had an average life evaluation score of 3.4.
However, the fact that wealthier nations far outscore poor African nations like Togo and Sierre Leone would point to a flaw in the study's thesis, according to Forbes' Tim Worstall.
"That basic thesis is that economic growth doesn’t really improve happiness, we really ought to be worrying about human happiness and thus we should concentrate on things other than economic growth," Worstall wrote on Forbes' website. "The problem with this is that their own report shows that the absence of economic growth most definitely makes people unhappy: therefore we should indeed strive for economic growth in order to make people happy." (Huffington Post Link)



Human Development Index: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/human-development-index-hdi