Letter: Eurobabble

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The Independent Online
OF COURSE Esperanto is not extinct (Letters, 10 April). The largest non-party interest group in Parliament is the Esperanto Parliamentary Group.

With the European parliamentary election approaching we shall surely hear more about the cost of translation (23p per word; 3,150,000 words per working day).

While no one should expect MEPs to debate in one language, the advantage of using just one as a bridge for translation of documents, between all the national languages, is obvious.

Translators from each country would need to know only that language in addition to their own. But a common language for this purpose must be neutral in order to be acceptable to all. Alas English is not; Esperanto is.

It is hard to understand the reluctance even to run a small-scale test using Esperanto alongside the existing set-up.

Henry D Palmer

Taunton, Somerset