European multilingualism in the political communication: “Barcelona principle” in public speaking of the German Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan

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PDF: Author(s): Csaba Földes, Lisa Lober,
Number of journal: 4(25) Date: November 2013

The article covers the declared strategy of multilingualism in the European Community with a focus on “Barcelona principle”. Particularly the speeches of the German Federal Minister of Education and Research Annette Schavan are analyzed from the point of view of a foreign language coupled with the educational and political consideration of the texts. The purpose is to determine whether she acting as the Minister of Education could turn the principle “Native language plus two” into the subject for discussion, and how she deviated from this principle. In view of the above, the article demonstrates how the objectives, content structure and methods on implementation of trilingualism, which is so expected for EU citizens, influenced the public speaking of Ms. Schavan and how she reflected or commented them. During the period of Ms. Schavan’s public service Germany took over the EU Presidency in the first six months of 2007, and Ms. Schavan acted for the President of the European Council, which makes this study of the special importance. From the above content analysis we see that Ms. Schavan never literally mentioned “Barcelona principle”, however, especially in view of her speech at the second specialized conference “Translation in the future”, you can make sure that she strictly adhered to the European policy of multilingualism and recognized the priority of language mastering. Her speeches largely focused on the fundamental aspects of general education policy, limiting factors and areas of activity that is not objectionable. Based on the above, the results of analysis in terms of the linguistic policy are not as significant as we initially expected.


Multilingualism, translation, European policy of multilingualism, language, educational policy, linguistic policy, national language, foreign language, educational and political consideration, politics

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