Belgium in Brief: How good is your 'bad English'?

Belgium in Brief: How good is your 'bad English'?
Credit: Belga

The EU finally has a language that can be used by citizens in all its Member States. It's not German or Spanish, and it's certainly not French. It is... bad English.

At least, that is what Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans said.

"For the first time in human history, we have a global lingua franca that transcends societal layers," he said during a speech at Twente University. "Thanks to the internet, thanks to other developments, thanks to the predominance of Anglo-Saxon culture, English is an instrument for all. This is the first time that we have a true Lingua Franca for all: bad English."

Even more importantly for Timmermans, this bad Euro-English is a lingua franca in the true sense of the word as it is not only used by "the elites," but also by "regular people" with different native languages going about their day-to-day lives.

English is not only the most-spoken language in Europe, but when counting both first and second-language speakers, it is also the most widely-spoken language in the world, largely due to US cultural power, Timmermans said.

The most recent data shows that the vast majority of Member States' citizens speak English: from 55% in France to 71% in Sweden, with an EU average of 65%.

And you, how good is your bad English? Let @Maajtee know.

Belgium in Brief is a free daily roundup of the top stories to get you through your coffee break conversations. To receive it straight to your inbox every day, sign up below:

1. Embrace 'bad English' as the European 'lingua franca,' says Timmermans

The European Union should embrace the fact that English is increasingly being used as a language for non-native speakers from different countries to communicate in, even if it is not grammatically perfect, said Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Frans Timmermans. Read more.

2. Extended social tariff ends: How to claim €250 discount for household appliances

Extended social tariff ends: How to claim €250 discount for household appliances

People who are entitled to the social tariff for natural gas and electricity can also claim a €250 discount when buying energy-efficient household appliances. But as the extended social tariff expires at the end of June, so will the discount. Read more.

3. What is Ascension Day and what is open in Belgium today?

For Christians, Ascension Day (this year on 18 May) is a key celebration as part of the Easter cycle. For many others in the country, it is simply a welcomed day off. Read more.

4. Brussels liberals want to ban scooters and bikes in pedestrian areas

The French-speaking liberal party MR wants to reduce the presence of bikes and scooters in Brussels’ pedestrian areas, after tabling a proposal in the Parliament of the Brussels-Capital Region. Read more.

5. Death toll from Italian floods continues to rise

At least nine people have now been killed by severe flooding which struck the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna this week, regional president Stefano Bonaccini announced on Wednesday. Read more.

6. Tram 92, from Schaerbeek Station to Fort Jaco

From the faded grandeur of Schaerbeek in the northeast of the city, the 92 tram winds its way past eye-catching architectural landmarks like the Royal Palace and the Palais de Justice before gliding down the bourgeois Avenue Brugmann and into posh southern suburbs of Uccle. Read more.

7. Hidden Belgium: The grave of Peter Pan

G. LL. Davies, it says on the war grave in Voormezele Enclosure No. 3 Cemetery. He died on 15 March 1915. One of 1,500 soldiers buried near Voormezele village in West Flanders. Read more.

Copyright © 2024 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.