The Odd Dialect Called EU English

The European Union brings together speakers of many languages for the purposes of commerce, finance, administration, and defense. The Union drafts, translates, and produces documents using English as its common language. However, when you get so many non-native English speakers together to communicate, weird things happen. They’ve developed their own ways of using English or almost-English words that would baffle a native English speaker. For example:


Priority should be given to the ORs’ health system, training and education in order to optimise local human resources and expertises as greatest potential drivers of growth in the ORs83.
Expertise is normally a mass noun that doesn’t have a plural form: we don’t say expertises but areas of expertise. In EU English, however, it often shows up in the plural. It’s always good to have more expertises than you need.

Simplified procedures and better planification should make it possible to even out the caseload under FP6, improving internal control and speeding up processes.
Planification shows up a lot in EU English. It assumes the existence of an unusual verb planify, meaning something like plan. Basically, planification is planning, but longer.

Read more examples of both English words which mean something different in the EU and words that were made up from half-familiar roots, at mental_floss. 

(Image credit: Xavier Häpe)

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