There are 24 official languages in the European Union, including Irish. Why not 27? Because some countries speak the same language. France, Luxembourg and some parts of Belgium speak French, even though with very different accents. The same goes for Ireland and Malta. Even though the UK is leaving the EU, English will not disappear as an official language!
It is a right for European citizens to have an official EU document translated into one of the official languages. During the European Parliament full debates, interpreters are used to translate what is being said in the chamber. This is why you will see a series of little booths at the top of the European Parliament chamber. This is where the interpreters sit and pay very close attention to what is being said to then translate it into another language. During plenary sessions, where all the MEPs are in the Parliament, you have up to 900 interpreters translating the debates!
Even though French, German and English are the languages most used in the day to day workings of the European institutions, each of the 24 languages is protected by the EU. Join us in listening and learning a few words from around the EU. It’s fun and you can really impress your family!