Official Journal of the European Communities

As far as SCIC is aware, there are no professionally qualified Esperanto interpreters and educational institutions in Member States, on which SCIC relies for the provision of courses in interpretation, are unlikely to include Esperanto among the languages they provide. For logistical and financial reasons SCIC itself is not in a position to launch a training programme in Esperanto for existing and future interpreters. Training an interpreter to the required standard in an official language for passive use takes three to four years of part-time study and costs about ˆ 70 000.

An additional consideration is that about half of the interpretation provided by the Commission is supplied by freelance interpreters. It would clearly be difficult, if not impossible, to ensure that they learnt Esperanto, especially as it would be of little practical value for them elsewhere.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that using Esperanto as a relay language would lead to an improvement in the overall quality of interpretation. On the contrary, recourse to a language that is not used in everyday life would run the risk of not being able to convey the full range of messages and ideas communicated during meetings.

There is a shortage of interpreters in many existing and future Community languages. In line with Commission policy of concentrating resources on core activities, SCIC’s immediate priority is to ensure that an adequate number of interpreters is available in these languages, particularly those of the candidate countries and has initiated a series of action plans committed to achieving this goal.

This position does not of course detract from the interest Esperanto may represent for purposes other than interpretation.