EU Economic Government or Governance?
BRUSSELS — The German and French leaders exhorted their European colleagues to strengthen the eurozone with an "economic government" and they received the backing they wanted, in French at least.
The phrase "gouvernement economique" was duly included in the francophone version of the final deal formally released on Friday.
But with Britain leading the countries for whom such a term is anathema, something got lost in translation.
The very same statement by the 27 EU heads of state and government, following talks in Brussels, spoke only of the need to "improve the economic governance" of the European Union.
For a British spokeswoman there was no distinction. "Look up 'gouvernement' in a French-English dictionary and you will get a variety of options," she said.
Another EU diplomat told AFP that "we thought governance was a more useful word in English."
EU president Herman Van Rompuy told reporters this was an example of "assymetrical translation."
He assured that the apparent language gap "does not correspond to a fundamental difference in views, more a sensibility about the words."
As the great writer Voltaire once said "woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning."
Though he, of course, said it in French.The Sun newspaper reports British dismay, but what did they expect, where else did they beilieve the federalists have been heading for the past fifty years? Read here.