Language Tax or Auxiliary Language: Which is better? Or is there a problem?

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Language Tax or Auxiliary Language: Which is better? Or is there a problem?

Owing to the unjust distribution of wealth caused by linguistic imperialism in the world today (according to François Grin in 2005, the EU subsidizes the UK economy by from 17 to 18 thousand million euros annually through second-language education alone, in addition to other advantages that accrue to the UK owing to its language advantage, in spite of the fact that the UK is already the wealthiest member of the EU (, some economists are now proposing various means through which to counteract this injustice.

One proposal that has been made by the Belgian economist Phillippe Van Parijs is the introduction of a lanuage tax on the speakers of hegemonic languages to compensate the speakers of less wide-spread languages for their expenses in teaching and translation ( One proposal as to how apply this tax that I'd read awhile back was an international tax on books and visual and oral media published in Enlish.

The alternative proposal that I've read about was the promotion of Esperanto or some similar language as an alternative to English. This proposal was made by François Grin in 2005, and was also adopted even earlier by the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction in 1993, still in effect today (

And of course others, especially in the English-speaking world, argue that there is no such unjust redistribution of wealth resulting from language hegemony.

What are your thoughts on this. Woudl a language tax on English-language media be appropriate, or would the Italian solution be preferable? Or do you even agree that there is a problem at all?

Maysie Maysie's picture

I don't have any thoughts to contribute, but this doesn't belong in "international news". Moving to "humanities and science".


Perhaps all of you could learn Italian.