ON THE LEXICAL CHALLENGES IN MULTILINGUAL EUROPE
1. The European Federation of National Institutions for Language calls for a Europe-wide multilingual language infrastructure as a basic condition for a truly multilingual Europe and plurilingual citizens.
2. The development of a modern high-quality lexicographical infrastructure, consisting of good (parallel) corpora, mono-, bi-, and multilingual dictionaries and lexical databases, thesauruses, terminology databases, wordnets and comparable lexical tools and instruments is a conditio sine qua non for the learning and use of (foreign) languages by European citizens, for translation and interpretation and for the multilingual processing of texts by technical systems and devices.
3. Basic lexical resources and good quality collections should exist at least for all official languages of the EU: these should include bilingual tools and resources for language pairs that are not sufficiently catered for by the commercially oriented language industry.
4. Given the multilingual dimension of the necessary lexical infrastructure, which goes beyond the scope of any one language area or country, the EU is expected to play an active role in the development of the official language(s) infrastructure available in each Member State.
5. For this reason the European Federation of National Institutions for Language calls upon the governments of the Member States as well as the European Commission and other relevant bodies of the EU:
(a) to promote the development and availability of bilingual dictionaries and comparable digital tools and online services for all language pairs for which there is a clear need in their respective language communities, independent of commercial arguments for the production and marketing of such products
(b) to stimulate innovative technologies and methods that take advantage of new ways of conceiving lexical devices, including the opportunities provided by crowd-sourcing, and to offer substantial support to relevant expert networks and co-operative projects of the lexical institutes of the various member states of the EU
(c) to promote partnerships between public and/or public and private organisations, thus creating new opportunities for the development of a competitive language industry in the EU that takes notice of the actual needs of the various linguistic communities in the EU
(d) to ensure that infrastructural aspects are fully integrated in all EU policies regarding the promotion of European multi-, plurilingualism and language-learning
6. EFNIL offers its expertise to assist policy makers in the development and monitoring of policies that address this challenge.