Language Selection Policies in International Standardization – Perception of the Iec Member Countries

28 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2009

See all articles by Hans Teichmann

Hans Teichmann

University of Lausanne

Henk J. de Vries

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

Date Written: February 2009 6,

Abstract

International standards setting organizations have different language selection policies. These policies have, besides their financial aspects, also an important cultural/ political dimension. The standards setting organizations are either bilingual (English/ French), or unilingual (English), or multilingual (English, French and further languages). We have investigated the references of the 65 national members of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The main findings are a moderate preference for the use of both English and French for the technical work, and a strong preference for the use of English only for communication.. The obvious dominance of the English language is seen as a necessity, rather than an indication of a hypothetical Anglo-American linguistic/ cultural imperialism. Finally, some conclusions regarding language selection policies in international standards setting organizations are presented.

Keywords: language selection policies, international standardization, bilingualism, unilingualism, multilingualism, IEC

JEL Classification: M11, O31, O32, M, L15

Suggested Citation

Teichmann, Hans and de Vries, Henk J., Language Selection Policies in International Standardization – Perception of the Iec Member Countries (February 2009 6,). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2009-031-LIS, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1417222

Hans Teichmann

University of Lausanne

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

Henk J. De Vries

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM)

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

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