AGCOS statement at EFC's Assembly, 24 Jan. 2015 (EN)

 

A broader use of English is necessary to reach a wider audience


 
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 

Thanks to Dr Uzunoglu for his kind introduction. I am Dominique Morabito and I am the President of the association of the Greeks of Constantinople in Switzerland, the AGCOS.  I have also been bestowed the great honor and privilege to deliver the statements of the Ecumenical Federation of Constantinople (EFC), OiOmKo, at the United Nations of Geneva.

I would like to seize the opportunity offered me here, to kindly request of the administrative board and assembly to consider translating into English OiOmKo’s website as well as the main articles sent to its members.  This translation would allow OiOmKo to spread its agendas and activities in a prompt and efficient manner outside Greece, reaching the widest possible audience the world over including Constantinopolitans, friends, as well as members of the political/diplomatic corps who mostly do not speak the Greek language.

As a matter of fact, like many other Constantinopolitans, my parents though born and raised in Istanbul, could not succeed despite their best efforts and endeavors to transmit to their children complete mastery of the Greek language. Part of the reason may lie in the complexity of this rich and beautiful language, part as well in competing educational obligations and time limitations. I do not represent an exception and this holds true for most members of the third and second generation of Constantinopolitans living outside Greece.  However, no matter our degree of proficiency in the Greek language, we are all profoundly committed to our history and culture and therefore need the means to maintain the links that provide that sense of community and continuity. The tool I propose is simple, the translation of the OiOmKo website and the forwarding of its major newsletters in English, a language spoken both by a big segment of the Greek population as well as the world over.

It is also to be noted that the language OiOmKo is delivering its statements at the United Nations is English.  The representatives are often expressing interest in accessing directly the OiOmKo website to get information about us on their own and appear very disappointed when they cannot do so because of the language barrier.

Finally, I strongly believe that if OiOmKo would like to increase awareness to its cause and purpose among Constantinopolitans and their friends overseas, the English language should be adopted more broadly.

Thank you for your attention and support.

Dominique Morabito