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Languages, Working

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Chapter Summary

For the principal organs of the UN (Principal Organs, Subsidiary Organs, Treaty Bodies), the term working language refers to a language into which all oral and written statements in an admitted official language are to be interpreted or translated. Working language implies a higher status than official language, as interpretation and translation have to take place only into these working languages and not into the other official languages. For many other bodies and organizations of the UN system, however, working language may imply a lesser status where the use of a working language is limited to certain documents or occasions. In the World Health Organization (WHO), German enjoys in the European region, equal status with English, French, and Russian for the more important documents, as well as for conferences, while for the internal workings of the WHO regional office, English is used almost exclusively.

Keywords: German translation; official language; UN system; working language; World Health Organization (WHO)



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