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Thu, Dec 14, 2017
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European Day of Languages :: Sept 26 Each Year

European Day of Languages Event Every September 26 


“Poster”
Photo Credit: Council of Europe: © Council of Europe

 

26/9 marks the day each year across the Continent to celebrate European Day of Languages. The day is jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission to foster greater interest in citizens to develop linguistic diversity and take up more languages. Basically Europeans are being asked to expand their language skills. 

This special language day is an outgrowth of another project of the European Commission and the Council of Europe known as “Year of Languages”.

The European Day of Languages is designed as a fun day of outdoor and indoor activities for adults and kids alike. At the national level, each country participating  coordinates its activities with the local Ministry of Education in unison with a representative of the European Commission in each country concerned. Other language institutes can be involved too, such as the local branches of the British Council and Alliance Francaise, along with an EU member state’s consulate/embassy if they too join in.

In Athens, Greece for example, a keen participant, the special day is supported by the City’s Administration and by EUNIC  - European Union National Institutes of Culture that represents 12 language institutions and embassies in the city. September 26 has therefore become a festival day with songs in many tongues and dialects, dance, storytelling and interactive games that appeal to Athenian families and visitors.

The European Day of Languages official website states that the three objectives of the Day are to:

    • 1.Alert the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding;
    • 2.Promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered; and
    • 3.Encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs, for purposes of mobility or for pleasure and exchanges. 

 

Language facts in Europe

Did you know that...

    • There are some 225 native languages in the Continent of Europe. That represents just 3 per cent of the world’s language total of between 6000 and 7000 distinct languages in the world - spoken by 7 billion people divided into 189 independent states.
    • In Switzerland it is common for residents there to speak at least three of the four official languages: French, German, Italian and Romansch. English is used as the lingua franca though (common link between them).
    • In London over 300 languages are regularly heard, mainly from Asia.

 

Regular updates are also posted for all the countries taking part in European Day of Languages :: September 26 with the hashtag: #coeEDL