Happy European Day of Languages 2013!

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What is the European Day of Languages?

Every 26th September, Europe celebrates its annual European Day of Languages, a celebration of linguistic diversity throughout the continent and language learning as a whole. The day is dedicated to promoting the benefits of language learning and exploring the many languages spoken throughout Europe, and there are three key aims of the day:

  1. To alert the public to the importance of language learning and boost the range of languages learnt
  2. To promote the linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe
  3. To encourage language learning in and out of school for a range of reasons, whether it’s for professional use, for mobility, for opening new job prospects, for travel or for leisure

More than 800 million people live in Europe, and are encouraged to participate in the European Day of Languages by taking part in activities designed to celebrate linguistic diversity and learn new languages. For example, the day might remind schools that while they offer certain languages to their students, there will be many languages that children won’t have access to that they may want to learn, which may encourage them to expand the range of languages on offer.

As Ólöf Ólafsdóttir, the Director of the Directorate of Democratic Citizenship and Participation for the Council of Europe said in this year’s statement:

“… the Day is a reminder of the many benefits of language learning, not least to further develop cognitive competences, break down cultural barriers and open the door to new friendships and professional opportunities.”

Why does the day exist?

In many countries in Europe, only around half of people are able to hold a conversation in a language other than their own, and this lack of language competence can act as a barrier to travel, to working and studying abroad and intercultural understanding. The European Day of Languages is important because there are around 225 indigenous languages in Europe, all of which should be appreciated and the ability to use these languages cultivated.

Of course, at Language Advantage, we fully support the idea of a day promoting language learning and appreciation. Languages are a resource, and we should embrace this by giving ourselves the pleasure of language learning to open up a whole new world of opportunities.

Click here to find out more about the European Day of Languages>>

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