Celebrating Languages across Europe on Friday

This Friday, 26 September, is European Day of Languages when people across the European Union are meant to get together to celebrate language and cultural diversity. The day is sponsored by the Council of Europe and in their words is designed to be:

• A Europe-wide celebration of all the world’s languages
• A day to kick-start language learning
• A chance to raise awareness about the value of language skills

The Day was first celebrated in 2001 and has grown every year since. And the recent expansion of the EU has seen languages such as Latvian, Lithuanian and Romanian added to the languages being celebrated.

And it is not only European languages. In my house what the day has meant is that my daughter, who normally has to wear a uniform to school, is going in dressed in a Punjabi national costume that her aunt brought her from a trip to India. And other girls will be wearing national costumes from across the globe celebrating the multi-cultural, multi-lingual nature of the school and London as a whole.

To help everyone celebrate European Day of Languages, here is a PDF guide to saying “hello” in all the EU’s native languages and some more besides.

3 Replies to “Celebrating Languages across Europe on Friday”

  1. I hope that the “European Day of Languages” will encourage many people to learn a new language. Especially in the United Kingdom where the interest in learning languages seems to be declining.

    You may know that four schools in Britain have introduced Esperanto, the neutral international language, in order to test its propaedeutic values?

    The pilot project is being monitored by the University of Manchester, and I believe the project deserves academic appraisal.

    An interesting video can be seen at http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8837438938991452670

  2. I hope you’ll allow me to mention that the Esperanto Association of Britain offers a free Esperanto postal course. Suitable for those who would like a quick taster, this course gives an overview of the language in twelve bite-sized portions. Once you have received the first lesson, simply return your answers with an SAE. Your tutor will reply with guidance and the next lesson. All you pay is postage! Tel: 0845 230 1887 or write to:
    Esperanto Education
    Esperanto House
    Station Road
    ST12 9DE

    Thanks / Dankon!

  3. On this special day I would like to put in a plea for learning Esperanto. It is a planned language which belongs to no one country or group of states.

    Take a look at http://www.esperanto.net

    Esperanto works! I’ve used it in speech and writing in a dozen countries over recent years. Esperanto is not one of the 23 official languages of the EU, but it deserves our attention.

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