European Day of Languages

After the success of the European Year of Languages in 2001, the Council of Europe initiated the annual European Day of Languages, which takes place on 26th September every year.

The main objectives of the day are to increase the importance of language learning to the general public and promote the rich and diverse cultures which exist side by side in Europe. In addition to this, the aim is to increase and promote the idea of plurilingualism among European citizens and to encourage lifelong language learning both inside and outside of schools.

Many Europeans believe that a monolingual way of life is the norm, but this is not the case. Between a half and two-thirds of the world’s population is bilingual to some degree, and a significant number are ‘plurilingual’, that is, they have some level of competence in a range of languages.

Europe is a rich and varied crucible of languages and culture, in fact there are roughly 225 indigenous languages spoken in Europe, that’s about 3% of the world’s total.

So which language claims the most native speakers in Europe?

No great surprise, it’s Russian with 150 million speakers, followed by German with 95 million speakers, and in third place we have a tie with English and French both spoken by 65 million speakers.

In terms of languages studied English comes out on top, with 38% of European citizens saying they have some knowledge of English as a foreign language. This is followed by 14% knowing French or German, 7% Russian, 5% Spanish and 3% Italian.

Monday 26th September 2016 is the European Day of Languages

Every year in September, citizens of Europe engage in activities to embrace other cultures and promote language learning. Although there is no centralised funding available, the Council of Europe sends out posters, stickers and other promotional materials illustrating the diversity of languages in Europe. These materials are distributed on a centralised basis to National relays.

What can you do for the European Day of Languages?

  • Organise a film evening showing movies in different languages
  • Workshops/Quizzes/Games evenings
  • Invite foreign friends round for dinner
  • Organise a cultural evening at your local pub/bar
  • Give your language learning a kick with a language course at Maka Language Consulting
  • Follow: Celebrate the European Day of Languages on Facebook
  • Let us know what you’re planning to do @makaitalia #europeandayoflanguages

Check back to see what Maka Language Consulting will be organising for 26th September 2016

<< >>

Related posts

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.