The European Day of Languages was launched by the Council of Europe, on the initiative of the EU, as part of the European Year of Languages 2001. The main idea is to draw attention to the importance of learning foreign languages, not only at school, but throughout life. This celebration aims to highlight the importance of all the different languages that we everyday use to communicate. There are over 200 European languages, as well as many others that are used in Europe by citizens of other continents.
This is an important cultural heritage that shapes our identity. For this reason, every year in September the inhabitants of the old continent celebrate this festival by participating in numerous cultural events.
EU promotes different languages
As in previous years, a number of European Institutions are especially encouraging people to learn, acquire and disseminate foreign languages. The Liaison Office of the European Parliament and the Representation of the European Commission but also some of the most relevant cultural and language Institutions like the Goethe Institute, the Austrian Institute, the Instituto Cervantes, the Institut Français and the Instituto Italiano are behind this idea. They managed to involve millions of people in the 45 participating countries through activities that celebrated diversity in Europe and promoted language learning.
The Council of Europe promotes multilingualism throughout Europe
At the initiative of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the European Day of Languages has been celebrated across Europe, since 2001, on September 26 of each year.
It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone. Online learning has made education available to many people that otherwise would never have a chance to discover and learn another language. Find out more.
The 47 member states of the Council of Europe encourage more than 800 million Europeans to learn more languages at any age, inside and outside school. They promote linguistic diversity as a tool for achieving greater intercultural understanding and as a key element in the rich cultural heritage of our continent.
Who is the European Day of Languages aimed at?
The European Day of Languages is aimed at the authorities of the Member States and potential partners at the following levels:
# Policy makers (concrete actions or policy discussions related to languages);
# General public (to awaken interest in relation to the general objectives of the Day, including the importance of continuous language learning at any age, in educational institutions, at work, etc.);
# In the voluntary sector (specific actions by and / or for NGOs, associations, companies, etc.)
What is the aim of the European Day of Languages?
The general objectives of the European Day of Languages are:
# Highlight the importance of language learning and diversify the variety of languages learned with the aim of increasing multilingualism and intercultural communication.
# Promote the wealth of linguistic and cultural diversity in Europe, which we must preserve and enhance.
# Promote lifelong language learning both inside and outside of school, whether for the purpose of studies, exchanges, professional needs, mobility or pleasure.
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