CULTURE: EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES, TO "CULTIVATE DIVERSITY"

(Sir Europe – Brussels) – "Europe owns a veritable treasure trove of languages: 24 official languages and over 60 native communities speaking a regional or minority language, not to mention the languages spoken by citizens who come from other countries or continents". It is just to attract attention to this huge linguistic wealth that on September 26th the European Union and the Council of Europe have been celebrating the European Day of Languages since 2001. The Day has three goals: "Raise public awareness of multilingualism in Europe, cultivate cultural diversity, and encourage everyone to learn new languages at school or outside school". The EU and the CoE claim that "September 26th is also an opportunity to celebrate. Every year, lots of events are organised all over the continent to celebrate languages: shows, children’s games, music games, language courses, radio and TV shows, conferences. Options are endless". Actually, the tight schedule – available at europa.eu or on the Council of Europe’s website, www.coe.int – includes hundreds of events from Stockholm to Graz (Austria), from Sofia to Belfast. The Eastern European countries, as well as France, Poland and the Baltic countries, seem to be particularly busy this year. ” “

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