EUROPE: OLAFSDOTTIR (CoE), "FOREIGN LANGUAGES OPEN NEW PERSPECTIVES"” “” “

(Sir Europe – Brussels) – "The European Day of Languages is addressed to everyone. Now more than ever, languages and communication play a key role in our society. Learning new languages is a way to open one’s mind to new perspectives and cultures": Olöf Olafsdottir, director of the division for democratic citizenship and participation at the Council of Europe, explains the reasons that, every year, make the EU Commission and the Council of Europe promote the European Day of Languages, which falls on September 26th. On this day, hundreds of events are held in 47 countries to promote "foreign" languages: a multilingual rap concert is held, for example, in Zagreb, the "Think German" job fair is hosted by Glasgow, a walk along the "street of languages" has been planned in Bratislava. According to one of the EU Commission’s surveys, "the most multilingual country" is, obviously enough, Luxembourg, "where 99% of the population is proficient in at least one foreign language". Foreign languages are widely spoken in the North European and Eastern European countries, much less in France and in the United Kingdom. The number of European citizens stating "they can communicate in a foreign language has slightly decreased, from 56% to 54%", in the last five years. The Internet "has driven people to improve their language skills", mainly by making English more widely spoken.” “

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