The European Day of Languages holds its 13th edition on 26 September. At the initiative of the Council of Europe, this Day’s objective is to promote, preserve and favour Europe’s linguistic and cultural diversity. A range of events are organised in order to inform the public about the importance of language learning and raise awareness among policy-makers regarding the need to adopt specific measures aimed at increasing plurilingualism and encouraging intercultural understanding.
Learning more languages not only is a personal pleasure and enhances the different traditions but, above all, increases professional and academic opportunities.
In Europe there are are over 200 European languages and many more spoken by citizens whose family origin is from other continents. Speaking other languages, in addition to one’s mother tongue, allows to better understand a culture different from one’s own and to play a full role as citizens of democratic Europe.
According to the 2012 Eurobarometer survey on EU citizens attitude towards plurilingualism and language learning, almost nine people in ten deem the ability to speak foreign languages extremely useful and 98% of those interviewed states that proficiency in foreign languages is good for the future of their children.
In order to celebrate this year’s edition, the European Commission, under the auspices of the Italian Presidency of the EU Council, organises the conference “Importance of languages: plurilingualism from a European and national perspective”.
The event, which focuses on the current priorities in the field of language learning and links the need to acquire language skills to the major policy initiatives of the European Commission, will take place on 25-26 September in the prestigious setting of Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, with the collaboration of the Accademia della Crusca and the support of Florence municipality. For more information visit the European Commission website.
> Website of the European Day of Languages