• 10 months 6 days ago

The European Day of Languages, held yearly on 26 September, celebrates Europe’s linguistic diversity. Many Erasmus+ initiatives take part to honour the wide variety of languages spoken. Find out which public events are going on in your country this year!

The European Day of Languages (EDL) aims to promote the linguistic richness of a continent with over 200 languages - including 24 official EU languages, about 60 regional/minority languages and many more spoken by people from other parts of the world. Celebrating this day is a chance to raise awareness of the wide variety of languages in Europe and encourage people of all ages to learn new languages. The European Day of Languages was established in 2001 by the European Commission and the Council of Europe and involves language and cultural institutes, associations, universities and schools.

The Erasmus+ programme is a keen promoter of language learning and takes an active role in these celebrations during the week around 26 September, in particular through its National Agencies (NAs). Here are some examples for this year:

  • The Irish National Agency, Léargas, is holding a competition to encourage learners and teachers to engage with languages in different ways with a focus in 2017 on “My dream job in...”; 
  • The Cypriot National Agency supports the European Commission’s Representation in Nicosia to organise a competition, “Guess the language”, for the listeners of a radio channel to identify the language of voice clips broadcasted during a whole week, with great prizes to be won;
  • The National Agency of Dutch-speaking Belgium is holding a conference, 'Teachers of modern languages: shaping the future!', focussing on initial language teacher training and the importance of learning languages;
  • The Austrian National Agency is also organising a conference on Multilingualism in Europe.

With the support of Erasmus+, language officers working in the European Commission's Representations in EU Member States are also running numerous public events. Pupils, teachers, parents and anyone else interested in languages are invited to participate in festivals, interactive workshops, concerts, games, mini language courses, conferences, online quizzes and radio contests. Check out the full list of EDL events happening near you and join us!

If you would like to find out about other events or promote your own event or project, don’t hesitate to visit the Council of Europe's website on the European Day of Languages. You can also test your own language skills online here. And follow the EDL on social media via #EDLangs.