The European Day of Languages (EDL) was first celebrated in 2001 during the European Year of Languages. At the end of this campaign the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers decided to make EDL an annual event, to be celebrated each 26 September. Every year, millions of people in the Council's member states and elsewhere organise or take part in activities to promote linguistic diversity and the ability to speak other languages.

The general aim is to draw attention to Europe's rich linguistic and cultural diversity, which has to be encouraged and maintained, but also to extend the range of languages that people learn throughout their lives in order to develop their plurilingual skills and reinforce intercultural understanding. EDL is an opportunity to celebrate all of Europe's languages, including those that are less widely spoken and the languages of migrants.

European Day of Languages 2023: a Day to highlight Europe’s linguistic and cultural diversity

Every year since 2001 the European Day of Languages (EDL) celebrates the wealth of languages coexisting in Europe and beyond. Over 225 languages are native to Europe alone, not including languages that arrived on the continent through migration.

“The European Day of Languages reminds us that learning a language is a step towards openness and respect for other cultures,” says Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić.

The European Day of Languages’ aims to:

  • Raise awareness of the importance of language learning to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding.
  • Promote the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.
  • Encourage lifelong language learning in and out of school.

Many countries across Europe are hosting a wide range of initiatives to mark 22 years of linguistic and cultural diversity, including the following: a Multilingual European Day of Languages concert in Espoo (Finland), a "Bei uns sagt man....." improvisation comedy show through European languages and cultures in Berlin (Germany), A Say Yes to Languages fair in Belgrade (Serbia), a video challenge for schools Vi elsker sprog (We love languages) followed by an award ceremony for the winners in Copenhagen (Denmark), an ‘Olympic games’ language week organised by a school on Petite-Île, Réunion (France), Cooking with languages! in Vercelli (Italy), an online event for school pupils in Kherson (Ukraine) and an online conference organised by the European Commission entitled Teaching language skills at the heart of the European Education Area.

 Press release
European Day of Languages 2023: a Day to highlight Europe’s linguistic and cultural diversity

Secretary General Strasbourg 26 September 2023
  • Diminuer la taille du texte
  • Augmenter la taille du texte
  • Imprimer la page