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.