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New European Commission: threat to multilingualism

Multilingualism appears to be under threat as a decreasing interest at EU level is marked with Juncker's new Commission. Although the European Parliament has shown strong support for endangered languages and linguistic diversity, the Commission's portfolio for DG Education and Culture is being reduced, with a shift in focus towards employment. It is true that employment is very important for the European economy but regional languages also play a key role in today's society. These lesser-used, smaller-scale and minority languages are likely to be negatively impacted by this change, and the potential positive contributions brought about by languages in general are perhaps being overlooked.


AThEME project: Advancing the European Multilingual Experience

Multilingualism in Europe has many different facets. Several European countries are officially bilingual, but Europe is also made up of a multitude of regional and heritage languages. In fact, according to a recent survey1, over 50% of European citizens can converse in more than one language. There is huge variety in those who can be classed as multilingual. For example, people may acquire a second language as young children, teenagers or adults. Some people might speak one language at home and a different language at work, whereas others might speak different languages with different family members. Different speakers also have different levels of proficiency.

These are just some of the reasons why Europe is the perfect test case for studying how multilingualism works at all levels of society.




The Economist explains: how dictionary-makers decide which words to include

EARLIER this month the Oxford Dictionaries added a number of new words to its online collection. (This is not to be confused with the flagship Oxford English Dictionary.) As usual, Oxford included buzzy internet- and youth-inflected coinages such as "neckbeard", "side boob" and "mansplaining". And as usual, internet commenters seemed nonplussed by what seemed to be a venerable institution (ie, Oxford) validating teenage slang. How do lexicographers decide what goes into the dictionary?


LangOER network aims at enhancing teaching and learning of less used languages through OER/OEP

3-year network (January 2014- December 2016) supported by action KA2 Languages of the Lifelong Learning Programme, European Commission


Newly elected President of the Civil Society Platform to promote multilingualism

In March 2014, Bessie Dendrinos (Vassiliki Dendrinou in Greek), serving as delegate of the European Federation of National Institutions for Language (EFNIL) on the Civil Society Platform for Multilingualism (CSPM), was elected the CSPM’s new President, succeeding Uwe Mohr, delegate of EUNIC. 

18/08/2014 United States Etats Unis

Congrès turns to culture's roots in French language

It's important to know more than one language, but it's more important for Acadian descendants to keep the language alive


Leading campaigner warns for Welsh language death in communities

Half a century of efforts to improve the status of the Welsh language have led to a dead-end and a new approach is needed, leading language activist Heini Gruffudd warned on June 17th in a major lecture at the Learned Society of Wales.


Learning second language 'slows brain ageing'

Learning a second language can have a positive effect on the brain, even if it is taken up in adulthood, a University of Edinburgh study suggests.

23/05/2014 Spain Espagne

Basque Sociolinguistic Map shows vitality of Basque in Euskadi

New figures show that far from being an endangered language, Basque is now a story of success in the Basque Country. Knowledge of the Basque language and its use has steadily been on the increase according to one of the main findings of the Basque Sociolinguistic Map, launched on April 7 by the Basque Minister for Education, Language Policy and Culture, Cristina Uriarte, and the Deputy Minister for Language Policy, Patxi Baztarrika.


Dictionary of Untranslatables: A Philosophical Lexicon Edited by Barbara Cassin

An encyclopedic dictionary of close to 400 important philosophical, literary, and political terms and concepts that defy easy--or any--translation from one language and culture to another.

15/04/2014 United Kingdom Royaume-Uni

Call for more language learning in UK primary schools

Primary schoolchildren in Wales should be taught in three languages, according to Plaid Cymru.

14/04/2014 Czech Republic République tchèque

Politicians consider dual-language curriculum to help Romany children overcome language barrier

Overcoming the language barrier is one of the main hurdles Romany children face on starting school and is one of the oft-cited reasons for putting them in “special schools” for children with learning disabilities. Deputies in the lower house are now engaged in a debate on whether to introduce a special dual-language curriculum for Romany children.


MILAS – The Europe-Wide Online Language Competition on Facebook

On the 1st April, FUEN's European language campaign “language diversity” started the first Europe-wide online-language competition for youth and young adults, that will focus on linguistic diversity and multilingualism. The emphasis is put particularly on the regional and minority languages of Europe, which should become more attractive and improve their image.

04/04/2014 Belgium Belgique

Sursum Linguae 2014 Contest: “How diversity makes the Union

The 2014 Sursum Linguae project organized by the EUNIC Brussels cluster launched, between February and March, a video/photo contest on Facebook to look for a EUNIC Brussels reporter.

04/04/2014 Belgium Belgique

Sursum Linguae 2014 – EUNIC Brussels

European Culture Walking Tour, March 2014

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Conseil européen des Artistes (ECA) Club de Madrid CMFE (Community Media Forum Europe)
Conseil Européen des Associations Littéraires (CEATL) RECIT Fundación Academia Europea de Yuste
Association des Télévisions Commerciales européennes Culturelink Fédération des Éditeurs européens (FEE)
Réseau Mercator de Centres sur le Diversité Linguistique Forum européen pour la Formation Professionnelle et Technique (EfVET) Literature Across Frontiers
Fédération européenne des institutions linguistiques nationales (EFNIL) Association Européenne pour l'Éducation des Adultes (EAEA) Convention Théâtrale Européenne (CTE)
Co-ordination européenne des producteurs indépendants EUROCLIO Eurolang
Conseil européen pour l'éducation Steiner Waldorf (ECSWE) EUNIC Bruxelles Conseil européen des Éditeurs (EPC)
EEE-YFU Fédération Européenne pour l'Aprentissage Interculturel Union Espérantiste Europénne - UEE
Association européenne de terminologie (AET) Union Fédéraliste des Communautés Ethniques Européennes (UFCE) ALTE

"(c) 05/02/2011 - Clause de non-responsabilité - Copyright European Union National Institutes for Culture." "Ce site web a été financé avec le soutien de la Commission européenne." Ce site web n'engage que son auteur et la Commission n'est pas responsable de l'usage qui pourrait être fait des informations qui y sont contenues.


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Language has been a very important issue for our border region because of the conflict, in the sense of conflict of identities and national affiliations.

Ruth Taillon Ireland