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Celebrating the European Day of Languages 2021

16 September 2021 · Fran Puddick

European Day of Languages 26 September

The European Day of Languages (EDL) is celebrated across Europe on the 26th of September every year. It aims to promote the rich linguistic diversity of Europe and raise awareness of the importance of lifelong language learning for everyone.

Why have a European Day of Languages?

Globalisation means business opportunities are no longer limited by geographical borders but more competition and a lack of languages prevent many individuals or organisations from taking full advantage. A decent understanding of the language or even a few words here and there can help you or your company stand out from the crowd.
In addition, globalisation and patterns of business ownership mean individuals increasingly need foreign language skills to work effectively in their own countries.

English alone is no longer enough.

Benefits of understanding and learning European languages

Language learning brings benefits to young and old – you are never too old to learn a language and enjoy the opportunities it opens up. Even if you only know a few words of the language of the country that you visit (for example on holiday), those few words will smooth your way towards making new friends or business contacts.

Learning other peoples’ languages is a way of helping us to understand each other better and overcome our cultural differences.

5 things you may not know about languages across Europe:

  • Much of Europe is bilingual, more than 50%.
  • According to recent medical studies, learning a second language could delay the onset of dementia by several years – so get those study books out.
  • Schools in La Gomera, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, continue to teach an ancient whistling language. In fact, ‘el silbo’ translates to ‘the whistle’.
  • Lithuanian is the oldest spoken IndoEuropean language and is very similar to ancient Sanskrit.
  • Over the years, more than 200 fake languages have been created for books and films, such as Elvish in “Lord of the Rings” and Klingon in “Star Trek”.

If your business needs support with languages, whether it’s translating key policies and documents or cultural awareness training for key team members, please get in touch.