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Celebrating the European Day of Language with the Language Diversity Team in the European Parliament

Europe is the continent of diversity – of linguistic diversity. Regional and minority languages are also part of diversity, just as the large languages that are spoken by millions of speakers are – but they are often disregarded. Several of these smaller and smallest languages are severely endangered. At the European Day of Languages, in the European Parliament in Brussels, the “Language Diversity Team” engaged in an action to raise more awareness for the importance of linguistic diversity in general and for the particular importance of the smaller and smallest languages.

The Language Diversity Team presented their activities to the Members of the European Parliament during the open discussion organised by FUEN on 26 September 2013: the team is participating in larger and smaller events all over Europe; they visit schools or are at political events where they arrive with modern promotion materials and films. Also the new media are among the instruments they use to raise awareness for language diversity in Europe.

After the presentation the ladies of the team went on to the corridors of the European Parliament, where they tried to get in direct contact with Members, visitors, employees and other interested persons. They handed out several promotion materials and told about the regional and minority languages. 

“The European Day of Languages is a good opportunity to raise attention for linguistic diversity. It is high time that more is done at the European level, especially in regard to the smallest languages, which are critically endangered”, said Judith Walde, who is the FUEN project manager.

The European Day of Languages is based on an initiative of the Council of Europe. The aim of the action day is to contribute to increased appreciation of all languages and cultures, to make people aware of the benefits of language skills, to promote individual multilingualism and to motivate people in Europe to learn languages during their life. And consequently, the rich heritage of 200 European languages should be conserved.

More information about the Language Diversity Teamwww.language-diversity.eu and also have a look at Facebook.