International

EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES - September 26

European Day of Languages - September 26

EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES

Every year on September 26th, the European Day of Languages alerts the general public about the importance of learning different languages. The Day also promotes the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.

According to the most recent data, there are 51 independent states in Europe. There are over 200 languages spoken here, on the second smallest continent. Of these languages, 24 of them are considered official languages. Russia is the largest and most populous country in Europe, which makes Russian the most commonly spoken language.

The nine other most spoken languages in Europe include:

  • German
  • French
  • Turkish
  • Italian
  • English
  • Spanish
  • Polish
  • Ukrainian
  • Dutch

Because the continent is small and it’s easy to travel from country to country, most European residents know more than one language. About 54 percent of Europeans can speak more than one language. About 10 percent of the continent’s population speaks at least three languages.

Besides making traveling easier, another benefit of learning another language is that it can help to improve memory. Additionally, those who speak more than one language are often at an advantage when it comes to advancing their career.

HOW TO OBSERVE #EuropeanDayOfLanguages

Many countries throughout Europe hold special events on the European Day of Languages. These events focus on learning about the different languages spoken on the continent. It’s also a day that promotes the idea of learning a new language. Some of these events include quiz bowls, eating food from other cultures, showing films in other languages, and learning songs in another language. Some also learn the alphabet and numbers in different languages.

You don’t have to live in Europe to be a part of this day. Here are some ways you can participate:

  • Commit to learning a language spoken in Europe.
  • Research travel destinations in Europe.
  • Learn more about the history of Europe.
  • Watch a movie based in Europe, such as “The Girl on the Bridge,” “Sound of Music,” or “Dr. Zhivago.”

Share the European language you want to learn to speak on social media with #EuropeanDayOfLanguages.”

EUROPEAN DAY OF LANGUAGES HISTORY

In 1997, the Council of Europe came up with the idea to have a European Year of Languages. Two years later in 1999, the Committee of Ministers in Europe declared 2001 to be the European Year of Languages. Due to the success of the event, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe recommended a European Day of Languages be held on an annual basis. They chose the date of September 26th.