26th September marked the 11th European Day of Languages. The EDL, organised by the Council of Europe and the EU, was launched in 2001 and has the following objectives :
1. Alerting the public to the importance of language learning and diversifying the range of languages learnt in order to increase plurilingualism and intercultural understanding ; 2. Promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe, which must be preserved and fostered ; 3. Encouraging lifelong language learning in and out of school, whether for study purposes, for professional needs, for purposes of mobility or for pleasure and exchanges.
Linguists everywhere celebrated as events were held across Europe to mark the occasion. These included school children writing “Happy EDL !!” postcards to each other in their native languages, a Danish language workshop in Latvia, an ebook of German proverbs translated into English, and a concert of songs in foreign languages in Russia, to name but a few of the nearly 700 events listed on the EDL website.