This year marks the 17th European Day of Languages, with celebrations due to take place within Europe and beyond.
Whether you live in Europe, speak a European language, or are simply interested in learning one, make sure you join the celebrations this week.
And why limit your celebrations to the week? If we had our way, there’d be more events like the European Day of Languages in the calendar…
Read on for more information about the European Day of Languages, how you can get involved, and interesting facts about European languages.
What is the European Day of Languages?
The European Day of Languages, as its name suggests, is a celebration of European languages held on 26th September every year since 2002.
After a successful European Year of Languages in 2001, the Council of Europe created the European Day of Languages as an annual celebration to encourage language learning in Europe.
The main aims of the celebration are to promote the benefits of language learning, the linguistic diversity of Europe, and to encourage language learning among people of all ages.
Looking for a way to join the celebrations?
Ideas to celebrate
Whether you’re a language teacher or someone learning a language, we’ve rounded up just a few ideas to help you celebrate the European Day of Languages 2019.
If you’re a language teacher:
- Create a quiz for your students to share interesting facts about European languages (we’ve shared a few below!).
- Teach your students about the benefits of language learning, or what it means to be bilingual, trilingual or a polyglot.
- Host a European food activity – food from other cultures always goes down a treat!
- Show films or television programmes in another language.
- Teach your students a song in another language (check out our recommendations for Spanish songs).
Or if you’re learning a language:
- Across Europe, there’ll be events and activities you can get involved with. Looking to participate in a local event near you? We recommend Googling ‘European Day of Languages events’ – plus the name of the city you live in to find any public events that you can attend. Depending on where you live, these could be conferences, language classes, or meetups and cultural exchange.
- Celebrating the day on social media is a great way to spread awareness. You could share your experience learning a European language, facts or inspiration, or (our personal favourite) a language joke or two! Make sure you use the hashtag #EuropeanDayofLanguages.
- Inspire your friends and family! We’ve rounded up a list of our favourite language learning motivational quotes that you can share with others.
- Finding it hard to choose a language to learn? Check out our recommendations for the best languages to learn. Or find out which language you’d find easiest to learn with our interactive quiz!If you’re not already learning a European language, start today with the help of Busuu. We teach English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
Facts about European languages
Here are a few of our favourite facts about European languages:
- There are more than 225 indigenous languages in Europe, representing around 3% of the world’s total.
- The three main language families in Europe are Germanic, Romance and Slavic.
- The most spoken language in Europe is Russian, if you only count native speakers, or English, if you include speakers of English as a second language.
- European languages love to borrow words from each other. For example, we use French words in English all the time, and there are plenty of English words that we’ve borrowed from German, too.
Happy European Day of Languages! May yours be an enlightening one.