European Day of Languages 2021: fun facts & how to celebrate

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This year will mark the nineteenth 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. 

Why do we celebrate the European Day of Languages?

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 European Day of Languages celebrations in 2020? 

How is the European Day of Languages celebrated?

Whether you’re a language teacher or someone learning a language, we’ve rounded up just a few ways to celebrate the European Day of Languages 2021.

If you’re a language teacher:

If you’re learning a language:

  • Across Europe, COVID restrictions permitting, 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 meet-ups 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 if you’re keen to learn, but are worried you’ll find it too hard, discover which language you’d find easiest to learn with our interactive quiz! If you’re not already learning a European language, start today with us at Busuu, the language-learning app. We teach 12 languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

4 facts about European languages

Now that you’re clued up on what the European Day of Languages actually is – and that you’ve now (hopefully!) come away with an idea or two about how to celebrate the festivities in 2020, here are a few of our favourite facts about European languages:

  • There are more than 225 indigenous languages in Europe, representing around 3 per cent of the world’s total.
  • There are three main language families in Europe: the Germanic, Slavic and Romance languages.
  • 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.


By the by, we’re Busuu, the language-learning app

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