About the Project

"Languages without borders" - A project of the Goethe-Institut in 2008 and 2009

A multilingualism which is consciously lived and cultivated is the prerequisite for intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and hence for the successful coalescence of Europe. "Languages Without Borders" is a beacon project of the Goethe-Institut. In 2008 and 2009, the Goethe-Institut presented a large number of events, primarily in European cities but also beyond the EU's borders, on everything to do with the subject of multilingualism.

The project tackled a modern complex of topics of special political and social relevance. It was intended to help maintain multilingualism in the EU (and not only there) as a precious and culturally relevant asset.

The project encompassed the three focal subjects of "Multilingual Policy", "Multilingual Didactics" and "Multilingualism and the Arts".
What is the effect of multilingualism on or for political, social, intellectual and cultural life? What is its value for industry and science? What is the relationship between European multilingualism and the establishment of a lingua franca? How many languages do the arts speak? These questions, together with topics such as multilingualism as a part of cultural identity, multilingualism as experienced reality (school, job, family, public domain) and the potential of an immigration-based linguistic diversity were all facets of the "Languages Without Borders" project.
Each focal topic had its own event forms and formats and was supported in terms of content by prominent academics and cultural advisers. Under the umbrella of the project a large number of individual initiatives was implemented in the Goethe-Instituts world-wide, illuminating the subject from the respective regional point of view.

All three sub-areas and the results of the individual projects conducted regionally were incorporated in a final joint event in mid 2009 in Berlin. The "Festival" provided an international forum for an exchange of views on the subject of multilingualism.


    You voted: This is our multilingual ambassador!

    11 Questions on Multilingualism

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    Successful Lithuanians and Germans tell about learning languages, language in daily life and multilingualism in Lithuania and Germany.


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    Under the patronage of Leonard Orban, Member of the European Commission responsible for multilingualism