What are the aims of the European Day of Languages?
• To apprise the public of the importance of language learning
• To increase awareness and appreciation of ALL the languages spoken in Europe
• To encourage lifelong language learning
Languages for life
The European Year of Languages 2001 was successful in involving millions of people across 45 countries in activities to celebrate linguistic diversity and the benefits of speaking another language.
Many people, young and old, were encouraged to take up a language, or take special pride in their existing language skills.
Those responsible for providing access to language learning were encouraged to make it easier for people to learn a range of languages, and to support policy initiatives to promote languages.
What is it about?
While many people agree that everyone should be able to speak another language, in many countries only about half the population can do so.
There have never been more opportunities to work or study in a different European country - but a lack of language skills prevents many people from taking advantage of them.
Globalisation and patterns of business ownership mean that citizens increasingly need foreign language skills to work effectively within their own countries.
Europe is rich in languages - there are over 200 European languages, and many more are spoken by citizens with roots in other continents.
Learning other peoples' languages is a way of helping us to understand each other better and overcome our cultural differences.
And of course, you are never too old to learn a new language.