26 September,European Day of Languages

It’s Friday 26 September and it’s the eighth European Day of LanguagesC

atch up with events across Europe, from TV and radio programmes to language classes, conferences and events for children and don’t forget to check in on the European Parliament with its website and web TV in more than 20 languages.

Linguistic diversity is intrinsic to the EU with its 500 million citizens, 23 official languages, 60 regional and minority languages and 3 alphabets.

Celebrate linguistic diversity every day

The EP celebrates multilingualism every day with every MEP allowed to speak in their official language of choice from Maltese to Finnish - making the parliament the largest employer of interpreters and translators in the world along with the European Commission. “Linguistic diversity is an opportunity rather than a barrier as it was in the past, it is a trump card and the foundation of our day-to-day work here,” Mr Pöttering said.

All parliamentary documents are published in all official EU languages - which will amount to around 2 million pages in 2008. In comparison, the epic novel “War and Peace” is only 1392 pages.

The EP’s website is updated with news and useful information in 22 languages every day, while the recently-launched EuroparlTV is the most ambitious audiovisual project in the world in linguistic terms, providing TV programs in more than 20 languages.

The way ahead

The Parliament backs proposals for all EU citizens to be proficient in at least two foreign languages as a way to improve communication, mutual understanding and foster mobility and economic competitiveness. Multilingualism Commissioner Leonard Orban will outline the project to the Culture Committee in October.

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