8th annual European Day of Languages

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Terry Davis, General Secretary of the Council of Europe, organisers of the European Day of Languages, has a simple message today: ‘Learn, speak, listen– and understand each other’. His statement on this the 8th annual European Day of Languages says:

‘Learning another language is a good way to make sure that tolerance, respect and understanding among people are not lost in translation. Language learning helps to avoid stereotyping individuals and helps to develop curiosity and openness towards other people and other cultures. Language learning helps us to see that interaction with people from different social identities and cultures is an enriching experience. This is the approach advocated by the Council of Europe in our White Book on Intercultural Dialogue, published earlier this year, and it is also the underlying motive of the European Day of Languages, which was declared by the Council of Europe in 2001. I have a very simple message to all Europeans of all origins, ages and backgrounds: learn, speak, listen– and understand each other.’

The European Day of Languages (EDL), a Council of Europe initiative, is held annually on the 26 September to celebrate language and cultural diversity. The Day was first celebrated in 2001, the European Year of Languages and involves more people every year.

The European Day of Languages is:

* A Europe-wide celebration of all the world’s languages
* A day to kick-start language learning
* A chance to raise awareness about the value of language skills

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