European Day of Languages

Today, September 26th, is the European Day of Languages. I discovered this by accident last week. It’s a spin-off of the European Year of Languages, which I do remember. The Council of Europe has information on it. Here’s the calendar showing more than 500 events from 40 countries:

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Shame about that. There was also a competition for a slogan for 2004 – winning three entries were Pack an extra language in your luggage; A world for living, languages for sharing; and Languages: a rainbow of colours and cultures. I find these mildly depressing

CILT has a page of what it calls ‘Celebrity linguists’, but not all of them actually say they speak a foreign language – some just think it’s a good idea.

The link to Linguist Online didn’t work either, but an abbreviated version took me to an article by Dan Brennan about how foreign footballers cope with language difficulties in their new country. (The Linguist is the journal of the Institute of Linguists):

bq. … for British players moving abroad, inability or reluctance to learn the language of their adopted country has often proved a major stumbling block. On being quizzed by the Italian media, Paul Gascoigne could, notoriously, only manage a belch by way of riposte. And former Liverpool legend Ian Rush revealed a possibly flawed adaptation strategy at his new club Juventus when he bemoaned the fact that ‘living in Italy was like living in a foreign country’. It will be interesting to see whether David Beckham will take a more enlightened approach at Real Madrid.

Perhaps I can pull myself together for St. Jerome’s day on September 30th (if I remember it).

2 thoughts on “European Day of Languages

  1. I just learned, from Margaret Marks of Transblawg, that Friday was the European Day of Languages. This sounds to me suspiciously like declaring October the International Month of Artichokes, and I wouldn’t bother you with it except that it inspired…

  2. It’s amusing that John ‘Basil Xenophobic Fawlty’ Cleese should be advocating the learning of foreign lingos.

    Also, I didn’t realise the versatile sports and linguistic connection of my learned friend, Dan Brennan QC, member of the Irish Rep./NI Bar and past Chairman of the Bar Council of Eng. & Wales. Must be a namesake, unless there really is a law link in there somewhere.

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