The 2013 European Day of Languages

Have you ever wondered how many languages are spoken throughout Europe? Do you enjoy listening to other foreign languages despite the fact that you don’t understand a word of them? Have you ever wanted to be involved in a linguistic tandem? If you answered yes to one of these questions, you would have enjoyed one of the events of the European Day of Languages (EDL). EDL is present in AEGEE since 2001, this year events were organised by 17 different AEGEE antennae thoughout our network.

“Learn 6 languages in 90 minutes” was the activity which was organized by AEGEE-Kaiserslautern.

This edition of the EDL had more than 22 languages involved, including 3 non-European languages, and more than 700 participants from 26 nationalities. If all these activities had been held in one place, it would have definitely been impossible to choose only one to attend: basic language presentations were carried out by AEGEE-Beograd, AEGEE-Voronezh and others; movies in original version were projected in AEGEE-Padova and AEGEE-Moskva; the typical APErasmus from AEGEE-Bergamo concluded with a native speaking video; language and cultural stereotype quizzes were held in AEGEE-Roma and AEGEE-Milano; typical food and drinks from each country plus linguistic tandems were organized by AEGEE-Las Palmas and AEGEE-A Coruña; “Learn 6 languages in 90 minutes” was the activity from AEGEE-Kaiserlautern; AEGEE-Torino decided to sing in different languages, and finally AEGEE-Kraków organized a city game with native speakers. So you see, it would have been difficult, to pick just one interesting workshop…

AEGEE-Voronezh organized some cultural and linguistic presentations.

It is great to see that the European Day of Languages has had this huge affluence of participants; above all, these events are a way of making people more aware of the linguistic stereotypes –and consequently the cultural ones– in order to break them and make people more tolerant towards each other. Looking back at all theese events, we can conclude that the 2013 edition of the EDL was a success.

We, the LWG, would like to thank locals who have joined EDL 2013 –you’ve been keeping this activity alive!– and we would like to encourage the whole Network to participate in the new edition in Autumn 2014.

If you are wondering why AEGEE celebrates the EDL in November instead of September – which is when the Council of Europe celebrates it – we’ll tell you: as many students are still having their holidays in September, AEGEE decided to change the dates to make sure that everybody could attend the activities. Even so, every local chooses their own dates and makes their activities last even for a week!

Then, what can you do if having read all this you realize that you are as passionate as we are about languages? You can get to know the Language Working Group! We can bring you in touch with people who are also crazily in love with this topic. So don’t hesitate; cheer up and join us!

Written by Núria Fenoll Domingo, AEGEE-Tarragona & Language Working Group member