Me No Speaks Inglish… The Language Interest Group and the Idioms in AEGEE

By | May 3, 2016 at 4:05 pm | European Bodies | Tags: , , , , ,

In this article we are talking about the various languages spoken among AEGEE members.  We know that English is the most common language in the world, but also other languages find some space in our Network, therefore  we have asked Erifyli Evangelou, a member of the Language Interest Group, to tell us something about the situation of the languages inside our students’ association.


We know for sure that English is not the only foreign language spoken in AEGEE, even though pic oneit represents the one we use to communicate among us in ninety per cent of the cases. There are other languages such as Spanish, not only inside Spanish Antennas but also diffused in many Locals, where there are many students who study Spanish for example. We can also consider German an other language you can find in many European countries. However, we do not have any statistics yet. That is why the Language Interest Group reveals to us their plan to make a survey about languages in AEGEE. In this plan, the Interest Group will answer to the following questions: which are the most spoken ones, where do people learn the languages and what do they do to improve them.

We also know that not all nationalities are able to speak English in the same way. According to the opinion of most AEGEE members, Italians and Spanish show the worst spoken English. Some AEGEEans say that the best English is spoken by Dutch guys. Dutch is a bit similar to English, being an anglo-germanic language within the Germanic languages, meaning it shares a common ancestor with languages such as English, German, and the Scandinavian languages. That’s why it shares many common words with English. At the same time, we do not have to be limited to these stereotypes linked to the language families in which English belongs, and Italian and Spanish do not.  We will have to wait, then, for the survey of the LIG in order to discover the answers to our questions. The same question presents and discussed in many lunches or dinners among AEGEE members.

pic twoThe goal of the Language Interest Group is to raise awareness within AEGEE about the value of multilingualism, encourage and help AEGEEans to learn more foreign languages and discuss issues related to language policies, minority languages and language diversity. The group has different ongoing projects, like the European Day of Languages or the Travel Dictionaries Project. Furthermore, it is cooperating with Language SUs, giving workshops at Agorae and EPM and it is present at the Fairs. Additionally, it also has temporary projects like the AEGEE Day video or preparing language quizzes and games. In fact, with the help of some active members and many Antennas, the LIG has collected multilingual greetings from all over the AEGEE network. Every AEGEE member can watch our video here.

About the next plans, Erifyli tells us that the LIG is planning to create a multilingual European music playlist, so that AEGEEans can listen to cool songs in every AEGEE language. Furthermore, they are going to publish soon their Travel Dictionaries in many languages and if you attend Agora Bergamo it could be that you see some members of the LIG recording many different people saying something in their language.last pic

Erifyli Evangelou gives some tips for AEGEEans who want to improve their English. In particular, the LIG encourages them “To go to many events and once being there, don’t be only with people who speak your language. Talk a lot to people from other countries, do not get frustrated if you make mistakes and be patient with yourself!” Other options to improve a language are organising a language tandem or other language activities in your Antenna or get involved in a European project, because there the working language is for sure English. “The most important thing is to get out of your comfort zone and not be afraid of speaking English! Only those who try, can succeed!” adds Erifyli.


Written by Matteo Lai, AEGEE-Cagliari.

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