The 2016 European Day of Languages

Thirty-three events were organised by AEGEE locals to celebrate the European Day of Languages (EDL), and all of them managed to make the Language Interest Group (LIG) proud once again. Although our EDL is officially held on the 17th of November (which is seven weeks after the official EDL of the Council of Europe, due to the academic calender), AEGEEans were free to organise any kind of event around that date, with a little help from the LIG.


15578025_1377060042307055_7780375600988366443_oThis time, language lovers started gathering from late October until the second half of December. AEGEE-Bamberg and AEGEE-Heidelberg could not get enough with one event, so both of them organised two! It is a remarkable fact that their events reached one thousand young people and successfully fulfilled some of the main objectives of the LIG, such as underlining the importance of multilingualism, promoting and encouraging the learning of foreign languages, improving language skills and various related topics.

Most of the locals organised more than one activity, combining presentations, workshops and discussions with videos or games (language quiz, language tandems, language speed dating, karaokes, tongue twisters, memory games etc). For example, AEGEE-Zagreb members shared their experience in translation with each other, discussed about how translators are perceived and which problems can be encountered during a translation, and they watched a few videos related to the topic. AEGEE-Madrid watched a documentary in foreign languages and afterwards had a discussion about it, while AEGEE-Athina presented the history of languages, had speed courses in five languages and added a language quiz on top of it.

The language quiz was definitely the most popular activity, since it was organized by eleven antennae. The ones by AEGEE-Heidelberg and AEGEE-Bamberg were held during their LTCs, whereas LIG members held one at NWM-Aachen.

The multilingual dinner was the second most common activity, since AEGEE-Heidelberg, AEGEE-Catania, AEGEE-A Coruña, AEGEE-Tenerife, AEGEE-Kraków, AEGEE-Cagliari and AEGEE-Osnabrück organised it and invited foreign students to present typical dishes from their home-country and speak in their own language.

IMG_9733The diversity of spoken languages was different from local to local and it followed their interests, needs and various kinds of creativity. For example, AEGEE-Cagliari mainly focused on the Arabic language, AEGEE-Voronezh on Japanese and Vietnamese, AEGEE-Bilbao put an accent on numerous minority languages, while AEGEE-Pécs mentioned and spoke thirty-three languages in total! Of course acknowledging EDL was significant for every antenna, but it was particularly special for AEGEE-Kyiv, as it was the very first event of the new board. Even though it was a freshman endeavour for them, they did an enviable job by managing to break stereotypes with their members whilst finding a common vision about the importance and benefits of being a polyglot.

More so, LIG would also like to state that the Audit Commission and MIGR team stood out with a celebration of EDL combined with the International Day of Migrant (18th of December). They presented themselves with the message “I am a migrant” in their mother tongue through an online campaign shared in twelve countries.

It would be legitimate to state that the outcome of the EDL events in 2016 was more than satisfying, and that every antenna managed to meet their own expectations, followed by excellent decision-making. This proves once again that we are on the road to breaking borders. The EDL ventures greatly contribute to forming a collective state of mind that is open to the differences and diversities that we are surrounded with, and, most importantly, that bring us closer together.


Written by Isidora Braljinac, AEGEE-Beograd