Have you learned a language today?

By Frank Bolger - Last update

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Did you know that today (September 26th) is the European Day of Languages

No For shame.

It involves events all over the continent -from children’s TV shows to conferences – promoting greater awareness of the benefits of multilingualism. Not well known for their twinkle-eyed playfulness, the Council of Europe has even compiled a list of ‘Language Facts and Fun’ on the dedicated website.

Quite tasty facts they are too, in fairness. Here’s a sprinkling:

  • There are about 225 indigenous languages in Europe – roughly 3% of the world s total.
  • In London alone some 300 languages are spoken (Arabic, Turkish, Kurdish, Berber, Hindi, Punjabi, etc.).
  • Bilingualism brings with it many benefits: it makes the learning of additional languages easier, enhances the thinking process and fosters contacts with other people and their cultures.

No one should pay more heed to the message of a European Day of Languages than the notoriously monolingual Irish. According to an EU Barometer (2012), we are the least likely in Europe to speak a foreign language.

Apart from equally valuable benefits such as greater cultural understanding, improved mental capability, not resorting to SPEAKING LOUDLY…SLOWLY…IN ENGLISH on holiday, etc – there is of course the great economic and employment outcomes of more of us learning a new language.

So why not check out the language classes available in your local college today

Frank Bolger

Meeting new people by doing a course
One for the Teachers...