The Juvenes Translatores winners will receive their awards at a ceremony in Brussels on 8 April 2014

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Translation (DG Translation) is organising a contest for schools in the European Union that has been going on since 2007.

If Europeans are to be “united in diversity“, as the EU’s own motto puts it, we need to be able to understand languages other than our own.

In the long run, learning languages will bring us closer and help us understand each other’s cultures. And it will make it easier for you – the adults of tomorrow – to study and work around Europe.

Studies show the ever growing need for translation and translators in Europe. Student should better be ready for this! Juvenes Translatores raises awareness about how translation skills are important and how the use of translation as a “mediation” between languages should be  reassessed in language learning.

The contest has proved hugely popular – 99% of schools that took part in previous contests would like to do so again.

Find out who the winners are and read more about the contest

Online assessment and linguistic support for mobility of individuals under Erasmus+

Prior Information Notice

In the framework of the new programme the European Commission aims to provide a centralised online scheme to assess, monitor and support linguistic competences of individuals participating in mobility actions financed by the programme Erasmus+.

The upcoming call for tender will aim to select 1 or 2 provider(s) to supply and manage the relevant services.

Click here to know more.

Supporting multilingual families – a linguistic treasure for Europe

“Multilingual Families” is an important project co-funded in the framework of Key Activity 2 Languages of the Lifelong Learning programme that is targeted at preserving the languages and culture of the 47.3 million immigrants living in the European Union and the many families with parents having more than one language. These people represent a linguistic treasure house for Europe and one that must be preserved to enhance the linguistic and multi-cultural diversity of Europe.

To preserve this treasure into the second generation, i.e. the children of immigrants and linguistically diverse parents, is vital as a continuing linguistic resource. Children who are bilingual are also a strong beacon to their monolingual peers that multilingualism, is obtainable.

The difficulty is to support and inform immigrant or bilingual parents how and why to raise their children multilingually in an informal setting.

The “Multilingual Families” project will provide this support to parents in 3 ways by answering the questions:

  • Why – should we support children’s learning and continuing use of the family language?
  • What – can we do to support them?
  • How – do we implement real language support so that they learn the family language and retain it?

It will go further and provide support materials to teachers, immigrant groups in fact all stakeholders that work with immigrants and bilingual parents, so that they can disseminate the project resources to immigrant and bilingual parents and support them by answering questions and obtaining materials, in the form of informal and formal guides for teachers, stakeholders and parents. Example activities for parents and teachers are being created as well, to act as a starting point to motivate informal language learning and use.

In addition, a large repository of information and links about raising children in more than one language has been added to the website.

Finally “Multilingual Families” will also create resources for the children, to show them directly why having 2 or more languages, and family languages, is something to be proud of and has huge value in their lives. These resources will be available in 17 languages and are being added to the project website.

For more information, you can send an e-mail to:

European Day of Languages in Bulgaria 2013

European Day of Languages

Multilingual cultural relations with a tasty twist

• 1 deputy minister of Education and a deputy mayor of Sofia
• 1 spacious park in the residential centre of the city
• 2 prime-time TV and radio broadcasts on the day and multiple interviews before then
• 8 double stalls and a stage with performances in different languages every 15 min.
• 11 languages represented at stalls and 10+ more through materials
• 13 basic foods each translated into all 11 languages (cucumber, yogurt, oil, tomato, onion, cheese, pepper, rice, mincemeat, egg, flour, sugar, milk)
• 15 EUNIC members and associate partners, including an HR company
• 500+ t-shirts and bags with “I love cooking” in 11 languages
• 1000+ likes on the Facebook page of the event in less than 2 months
• 3000 copies of the multilingual crossword puzzle
• 4000+ people attending

Cooking instructions
Take a generous amount of languages – at minimum the represented EUNIC centres in your cluster, but experiment freely with those who are either non-EU (the Russian Cultural Centre) or merely represented by an embassy/consulate (Finnish, Norwegian, Croatian).
Add a diverse group of local reputable partners, e.g. the European Commission and the Association of Quality Language Services (part of EQUALS).

Blend in strategic association with the Ministry of Education and Sofia Municipality. The latter will bring out the flavour of mutuality since you’d be seen as supporting the topmost priority of Sofia’s bid to Cultural Capital 2019.

Once these ingredients are in place, an international recruitment agency (Adecco) will come asking for access for they would have spotted the great opportunity, and would be prepared to pay for that, ultimately making it even more cost effective for cultural centres.

You’ve by now chosen your location – which is different from last year and so much more appropriate for it is now within a park surrounded by residential buildings, therefore highly visible. Similarly, you’ve learnt your lesson from the previous year and also changed the day of the event, this time organising it on a Saturday rather than the more leisurely Sunday.

You’ve also seasoned with a common theme – food as a cultural mediator.

Your specially designed Facebook page has warmed up with all the materials you’re regularly posting. Don’t forget to include partners to help in moderating for a better rhythm.

You’ve stirred the media with the announcement and they’re heating up the phone lines with requests for interviews – before and during the event.

Bon appetite!
At least 4,000 people visited the stands of the EUNIC members and associate partners on Saturday for European Day of Languages in the blazing sunshine of Sofia’s Indian summer. They stopped by each of the eight tents to enquire about classes, learn new words in a range of languages, collect clues for the multilingual crossword puzzle on food-related vocabulary, taste traditional treats some of the cultural centres had provided (Hungarian Gulyásleves, Russian блины) or pick up recipes for Gazpacho, Tiramisù, Bigos, Švestkový koláč, Παπουτσάκια , Soupe à l’oignon.

The British Council were asked to lead on the organisation on behalf of EUNIC, and here is what we found in our inboxes today from the current EUNIC cluster president Jean-Michel Berthe of the Institut français de Bulgarie: “I would like to congratulate the team of British Council for the perfect organization of the Day of Languages. We are very happy because there were many people and especially young people. The choice of Zaimov’s square and Saturday was a good choice!”

Sursum linguae colloquium

The Sursum linguae colloquium is organized by the Brussels EUNIC cluster under the leadership of Instituto Cervantes – open to EUNIC member language teachers – it will be held tomorrow at the Instituto Cervantes in Brussels.
Join the event entitled Education Day: Language teaching and the challenge of TIC and e-learning in the European context. Also a great opportunity to find out about EUNIC in Brussels network’s shared values in the multilingualism promotion projects.

No island is an Island: European Perspectives on Language Learning in Britain

No Island is an Island Logo

This post bring s you the opportunity to attend an EU conference taking place in London with a special focus on the UK Language deficit. Only 30% of Britons claim to speak one other language compared to the EU average of 54% (2012 European Survey on Language Competences).  An EU / UK international conference is being held at the London Language Show on Friday, 18 October, bringing together UK and European policy makers, recruiters and current students to discuss the perils of this deficit and demand change. Interested? Visit the website, look at the programme and register now!


Case Study: ‘Take Care’ – A Health Care Language Guide for Migrants in 17 Languages

According to the Language Rich Europe research, the top provision of multilingual services is, perhaps unsurprisingly, in the tourist sector, with the most widely offered language being English. However, to what extent do cities look at the needs of their inhabitants before deciding which languages to offer and in which services? One of these needs is highlighted by the Language Rich Europe case study on the European Commission-funded project ‘Take Care,’ which seeks to:

[make] health care more accessible and effective for migrants who do not speak the language and are not familiar with the culture nor with the health care system in the host country

The case study highlights the importance of this, stating that the consequences of poor health can affect employability, educational achievement, social integration and job satisfaction, to name a few.

The main product of the project is a Health Care Language guide which provides methods for language learning based on the needs and experiences of the target groups, language tools on health care, and information on the health care systems in each country.

The project is currently being run in Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus, Lithuania, Portugual, Romania and Spain, but language materials will be available on the project website in up to 17 languages for use by groups from other European countries.

For more information on this and other projects, and to submit your own good practice case study, visit the Language Rich Europe website.