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.