New language technologies present an important way in which we can enable smaller languages in the linguistically diverse digital age, helping them be heard around the world.
This threat of digital extinction for smaller languages will become even more acute as the internet – and the larger languages that it rode in on – extends into every aspect of our lives, dictating how we speak and think. Smartphones, tablets, mobile apps and social media all increase the reach of the digital universe, accompanying us from the second we wake up (and check the news and our email) to the last moment before we sleep (one final scroll through our Twitter feeds).
How can we reverse this trend for the European languages at risk? Read more
In 2002, government leaders of the member states called for “at least two foreign languages to be taught from a very early age,” and in 2005, the Union’s executive body, the European Commission, declared a long-term objective “to increase individual multilingualism until every citizen has practical skills in at least two languages in addition to his or her mother tongue.”
“Learning a foreign language fosters diversity, social inclusion and intercultural dialogue in Europe and beyond,” Dennis Abbott, the European Commission’s spokesman for education, culture, multilingualism and youth, wrote in an email. “But language learning is more than that. In a globalized world, languages are a crucial asset for mobility and jobs, especially for young people.”
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.
The 9th International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism will be held at Uppsala University in June 12-14, 2014. . The International Association of Multilingualism was founded in 2004 and thus celebrates its 10th anniversary during the conference in 2014.