I found out that today, the 26th of September, is the European Day of Languages. It is organised by the European Union in order to achieve the following goals:
- To alert people to the importance of language learning and to expand the range of languages that are learned in order to increase multilingualism and an intercultural understanding.
- To promote both the cultural and the linguistic diversity of Europe, which “must be preserved and fostered”.
- To stimulate lifelong language learning both in and out of educational environments (Source: website of the European Day of Languages).
The following quote captures the reason behind the organisation of this beautiful day perfectly:
“Language learning brings benefits to young and old – you are never too old to learn a language and to enjoy the opportunities it opens up. Even if you only know a few words of the language of the country that you visit (for example on holiday), this enables you to make new friends and contacts.
Learning other peoples’ languages is a way of helping us to understand each other better and overcome our cultural differences”
(Source: website of the European Day of Languages).
I love the fact that there is a Day of Languages. I did not know of its existence before this morning, but I have always wanted there to be one. I guess I should have done some research :). I agree with what the organisation says: second language learning is an incredible experience. For me, it resembles the feeling you get when finally seeing something you have always desired to witness and when flying. I have always been fascinated by languages, but I will never forget the awe I felt when I realised that I had managed to master English at the (near-) native level. The idea that I could now communicate with native speakers and that I could speak more languages than my native one really impressed me – it felt as if a whole new world had opened up for me. I hope to experience this feeling again in the future. First with Norwegian, then with French or German, then with Icelandic, Spanish, Welsh… The list goes on and on. I can’t imagine my life without second language learning.
What are your experiences with language learning?