European Day of Languages

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:

  1. 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.
  2. To promote both the cultural and the linguistic diversity of Europe, which “must be preserved and fostered”.
  3. 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?

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