European Day of Languages

Sep 26, 2013 | Language

EDL logo

Celebrated since 2001, the European Day of Languages is jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union and is successful in involving millions of people across 45 participating countries in the celebration of European linguistic diversity.

With over 7 billion people in the world, there are over 6,000 different languages. Some, such as English, Chinese and Spanish, are spoken by hundreds of millions of people, but most have only a few thousand native speakers, or even less. Believe it or not, 96% of the world’s languages are spoken by only 4% of the people.

Another fun fact is that only 3% of the world’s total languages – around 225 – are indigenous to Europe. Many Europeans, particularly on this small island, may think that speaking only one language is the norm. But between half and two thirds of the world’s population is, to some extent, bilingual and many are plurilingual.

This huge diversity of language and culture really is something to be celebrated – hence the European Day of Language. Research has shown that no one language is harder to learn than any other so why not give a new language a go? And make a start by taking a look at some language fun and facts at the EDL website.

image: EDL logo, Council of Europe