Časoris
Evropski dan jezikov obeležujemo s Festivalom jezikov, ki ga pripravlja predstavništvo Evropske komisije v Sloveniji. Foto: Andreaobzerova/Dreamstime
Evropski dan jezikov obeležujemo s Festivalom jezikov, ki ga pripravlja predstavništvo Evropske komisije v Sloveniji. Foto: Andreaobzerova/Dreamstime

Languages are experience, exploration, and connection

We live in a community of European nations, diverse cultures, and many languages. 

The European Day of Languages is every year on 26th September. On this day, even more than on other days of the year, we are encouraged to learn about languages – both in and out of school. 

Raise your hand if you speak only one language today! More than half of Europe is bilingual; which means, more than half of Europe speaks at least two languages fluently.

Slovenia is a rich nation when it comes to languages.

Along with Slovenian, Italian is also an official language in Koper, Izola, Piran, and Ankaran. The same applies to Hungarian in the Prekmurje region. The Constitution gives us this bilingual right.

This right also guarantees education in these languages among other privileges. We have always been in contact with Friulian, German, and Croatian. That is why it is not surprising that we have an old saying, »The more languages you know, the more important you are.«

In Slovenia one way the European Day of Languages is celebrated is with the Festival of Languages, which is prepared by the Etnika Institute with the support of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia.

We want to show that language learning can be a fun, interesting, and rich experience. By getting to know other languages and cultures, we better know and appreciate our own linguistic and cultural world and become more open, tolerant, and accepting.

Mojca Leben, director of the Festival of Languages

Language learning happens when we do what we like. 

»This is when, for example, we dance, listen to music, sometimes also sing, record videos, do sports, explore, and discover new worlds,« explains Mojca Leben.

Those who like challenges and quizzes can install a language challenge app for secret agents. The app allows you to compete with your friends and make your way from an apprentice agent to an experienced secret agent. 

When you learn a language, that is not your mother tongue, you also get to know the whole culture surrounding that language. That is why we say knowing more languages broadens our horizons.

Glossary

Friulian belongs to the Romance languages. It is spoken by more than half a million people in Italy, especially in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

Points to Consider

  1. How many languages do you speak?
  2. Which language groups do you know?
  3. How many people speak Slovenian?

***

The original version of this article was published on September 26th.

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Saša

Petejan je novinarka, ki jo zanimajo vaše zgodbe. Rada sodeluje in verjame, da skupaj vemo in zmoremo več. Uživa med ljudmi in v naravi, ki jo še prav posebej spoštuje.

Rebecca

Svetina is an English translator, EFL educator, and graphic designer. She is an American who has lived in Slovenia since 2008. She loves hiking and traveling with her family.

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