Happy European Day of Languages! Celebrated every year on September 26, the day aims to promote language learning while celebrating the linguistic cultural diversity of Europe.
The Council of Europe, who started the celebration in 2001, want to encourage us to learn more languages and to recognise the language abilities we already have, whether it’s speaking a few phrases on holidays or going to a language class.
Learning other languages not only helps us to better understand other cultures, making us more open to other people, but it improves our brains (particularly the thinking process) and can also improve our job prospects.
Some fun European language facts:
- The longest word in the Finnish language, that isn’t a compound word, is ‘epaejaerjestelmaellistyttaemaettoemyydellaensaekaeaen’. In English it means ‘even with their lack of ability to disorganize’.
- Russia’s Cyrillic alphabet contains 33 letters, 2 of which have no sound on their own, but they carry grammatical meaning and are still considered letters.
- “Ogooglebar” is a word, in Swedish, that the Language Council of Sweden has been forced to remove from its top 10 list of new words by a claim of brand protection from Google. The word is translated as ‘ungooglable’.
- There are no words for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in Irish.
- French is the only language, together with English, that is taught in every country of the world.
Be proud of the language/s you speak, learn some phrases in another language and promote your language skills more on your CV.