Multilingualism is central to the European Union’s cultural heritage, and the EU protects its linguistic diversity, promotes language learning, and encourages its citizens to become multilingual. Multilingualism allows people to take full advantage of the opportunities offered across the EU, from employment to culture, from living or retiring in another EU country to undertaking multinational business ventures.
Now in its 15th year, the European Day of Languages is celebrated on September 26 each year with numerous events highlighting the positive contributions that linguistic diversity brings to the European continent.
The European Union has 24 official languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, and Swedish. The EU is also home to more than 60 indigenous, regional, or minority languages, spoken by around 40 million people. They include Catalan, Basque, Frisian, Saami, Welsh, and Yiddish.
But despite the number of different languages in Europe and throughout the world, we are not that different after all—check out Idioms of the World!