Tuesday, September 26, 2006

celebrating plurilingualism

Today was the European Day of Languages a day to celebrate linguistic diversity and the benefits of being able to speak another language.

See - Council of Europe, European Day of Languages website

What a wonderful idea. In many European countries people speak more than two languages. Indeed to many, English is their third or fourth language.

In Canada, there are two official languages, English and French. While most people speak one or the other, many also speak another language, particularly new migrants from non-English speaking countries. In the government service, most staff speak both English and French.

Perhaps the United States could adopt a second official language, say Spanish given that many immigrants come from Spanish-speaking Latin American countries, but still encourage them to learn English.

Some people feel threatened and uneasy when other people don't speak their language (English). Perhaps it is time that they learnt another language themselves.

In Australia, it used to be compulsory to learn a foreign language in junior high school (for 3 years). The choice was usually a European or an Asian language. Unfortunately, the current federal government cut funding for the teaching of foreign languages at school. What a shame.

Over 200 languages are spoken in Australia including indigenous languages. It is about time that this is celebrated.

*For more kitty thoughts, check out Camilla. Please continue to think well wishes for my dear friend Camilla.


I couldn't keep my human at home today, so I ended up napping on the couch by myself for most of the day. It was good to have him home again in time to serve me dinner.

This bunch of irises came from the farmer's market on Sunday. Visitors to my house should try and bring irises.


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