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Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Parlez Francais? If not, why not?


Did you know that there are over 6,000 languages spoken around the world?

Research we reported on last week reported that despite our billingual Welsh, Irish, Gallic and immigrant communities, most people in the UK can only manage to muster one language!

English may be one of the world's dominant languages now, but English-only speakers cannot afford to be complacent - in 50 years' time there is likely to be a 'cartel' of world languages including Arabic, Spanish and Hindi/Urdu.

For this reason, it's timely that next year has been designated European Year of Languages, a celebration of languages and language learning involving all 47 countries associated with the Council of Europe, as well as EU member states.

The initiative is being jointly promoted by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, with support from UNESCO, whose aims are to increase awareness of and to celebrate the richness of Europe's linguistic heritage, to promote the use of less-widely used languages and to encourage multilingualism.

The European Commission also aims to promote lifelong learning of languages by making the public aware of the advantages of language competence in terms of employability, career prospects, mobility, job satisfaction, productivity and competitiveness.

CILT UK has been appointed co-ordinator of events in the UK, and will be responsible for working with other organisations on promotional campaigns throughout the year. You can register activities as part of the campaign at

TrainingZONE will keep you updated on events as we approach 2001. But for now, it's a case of making plans to brush up those rusty languages pronto!



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