Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools
Sections
You are here: Home topics Language policies and activities of the European Union Languages in the European Union

Languages in the European Union

— filed under:

The languages of the European Union are languages used by people within the Member States of the European Union. They include the twenty-three official languages of the European Union along with a range of others. The EU has a number of policies relating to language learning.

No albums or photos uploaded yet.

Ad Gloriam Translation
Ad Gloriam translation agency offers translations from/into more than 40 languages, including the most popular European and Asian languages.

Brexit negotiations - ITI supports members' and peers' checklist for protecting language skills
The Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) urges the Government to pursue the four essential objectives detailed in Brexit and Languages: A checklist for Government negotiators and officials – a document released by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Modern Languages today.

Languages in Europe
The European Day of Languages was first organised by the Council of Europe in 2001 as part of the European Year of Languages. The European Commission and the European Centre of Modern Languages take an active part in organising language-related events on and around the day. The aim of the European Day of Languages is to raise awareness of the languages used in Europe, promote cultural and linguistic diversity and encourage life-long language learning. Earlier this year, the Council of Europe and the Commission signed a partnership agreement to strengthen cooperation in promoting ICT tools for language teaching and testing, and assessment of language competences.

European Day of Languages 2012
The European Day of Languages takes place at venues throughout Europe on 26 September. The European Commission will mark the occasion by hosting a special event in Limassol (Cyprus), where more than 400 delegates will look at ways to improve language learning and discuss the role of languages in a globalised world.

Europeans and their languages - Special Eurobarometer 386
The survey provides information about the citizens' attitudes towards foreign languages and multilingualism within the European Union.It looks at the ways in which Europeans learn and use foreign languages, exploring their motivations and potential barriers to learning.It also gauges their opinion on the role of interpretation and translation in relation to European institutions and various areas across society.

User language preferences online - Flash Eurobarometer 313
While 90% of Internet surfers in the EU prefer to access websites in their own language, 55% at least occasionally use a language other than their own when online according to this pan-EU Eurobarometer survey. However, 44% of European Internet users feel they are missing interesting information because web pages are not in a language that they understand and only 18% buy products online in a foreign language. The results underline the need for investment in online translation tools so that EU Internet users are not excluded from finding information or products online because they lack the language skills. Currently the European Commission manages 30 different research projects working at the interface of language and digital content, supported by €67 million of EU funding and the new projects submitted this year will get an additional €50 million. One of the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe is to ensure more accessibility to web content for everyone.

Interpretation
Grants for actions to promote postgraduate training in conference interpreting

Multilingualism
Language-learning opportunities – European education and training programmes

Interpretation
DG Interpretation bursaries - Do you want to become a conference interpreter ? You may be eligible for a study bursary from the Directorate General for Interpretation

EuroVoc, the EU's multilingual thesaurus
EuroVoc is a multilingual, multidisciplinary thesaurus covering the activities of the EU, the European Parliament in particular. It contains terms in 22 EU languages (Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish and Swedish), plus Croatian and Serbian.

Opportunity knocks ... for SMEs with language skills
This year's European Day of Languages highlights the potential and the challenges of multilingualism for the EU's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). First launched in 2001, this annual celebration of Europe's linguistic diversity will again translate into a broad range of events organised on and around 26 September.

Language use in consumer information
Language use is dealt with in various provisions of Community law. These provisions can be very strict, for example when it comes to potentially dangerous products. The legislation on language use aims to inform consumers properly and promote multilingual information, whilst guaranteeing Member States' freedom in language matters.

Interpretation in the EU - briefing
The European Commission's interpreting service faces a potential succession crisis for linguists for a number of languages - and a shortage in several others. Without an increase in the number of qualified graduates from interpreter schools and universities, the EU Institutions will lose at least one third of their English language interpreters by 2015 due to retirement – and about half in a ten-year perspective.

Commission Communication on Multilingualism: tapping the full potential of languages in Europe
In its new Communication, entitled "Multilingualism: an asset for Europe and a shared commitment", the Commission gives an overview of what needs to be done to turn linguistic diversity into an asset for solidarity and prosperity. The Commission invites EU Member States and the other EU Institutions to join efforts to encourage and assist citizens in acquiring language skills and removing communication barriers. It proposes an approach which advocates including multilingualism across a whole series of EU policy areas. The policy document proposes a series of concrete actions related to these questions and foresees a review of the progress made in 2012 (pdf)

A guide to languages in the European Union
The European Union has 27 Member States and 23 official languages. Each Member State, when it joins the Union, stipulates which language or languages it wants to have declared official languages of the EU.

Europa languages portal
This portal is your point of entry to information about languages from the European Union - Linguistic Diversity - Language Learning - Language Teaching - Translation - Interpretation - Language Technology

Languages in the EU website
Listen to all the 23 official languages of the European Union - i.e. the ones used for EU business. On this site you can hear examples spoken by interpreters from the EU institutions.

DGT-TM - DGT Multilingual Translation Memory of the Acquis Communautaire
The European Commission's is making its collection of about 1 million sentences and their high quality translations in 22 of the 23 official EU languages freely available. This kind of data is highly sought after by developers of machine translation systems in which automatic translation software "learns" from manually translated texts how words and phrases are correctly and contextually translated. The data can also help the development of other linguistic software tools such as grammar and spell checkers, online dictionaries and multilingual text classification systems.

Partner 900 Deluxe series translators
The ECTACO Partner 900 Deluxe series translators allows you to scan and translate any text.

Report on the implementation of the Action Plan "Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity 2004-2006"
The EU Action Plan "Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity 2004-2006" called for a progress review in 2007. A European Commission Working Paper reporting on its implementation was adopted on 25 September 2007. This report outlines the main results of the implementation of the Action Plan "Promoting language learning and linguistic diversity 2004-2006", both at European and national level. It highlights current trends in the reform of educational systems to better promote language learning, takes stock of what has been achieved in the past three years and provides a basis for further action in the field of multilingualism policy.

European Day of Languages 2007
At the end of the hugely successful 2001 European Year of Languages, jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Commission, it was decided that 26 September each year should be the European Day of Languages, to celebrate the rich heritage of cultures and traditions embodied in all the languages of Europe – and not only the 23 official languages of the EU.

EU terminology translator
A one-stop shop for EU-related terminology (InterActiveTerminology for Europe) in 23 languages opened to the public on 28 June 2007. The InterActive Terminology for Europe database, known as IATE, combines the terminology databases of the individual EU institutions and bodies in a single database containing 8.7 million terms and covering all 23 official EU languages. IATE ,which has been in use by the translation services of the EU institutions since 2005, already plays a major role in ensuring the quality of the written communication of the EU institutions and bodies. Offering easy access to validated EU-related terminology, it ensures the consistency and reliability of terminology which is indispensable for producing the clear and unambiguous texts necessary for guaranteeing both the validity and transparency of the legislative process and effective communication with the citizens of the Union.

Effects on the European Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise
This study was commissioned by the Directorate General for Education and Culture of the European Commission in December 2005 and undertaken by the UK National Centre for Languages, in collaboration with an international team of researchers. Its objective was to provide the Commission and decision-takers in Member States with practical information and analysis of the use of language skills by SMEs and the impact on business performance.

IATE - Inter-Active Terminology for Europe
IATE (="Inter-Active Terminology for Europe") is the EU's inter-institutional terminology database. IATE has been used in the EU institutions and agencies since summer 2004 for the collection, dissemination and shared management of EU-specific terminology. The project was launched in 1999 with the objective of providing a web-based infrastructure for all EU terminology resources, enhancing the availability and standardisation of the information. IATE incorporates all of the existing terminology databases of the EU’s translation services into a single new, highly interactive and accessible inter-institutional database.

Translation Directorate-General of the European Commission
The European Commission's Directorate-General for Translation is the largest translation service in the world. Located in Brussels and Luxembourg, it has a permanent staff of some 1 650 linguists and 550 support staff, and also uses freelance translators all over the world. Known as the DGT after its English initials, the service translates written text into and out of all the EU's official languages, exclusively for the European Commission. Interpretation of the spoken word is the responsibility of the Commission's Directorate-General for Interpretation.

Languages of Europe
Official languages of Europe statistics: The official EU languages; Policy issues; Awareness raising; Language teaching; Language learning; EU funding opportunities; Key documents; Useful links

Document Actions