There are six to seven thousand languages spoken in the world today and in a time when practically every country is so easily accessible, just knowing one can close you off to a lot of people. It is often said that knowing two or more languages can open up your mind and make life much more fulfilling, it allows you to speak to people from other walks of life and this is probably the most important part of it. The European Day of Languages is a day which was organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union, it has involved millions of people from across the world to celebrate the different languages spoken throughout Europe.

Some interesting facts relating to language:

  • At least half of the world’s population are bilingual or plurilingual, i.e. they speak two or more languages.
  • Many languages have 50,000 words or more, but individual speakers normally know and use only a fraction of the total vocabulary: in everyday conversation people use the same few hundred words.
  • Languages are constantly in contact with each other and affect each other in many ways: English borrowed words and expressions from many other languages in the past, European languages are now borrowing many words from English.
  • Bilingualism brings with it many benefits: it makes the learning of additional languages easier, enhances the thinking process and fosters contacts with other people and their cultures.