The European Day of Languages has been celebrated since 2001 when it was one of the highlights of the European Year of Languages.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided that this day would be celebrated each year to promote multilingualism.
Linguistic diversity is an instrument for achieving greater intercultural understanding and a key component of the rich cultural heritage of our continent. That is why 800 million Europeans are encouraged to learn more foreign languages at any age.
In Ukraine, the European Day of Languages has been organised by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) and in 2018 and 2019 was funded by the EU Culture Bridges programme, implemented by the British Council. In 2019 the European Day of Languages event was held on 15 September 2019 on the premises of Goethe-Institut Ukraine in Kyiv.
Event organisers in Ukraine are the British Council in Ukraine, the Goethe-Institut Ukraine, the French Institute Ukraine, the Polish Institute in Kyiv, the Czech Centre in Ukraine, the Camões Portuguese Language Centre Kyiv, and the Embassies of Estonia, Spain, Lithuania and Hungary. The event was also partnered by the Ukrainian Society for the Deaf who demonstrated Ukrainian sign language during the event.
The day acquainted all comers with the cultural activities and educational opportunities made available in Ukraine by the European cultural institutes and embassies. There were informative events about the culture of Ukraine's European neighbours, demo language lessons for children, teens and adults, workshops, and even quiz contests with some exciting prizes.
Courageous souls were offered a brief but intense 'date' with European language instructors during the always popular SpeakDating event held in the Goethe-Institut courtyard. This was a chance for everyone to learn basic phrases in eleven different European languages from native speakers.
The Goethe-Institut library opened its doors to the public that day with a possibility to read books and to find out favourite books of Embassy representatives. Young learners had a chance to make their own book.
In addition, the program included a library tour and a reading competition. Participants had the opportunity to dive into the world of books, as well as travel the virtual world using the latest technology. All participants of the event were able to join book-crossing to exchange books in any European language.
Visitors also followed the exciting quest German Footprints on Podil - filled with tasks to complete in and around the Goethе-Institut, puzzles to unlock and a chance to learn about the contribution of German culture in Kyiv life.