In the UK we’re used to speaking one language and expect for most professions and circumstances that interactions on a daily basis will be in English (unless we work in a profession where only a foreign language is used). However, in many European countries the language used within a state is often far more variable and nuanced depending on the geographical, political, social or professional context.
At the heart of this myriad of intersecting linguistic codes, unwritten understandings and politics lies Belgium, a small nation of 11,2 million people literally at the crossroads of Europe, not only in political terms as the de-facto capital of the European Union but also as a meeting place of European languages and cultures.
Having lived in Belgium for the last 6 months and being a passionate historian and linguist in my academic days I found the experience of living in a country where 3 languages both contrast and co-exist a fascinating opportunity and one which anyone who has spent a little time in Belgium will fully appreciate !
Below I have selected a choice few examples that help illustrate the complexity of language and how it effects the identity of a country and how other Europeans perceive it. Continue reading
Learning a language can sometimes be difficult and challenging. A fun way to embrace a new language and get your tongue around those new words and pronunciations is tongue twisters!
It’s sad to think that languages are becoming less and less learnt and enjoyed by pupils in schools. Increasingly they are becoming unpopular, and I’ve lost count how many times I’ve heard the attitude ‘but everyone speaks English anyway?’
It’s true – English is one of the most popular business languages in the world, so maybe it’s right we stop focusing on languages and look elsewhere for our skill set…or is it?
You will hear a multitude of languages when walking through the streets of London. The capital is a highly diverse and multicultural hotspot. Many, including myself, are not native Londoners or even English. And yet, many of us ‘foreigners’ will share a desire to experience and explore the capital to the fullest and to integrate and learn as much as possible about the culture we now form a part of. For me personally, England is the 7th country I have lived in thus far. As a result, attempting to integrate into a new society and culture is by no means a foreign concept to me. Here are my top 5 tips on how to do so:
The 20th century firmly cemented English in its position as the world language – the remnant of an empire, the tool of our global village, the hammer that broke down cultural walls. But where English thrives, so too do other languages suffer.
Save the whales, save the trees … save the languages! “What’s in it for me?” I hear you cry – well here’s a list of why learning German, in particular, actively improves your life and saves a dying species:
Have you ever considered moving to London before? Maybe you have a job opportunity to go there? Or maybe you’re Italian and Rossella’s tips before leaving the “Bel Paese”s convinced you to move to the UK?
Today, Lolonyo shares with us 10 things that want to make you move to London!
So you’ve finally finished University, you’re still in Italy and you’ve just started thinking about what your next step will be. A million questions are flowing through your mind and you are seriously considering leaving the “Bel Paese”.
Then suddenly the cosmopolitan and multicultural English capital flashes before your eyes: “why don’t I go to London and build my career and success there?“
Great idea! However, before making this decision, you need to make a list of things to consider and to do before leaving the sunny country – if you really want to have a job and success in the UK.
This Applied Languages student is officially two months into her internship at the Frankfurt Office of Euro London Appointments. The aim of this endeavour was to gain some valuable work experience and of course to improve my level of German. While all is thankfully going well in the office, what of my language learning? Has my German improved over the last two months and in my opinion is applying for an internship at Euro London Appointments a worthwhile investment of the language learner’s time?
The rest of Europe may jump to the conclusion that it’s la belle vie when it comes to the French working week, with the stereotypes of the 35 hour week and 2 hour lunches. However not all is as it seems, the 35 hour working week is often but words on a contract ignored not by employers but by employees.
It was once, and in many cases still is expected of residents of other countries to conform to our language. England has managed to slip further and further down the table when it comes to citizens learning new languages. For years this has been a problem but the European Education Commissioner warns that if England continues this bizarre mind frame then it is seriously going to have a damaging effect on their chances to enter and even sustain employment in the business world.
Figures cited by Androulla Vassiliou show that the UK is quite literally at the foot of a European languages league table. This is rather disappointing when compared to the rest of the EU the UK boasts a mere 9% of 15 year olds who spoke one foreign language, compared to other countries. For example both the Netherlands and Sweden, who of course topped the league table with a whopping 80% of 15 year olds speaking one or more language. 
The UK has quite simply become lazy when it comes to language learning due to high volumes of other countries learning English as a second language. However Ms Vassiliou, Education Commissioner said that “This attitude doesn’t work. We live in a globalised world. We travel a lot. The EU, for instance, won’t employ people unless they speak two other languages.” This is something a lot of people fail to understand, which may soon become increasingly out of control if action does not take place.
Which leads us to share our delight and success at a language event which took place from the 18th – 20th October when Euro London attended the Language Live Show in Olympia which saw excited crowds of language lovers flow through the open doors; a refreshing sight for eyes which are fed up of reading about the lack of enthusiasm which runs throughout the UK.
As we hosted both a seminar and a CV clinic we were delighted at the positive response, restoring faith in people in relation to language learning and furthering their careers using these languages. Something which we can only hope to see flourish to a greater degree within the next year!
If you joined us at the weekend, please get in touch via Facebook and share your experience with us. www.facebook.com/eurolondon