15 Nov Multilingualism in Europe – quick look into the future
The 2012 Euro barometer Report “Europeans and their languages was published last month and according to this, the future of multilingual Europe looks very bright considering the advancements made by Europeans in terms of knowledge of languages. Multilingualism in Europe has become a norm these days.
Multilingualism in Europe
Just like European countries went over all the world, people from all the world have been moving to Europe for the past half-century or so. This movement of people from different regions of the world to Europe has led to Multilingualism in Europe. When people move to a European country, they learn the native language to adjust to the local environment. These bilinguals make up the majority of the immigrants in Europe. European countries also teach different languages to kids in school. This way, the Europeans also become bilingual.
The advantage of knowing more than one European language is that you can travel within Europe easily without having to worry about the language barrier. Learning a second language is also a pretty good exercise for your brain. Being multilingual can also help you in making new friends and translating simple documents on your own. Surviving in Europe become a lot easy when you know more than one language.
Learning a foreign language
Also, a huge majority of Europeans (98%) consider learning at least one foreign language important for the future of their children. There are, of course, some downsides also, such as the fact that the proportion of respondents able to speak at least two languages has declined in at least five countries: * Slovakia (-17 percentage points to 80%) * The Czech Republic (-12 percentage points to 49%) * Bulgaria (-11 percentage points to 48%) * Poland (-7 percentage points to 50%) * Hungary (-7 percentage points to 35%) This dropping is mostly related to the school system of each country and its infrastructure, being unable to offer the best methods in teaching foreign languages.
Recently, a survey was passed to approximately 54,000 students, tested in two out of five most taught languages in the EU (English, French, German, Italian and Spanish), which indicated that: 1. 42% are competent in their first foreign language. 2. 25% in their second. 3. Basic knowledge isn’t achieved by 14% for the first foreign language and 20% for the second.
Investing in language and intercultural skills
These issues can also reach other industries and markets in the future if there’s nothing done about it because linguistic diversity and investing in language and intercultural skills can be turned into a real asset for prosperity and a benefit for all. Importance of multilingualism on business in the EU
* Because of this loss of interest in foreign languages, with Asia and Latin America acquiring solid language skills, Europe runs the risk of losing competitiveness.
* Language skills are crucial, if tomorrow’s workforce is to consider all of Europe their home base.
* Language strategies are endorsed at the highest management level in companies across Europe. This consists of investments in language training, of employment of native speakers and of ensuring good multilingual communication via the Internet. This is one way Multilingualism in Europe might go up.
* Multilingualism plays a huge part also for national export promotion organizations, such as trade councils.
* A European platform is required for a structured exchange of information and of best practices involving languages for business.
Diverse language skills allow for communication, for understanding and for finding new solutions. Multilingualism in Europe is an important aspect the European Union is always taking it into account. It is very important in our society that education and professional training takes account of these needs and offers everybody a broad range of skills.
We at DutchTrans also take Multilingualism in Europe into account but also understand the need for the success of your business and that’s why we only employ professional native linguists, together delivering the most accurate and professional translation on time.