Monday, July 18, 2011

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Project launched to combat communication problems

Author: Alena Fricova
15 July 2011 - Issue : 944

A new project, funded co-operatively by the European Commisssion and is to set up an online Language Observatory by December 2012. The main purpose of the project is to analyse the best ways to implement language policies and provide objective tools for solving everyday communication problems.
The project was established earlier this year to create an interactive website concerning multilingualism in Europe that will work as an online observatory. Including links to reference guides, dictionaries, news, publications, research and policy papers, the portal will be focused on policymakers, teachers and civil-society organisations.

"You may speak four languages but you will never speak twenty four of them, so then you need to rely on other tools and try to figure out how to communicate bearing in mind that English doesn't always work," said Uwe Mohr, the director of the project.

Soon, the EU will be home to 450 million Europeans from diverse ethnic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds, which will mean that it will be more important that citizens have the necessary skills to understand and communicate with their neighbours. This also relates to migrant workers, enabling them to learn languages more easily thus improving their chances of finding a job.

The main goal of the EU is to make all Europeans able to speak their mother tongue plus two foreign languages. To achieve this goal and avoid misunderstandings throughout Europe, the portal will also attempt to document good practice on language learning. For example, the site will provide suggestions about the best time to begin learning a foreign language and how many languages can be learned at the same time.

Read more: Project launched to combat communication problems - New Europe

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