European Language Day 2018

Latvian Language Agency is honoured to present the annual celebration of languages – a whole programme of events under the European Language Day. This day is celebrated in Europe on September 26th since the year 2001. This year, for the fourtheenth year in a row events in Latvia were organised and coordinated by the Latvian Language Agency, in close partnership with a number of cooperation partners.

Our programme of European Language day started On Seotember 1st at the Saldus City Library where we inaugurated photo exhibition „If It’s a Mistake, Make it Funny”. On September 18th Ventspils University of Applied Sciences and Baltic – German University Liaison Office hosted a theme event „Globalisation and Language”.

On September 25th we held a though exchange workshop under the title „Translating the World into Latvian Language”, showcasing such participants as Andrejs Vasiļjevs, Baiba Moļņika, Arno Jundze, Sigita Kušnere, Juta Pīrāga and Janušs Kaminskis. This event gathered distinguished experts from the literature and literary translation field to a panel discussion on teaching and preparing a new generation of translators and interpreters, but also on the diverse opportunities that a translator can encounter by becoming an ambassador of their language through the medium of literature. This event started at 11:00 a.m. and same day at 14:15 Latvia Univeristy Faculty of Humanities hosted a ceremonial inauguration of portraits of outstanding linguists J.Endzelīns and P. Šmits, which was followed by a lecture „English Language: Is It Really Illogical?” by lecturer Lauma Terēze Lapa. Later that day, at 17:00 Europe House was the venue for Masterclass in Greek Language, that offered an introduction to the basics of the Greek language and a glimpse into Greek culture. This class was lead by Prof. Ilze Rūmniece from the University of Latvia, founder of the Latvia University Centre of Hellenic studies. The other teacher was Gatis Ezerkalns, who had just graduated from his studies of Contemporary Greek language in Greece.

On September 26th, EU House offered a musical event „Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – 100 years! Listen and Sing the Languages of Baltic States!”, where participants were invited to learn the basics and try singing in all three languages: Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian. At the beginning of the event, from 18:00 participants were offered to learn short phrases in Lithuanian and Estonian languages as well as hear some exciting facts about these languages. This was followed by singing together, interactively lead by folklore group „Budēļi”.

Other European languages were also presented during this week. Special classes were held offering participants to listen to the sound and melody of a language, learn to say a few important words and phrases, as well as get inspired to eventually learn some of these languages more in-depth.

German language workshop on September 26th, at 15:00 showcased well known German ex-pat musician Jorans Steinhauers, who speaks several languages freely but regards German as his native language.

French Language workshop at 17:00 on September 27th offered a presentation of the French language with lecturers from the French Institute in Latvia. Participants engaged in interactive discussions about French words and phrases. Class offered a chance to hear many common words spoken in daily life, as well as a special selection of words that are similar in French and Latvian.

At 17:30 on September 27th started yet another class at „Birojnica”- „Latvian Language in the Family of European Languages”. This event was hosted by Elvis Jansons and included presentations by linguists Ilze Rūmniece and Jānis Silis.

On September 28th, at 17:00 in the afternoon Director of the Spanish Culture centre „Seneca” Javier Fernandez Cruz delivered at lecture „Spain: Myths and Truths”. Javier Fernandez Cruz has been teaching Spanish in Latvia for over ten years. His lecture provided a chance to learn some new exciting facts about the Spanish language and Spanish traditions, while also opened our eyes to certain misleading stereotypes about life in Spain.

Valmiera city hosted a larger cooperation project „School Bridges” between Latvian and Swedish educational establishments, with several events running from September 26th to September 29th.

The project aimed at promoting further cooperation between schools in Latvia and Sweden, including with Latvian diaspora schools abroad. This exchange event offered a chance for representatives from schools in Sweden and teachers from Latvian diaspora schools to get a deeper insight into the Latvian education system and school programmes, as well as to see with their own eyes how the schools actually work on normal day-today basis. Teachers from Latvian schools got an opportunity to know more about possibilities for learning Latvian language abroad and to exchange valuable experieces.

Baltic International Academy held a quiz show for students of humaniora „100 years of Latvia (1918 – 2018) in European Translations” on October 1st.

On October 5th to 6th Tartu University hosted the 6th International Baltic Students Conference „Bridged in the Baltics” .

On October 18th at 10:30 the EU House in Riga hosted international language consultant symposium „Challenges in the Life of Language Consultants”.

Our Agency announced yet another school student creative writing competition „My Childhood Story” on September 26th. This competition was open to schoolchildren and teenagers from Latvia and abroad, while adults and young adults were inivited to participate in story and photography competition „Word in the Right (Wrong) Place”. Competitions ran until November 18th, and rules of the competitions can be found on the homepage of Latvian Language Agency :

We invited enthusiasts in Latvia and abroad to participate and enrich the learning and usage experience of languages spoken in Europe, while also honouring and recognizing the Latvian language as our official state language.

European Language Day is an initiative of the Council of Europe. Latvian Language Agency implements the initiative in Latvia in cooperation with a whole number of partner organizations. European Language Day is held annually on September 26th, while many exciting events are held both before and after this date as well.