KUALA LUMPUR – The European Day of Languages will be held virtually on Sept 26 in conjunction with its 20th anniversary celebration which, among others, is aimed at promoting the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.
The Second Vice President of European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) Malaysia, JoAnna E. Jurczyga, said the event – organised by EUNIC Malaysia cluster – provides a platform for the European societies to strengthen International dialogue and cultural cooperation besides raising awareness on the importance of lifelong language learning.
“During this event, there will be virtual activities for the participants to get to know several European countries and languages through a proverb competition and series of quizzes.
“Participants will stand a chance to win English, French or German language course in Malaysia and other amazing prizes from various embassies and cultural and linguistic centres,” she told Bernama in an interview.
Commenting further, Jurczyga, who is Cultural Affairs and Public Diplomacy Officer of the Embassy of Poland in Malaysia, said Europe has a rich diversity of languages and cultures – with 200 languages spoken across the European continent alone, 24 Official EU languages, and an estimated figure of around 60 regional or minority languages spoken by some 40 million people.
She said learning a foreign language is essential in helping one to understand the culture of others, adding that it is a form of respect and gratitude shown towards people from other cultures.
Jurczyga said being a Polish citizen herself, she uses the Malaysian slang word ‘tapau’, which basically means “takeaway” when ordering food at fast food restaurants in Malaysia.
“It’s cool that almost everyone in Malaysia uses it as opposed to “takeaway”, and this helped me to better understand the rich linguistic and cultural diversity in Malaysia,” she added.
The first European Year of Languages was jointly organised by the Council of Europe and the European Union in 2001, involving millions of people across 45 participating countries.
EUNIC Malaysia Cluster operates since 2014 and today has 16 active members including, among others, Alliance Francaise Malaysia, British Council Malaysia, Goethe-Institut Malaysia and Instituto Cervantes of Kuala Lumpur.
For further information, please visit EUNIC Malaysia Facebook or Instagram page with the handle @EUNICMalaysia #EUNICMalaysia.