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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Does the Mercator Research Centre provide language courses?
  2. What is the definition of a minority language?
  3. What is a minority language area territory?
  4. What are ‘non-territorial languages’?
  5. How many minority languages are there in Europe?
  6. In which countries within Europe are minority languages spoken?
  7. How many minority language speakers are there in Europe?
  8. Where can I find information about education of minority languages?
  9. I am looking for information about national minorities in the EU. Can you help me find some relevant links?
  10. Where can I find teaching material for a specific minority language?
  11. Is there a possibility to contact other minority languages schools in Europe?
  12. Where can I find information about bilingual- en trilingual education?
  13. Ask us a question.
  1. Does the Mercator Research Centre provide language courses? 
    No, the Mercator Research Centre does not provide language courses, but we can provide addresses of organisations in the European Union that do provide minority language courses.
  2. What is the definition of a minority language?
    Minority languages (minority languages do not include dialects of the official languages) means languages that are:
    - traditionally used within a given territory of a state by nationals of that state who form a group numerically smaller than the rest of the state’s population;
    - different from the official language(s) of that state;
    Minority rights in Europe Patrick Thornberry and Maria Amor Martin Esténabez. –Strasbourg : Council of Europe Publishing, 2004. – p. 141
  3. What is a minority language area territory?
    The geographical area in which the said language is the mode of expression of a number of people justifying the adoption of the various protective and promotional measures provided for.
    Minority rights in Europe / Patrick Thornberry and Maria Amor Martin Esténabez. –Strasbourg : Council of Europe Publishing, 2004. – p. 141
  4. What are ‘non-territorial languages’?
    Languages used by nationals of the state which differ from the language or languages used by the rest of the state’s population but which traditionally were used within the territory of the state.
    Minority rights in Europe / Patrick Thornberry and Maria Amor Martin Esténabez. –Strasbourg : Council of Europe Publishing, 2004. – p. 141
  5. How many minority languages are there in Europe?
    There are approximately 60 minority languages when the official definition of the language charter is taken into account. There are however many more, for example the German minorities which are widely spread around Europe.
  6. In which countries within Europe are minority languages spoken?
    In all European countries except for Iceland minority languages are spoken. 
  7. How many minority language speakers are there in Europe?
    Approximately 55 million (rough estimate).
  8. Where can I find information about education of minority languages?
    Information of this kind can be found in the regional dossiers of the Mercator Research Centre. Each dossier focuses on one minority language region and until now thirtyseven dossiers have been published. Next to the regional dossiers, you can find information about minority languages in education in the catalogue of our library and in the Minority Language Factsheets of the new EU member states. Through the website of Eurydice and the Council of Europe (department of education) information about educational systems of EU member states is available.
  9. I am looking for information about national minorities in the EU. Can you help me find some relevant links?
    Interesting links on minority languages can be found at our homepage, in the section Minority language links. Furthermore on the portal of the European Union, the news service of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages, Eurolang and our partners Mercator-Legislation and Mercator-Media.
  10. Where can I find teaching material for a specific minority language?
    Information on teaching material can be found in the regional dossiers. The names and addresses of the institutions that are responsible for the development of this material are mentioned. You can also find teaching material on our website www.networkofschools.org
  11. Is there a possibility to contact other minority languages schools in Europe?
    Yes, the best instrument for that is our network of multilingual schools in minority language regions. Visit our website www.networkofschools.org. The Mercator Research Centre can act as a mediator between the schools.
  12. Where can I find information about bilingual- en trilingual education?
    Information can be found on our website www.networkofschools.org, under the section Literature, and in our library. Further information can be found on the website of Eurydice