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Multilingualism and Social Media: Leeuwarden, 28-29 November 2014

International Expert Meeting

The Mercator European Research Centre for Language Learning of the Fryske Akademy and SOAS (University of London) are organising a two-day international expert conference on ‘Multilingualism & Social Media’. The conference will be held in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands, on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 November 2014.

This conference offers an international forum for discussion on the impact social media is having on language communities, attitudes, linguistic identities and behaviour and on the new possibilities and opportunities the world of social media is bringing to the world of languages. Discussions are particularly likely to focus on areas of language learning, minority, regional and endangered languages.

The rapid development, innovation and spread of social media and attendant technologies, are having a massive worldwide impact in a large variety of domains. The instant availability of information, media, contact, discussion fora and social networks and the corresponding new possibilities they bring for direct contact and communication, in a very wide and growing range of different languages, are generating new forms and modes of cultural, social, economic and political behaviour. The sheer diversity ranges from protest movements (eg ‘Arab Spring’), to the work of NGOs such as Médecins Sans Frontiers across developing countries. It includes the exponentially increasing online and global commerce and the makers of evermore creative and useful apps. Every individual person in the world can now organise a direct and instant global outreach for their own ideas, operating as world broadcasters, traders, entrepreneurs, humanitarians, inventors, artists, opinion leaders, holiday makers and so on. Moreover, they are often able to bypass existing circuits and channels, relatively easily engaging in alternative and far more informal modes of direct exchange.


• Daniel Cunliffe, University of South Wales
• David Little, Trinity College, Dublin
• Durk Gorter, Basque University
• Jannis Androutsopoulos, University of Hamburg
• Lorna Carson, Trinity College, Dublin
• Lysbeth Jongbloed, Fryske Akademy
• Sarah Cartwright, SOAS, University of London
• Sarah McMonagle, University of Hamburg
• Mandana Seyfeddinipur, SOAS, University of London
• Wim Benes, Fjoerfoks/Mozilla, Leeuwarden


Download here the preliminary conference programme.

Simultaneously on Friday 28 November, a 'Frisian Facebook Translation Sprint' is organized for volunteers to complete the Frisian-language version of Facebook in real-time. See here or here.

Practical info and registration

Date: 28th & 29th of November, 2014
Eden Oranjehotel
Stationsweg 4, 8911 AG Leeuwarden
Tel. +31582126241

Seminar fee: € 20,-- (including lunches and dinner)
Students free (no dinner)

For more information on this expert seminar and registration contact us through e-mail at mercator@fryske-akademy.nl.

Please take note that registration is possible until 14 November.