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Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning

hosted by the Fryske Akademy, researches multilingual education and language learning in Europe. For policy makers and professional workers, it is an independent and recognized reference centre. Mercator European Research Centre brings Europe to Fryslân and Fryslân to Europe.


Mercator Newsletter #147 online

With a lot of news about minority languages and multilingualism!

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Vacancy: Postdoc researcher

At the Mercator European Research Center, a position is open for a Postdoc researcher Multilingualism and Language Learning, for 32 hours / 0.842 fte.

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17th International Conference on Minority Languages in Leeuwarden

From 22 to 24 May 2019 the 17th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVII) takes place in Leeuwarden (Ljouwert), organized by the Mercator European Research Centre.

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Endangered languages and archives

This project focuses on the study of language contact, language change, and the reconstruction of historical sound recordings. Focus areas are the Russian Federation and neighbouring countries.

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Globalization has affected our world in countless ways. ICML XVII will address the challenges and opportunities of smaller languages such as minority...

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Final event to launch the COMBI project resources for training migrants in bilingual work settings.

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The ECSPM and the Centre of Literacy and Multilingualism organise the symposium 'Multilingual challenges: mediating images, languages and language...

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School teachers from North-Frisia in Germany visit Friesland and the Mercator Knowledge Centre for information and knowledge exchange in Frisian...

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Mercator publishes a new Regional Dossier

The Gaelic Language in Education in Scotland, by Boyd Robertson

Professor Boyd Robertson is Principal at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig UHI (National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture). He originally compiled the dossier on the Gaelic language in 2001, when he was working for the University of Strathclyde. Robertson updated the dossier in 2017.

Download the updated dossier here: The Gaelic Language in Education in Scotland.

Research at Mercator


Mercator European Research Centre for multilingualism and language learning represents an internationally recognized, independent reference centre, where policy makers and stakeholders can obtain information and advice about multilingual education, policy and legislation in Europe, based on academic research. To obtain reliable information about small languages spoken in other European countries, Mercator closely cooperates with other European experts, institutions and universities. Research questions under study at Mercator include:

Mercator's Regional Dossiers

Sharing Knowledge

Mercator European Research Centre shares and disseminates collected knowledge, online and via its publications:

  • The Mercator Regional Dossiers, written by experts from all over Europe, describe in-depth language education and legislation of less-used languages in Europe;
  • Research reports, based on Mercator's research projects, are freely downloadable;
  • Via the Mercator Network Newsletter, Mercator shares news with more than 2000 subscribers, all over Europe, about less used languages in Europe and about upcoming events;
  • The Mercator library contains over 6500 books and articles concerning less used languages and multilingualism.

Mercator continuously works towards new ways to improve knowledge dissemination:

  • Mercator is currently developing an online platform offering information about education and policy of less used languages
Mercator's network in 2016

Bringing people together

Mercator European Research Centre is an academic platform where experts and policy makers in the fields of minority language education and policy can meet and exchange knowledge:

  • Mercator Research Centre organizes conferences, seminars and workshops, where academics and educational experts and teachers meet and exchange knowledge and experiences.
  • Together with the Mercator Network, Mercator European Research Centre runs projects, such as the LEARNMe Project (2012-2016), which provided policy guidelines, based on research and best practices, for the education of less used languages;
  • With its Database of Experts, Mercator increases the visibility of academics in the field of less used languages, and offers an overview of European expertise in this field of study.
  • Mercator offers an online platform, called the Network of Schools, where European schools that teach less-used languages, discuss challenges, and share ideas;
  • Mercator interviews experts in the fields of minority language policy and education - what do they work on, and what drives them? - and shares these interviews online via the Expert in the Spotlight section.  

Read more about our international partnerships.