20 years European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

Twenty years ago, on 1 March 1998 to be precise, the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) entered into force, becoming the only legally binding instrument worldwide dedicated to the protection and promotion of such languages. It was adopted, on the one hand, in order to maintain and to develop the Europe's cultural traditions and heritage, and on the other, to respect an inalienable and commonly recognised right to use a regional or minority language in private and public life.

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Fostering regional identities and minority languages

Identity is a hot topic today, in Europe as well as Friesland. Citizens are grappling with the impact of globalisation on their cultural heritage. Can a strong regional identity survive? What further steps could the European Union take to safeguard regional identities while at the same time intensifying cooperation between the regions? The Province of Friesland, home base of Leeuwarden European Capital of Culture 2018, cordially invites you to the Fryslândei (Frisian Day) on 4th of September in the Solvay Library in Brussels to discuss these topics.

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Norway makes progress, further efforts needed

A new evaluation report by the Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages states that Norway fulfilled almost all undertakings under Part III of the Charter for North Sami. Difficulties persist with the use of special characters in public registers in North Sami and Lule Sami. The Kven language is still in a precarious situation. The need for measures to promote the language, especially in education, still persists. Romani and Romanes are almost invisible in public life. Norway was the first State to ratify the Charter in 1993; it entered into force in Norway in 1998.

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German for non-mother tongue students in Austria

From September 2018, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research will implement new measures aimed at facilitating the integration of non-mother tongue students and their educational development. Children with no or very limited knowledge of German when they enter the school system, will be assigned to German language classes. For Primary school that means 15 hours per week of intensive language training; for secondary schools 20 hours per week (in the context of their hourly table).

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Raising children: autism and bilingualism

Is it possible to raise a child with autism to be bilingual? Studies show that there is little evidence to support the widely held view that multilingual exposure is detrimental to the development of individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders. Being monolingual in a bilingual family can limit the child’s communication opportunities and deny them full participation in family life. Dr. Napoleon Katsos and Dr. Jenny Gibson from the University of Cambridge give an overview of studies and some practical advice in this article:

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Crowdfunding campaign for online Cornish TV

The Cornish Language Fellowship (Kowethas an Yeth Kernewek) supports the development of Cornish Language TV (Pellwolok an Gernewegva) and organised a crowdfunding project to raise £6000,-. They hope to create a sustainable internet-based television service in the Cornish language (Kernewek) and to produce programs and to train volunteers on a more regular basis. Cornish is spoken in Cornwall (south-western United Kingdom) by only half a thousand people.

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Official regional status for Sardinian language

The Sardinian Regional Council launched a law to regulate the Sardinian language and the other languages spoken on the island. The aim is to guarantee an official status of the island's idiom and to reactivate the transmission of linguistic skills between the different generations. The Council allocates 7 million euros for the three years to come and provides for the establishment of a Language Consultation Centre. Contributions for Sardinian TV, radio and IT tools are planned.

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Endangered languages of the Yukaghir people

The Yukaghir are a people in East Siberia, living in the basin of the Kolyma River. The Yukaghir languages are a small family of two closely related languages—Tundra and Kolyma Yukaghir. At the 2002 Russian census, both Yukaghir languages taken together had 604 speakers. Dr. Cecilia Odé from the University of Amsterdam did twelve years of research and preservation of these indigineous Siberian languages and culture. She was interviewed about her work on Dutch National Radio.

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Disney's 'The Incredibles 2' dubbed in Catalan

With the support of the General Department of Language Policy of the Department of Culture (Direcció General de Política Lingüística del Departament de Cultura), the Disney movie 'The Incredibles 2' is dubbed in Catalan. The Catalan title is 'Els increïbles 2', the trailer can be watched on youtube. The animation movie about a family of superheroes is directed by Brad Bird and will be released on Friday, August 3 2018. 'Els increïbles 2' is playing in 30 different theaters in Catalunya.

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HIGA! Summit of Young Speakers of Minoritized Languages

Greko Ambassadors

With 75 participants from 32 different language communities, the 2nd Summit of Young Speakers of Minoritized Languages HIGA! (Hizkuntza Gutxituetako Hiztun Gazteen II Topaketa) from 16-19 July was a succesful event. It was organized by Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (University of the Basque Country) and Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council. F. Xavier Vila, director of CUSC, was one of the plenary speakers of HIGA!. He spoke about «Algunes claus per a entendre la política lingüística» («Key points to understand language policy»).


23 - 25 August 2018, Reykjavík (Iceland)
Conference of the Foundation for Endangered Languages: Endangered Languages and the Land - Mapping Landscapes of Multilingualism
Organized by Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding (University of Reykjavík) and the Foundation for Endangered Languages.

30 August - 1 September 2018, Malta
Multilingual Education in Linguistically Diverse Contexts 2018
Organized by the University of Malta.

4 September 2018, Brussels (Belgium)
Frisian Encounter: Fostering regional identities and minority languages
Organized by the Province of Fryslân.

4 - 6 September 2018, Bolzano (Italy)
Inclusion of Multiple Languages in Mainstream Education (ECER)
Organized by the European Educational Research Association (EERA) and the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.

12 - 13 September 2018, Birmingham (United Kingdom)
French in Multilingual Urban Centres
Organized by the Aston University.

13 - 15 September 2018, Lissabon (Spain)
XIth International Conference on Multilingualism and Third Language Acquisition
Organized by the University of Lisbon.

26 - 29 September 2018, Osnabrück (Germany)
Le français en contact et en conflit : Minorités linguistiques, variétés sous-standard et langues de migrants
Organized by the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München.

27 - 28 September 2018, Sestri Levante, Genoa (Italy)
3rd International Conference on the Sociolinguistics of Immigration (Slimig2018)
Organized by the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and Modern Cultures of the University of Turin.

14 - 16 November 2018, Berlin (Germany)
Big Cities, Small Languages
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 15 July 2018
Organized by The SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), Mercator Research Centre, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation and the Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft.

22 - 24 November 2018, Talinn (Estonia)
Multilingual Awareness and Multilingual Practices (MAMP18)
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 15 August 2018
Organized by Tallinn University, School of Humanities.

29 - 30 November 2018, Madrid (Spain)
Language and Society Conference on Bilingualism and Interculturality (BIUNED)
Organized by Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.

29 - 30 November 2018, Madrid (Spain)
II International Conference on Language and Migration (2CILEI-18)
Organized by University of Alcalá.

25 - 27 March 2019, Valetta (Malta)
2nd International Conference on Bilingualism
Organized by University of Malta.

15 - 16 May 2019, Hamar (Norway)
Multilingual Childhoods: Education, Policy and Practice (MC 2019)
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 30 October 2018
Organized by Inland Norway University and Oslo Metropolitan University.

22 - 25 May 2019, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
17th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVII)
>> Deadline Call for Papers: 1st October 2018
Organized by Mercator Research Centre.

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