Mercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network PictureMercator Network Picture

Minority SafePack Initiative will be shelved until the next term

Following the European Commission’s refusal to have a dialogue on the Minority SafePack Initiative, the initiators of the successful European Citizens’ Initiative will wait until the new European Commission is established following next year’s elections for the European Parliament. The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN), which launched the ECI, says "mistrust" exists over the real intentions of the current European Commission in relation to the Minority SafePack Initiative. "The refusal to have a face-to-face meeting with the representatives of one million European citizens’ voice is unworthy to the European Commission", said FUEN President Loránt Vincze. "The answer is a political one and shows that we were right in being sceptical about the EC’s good intentions regarding minority rights and their will in making the ECI a working tool for direct democracy in Europe."

Mercator Network Picture

World Day of Romani Language

On the occasion of the World Day of Romani Language on 5 November 2018, Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland of the Council of Europe released a statement: "I call on member states to step up efforts to recognize, protect, promote, and develop the Romani language in Europe. The Romani language and its many variants are an integral part of our common European cultural and linguistic heritage and wealth. 16 Council of Europe member states have so far officially recognized Romani as a minority language under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. Enabling and promoting its use in education, the media, and public life, will contribute to increasing the respect of the dignity and identity of Roma people."

Read the full statement

Mercator Network Picture

Mercator Vacancy: Postdoc Researcher Multilingualism

At the Mercator European Research Center in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands), a position will be open for a Postdoc Researcher Multilingualism and Language Learning. Mercator will publish all information about this vacancy in the course of December. The Mercator European Research Center for Multilingualism and Language Learning is part of the Fryske Akademy and member of several international academic networks. Mercator is a platform for minority languages in Europe and focuses on knowledge gaining, dissemination and application by doing research, undertaking various activities and carrying out projects. Are you interested? Please keep an eye on the Mercator and Fryske Akademy websites.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

'Learning and teaching in a multilingual world'

The LANGSCAPE Research Network present the book “Language Learning and Teaching in a Multilingual World” by Marie-Françoise Narcy-Combes et al. The book proposes a flexible and adaptive framework for designing and implementing language learning environments and tasks, which will be useful for practitioners working in classrooms where many languages are already spoken. The framework is based on a review of current research and an examination of case studies from around the world. It is due to be published in March 2019.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

'La llengua de la plaça / The language of the square'

Language sociologist and Valencian journalist Toni Mollà presented his latest book at a CUSC Seminar on Sociolinguistics and Language Policy. With this seminar, Mercator Network partner CUSC (Centre de Recerca en Sociolingüística i Comunicació) celebrated it's 20th anniversary. In his book, Mollà makes a diagnosis of the situation of the Catalan language based on the most determining factors in an open and complex world, such as the public space - physical, audiovisual and virtual - and the market, with all the dialectical interrelations that entail.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

"Breton language threatened with extinction"

Fifty associations working for the Breton language have sent a joint open letter to Loïg Chesnais-Girard, the president of the Brittany Region. They state that if the local authority does not double its budget devoted to Breton in 2019, the language will have disappeared at the end of the century. The average age of Breton speakers increases: people over 60 represent nearly 80% of the number of Breton speakers. This "inevitably induces a decrease of half of the Breton-speakers in the next ten to fifteen years", underline the authors of the open letter.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

Catalan and Irish resolutions approved at ELEN

At the European Language Equality Network (ELEN) General Assembly in Dublin, the Plataforma per la Llengua presented three resolutions regarding the current political situation in Catalonia, the presence of the Catalan language within the Northern Catalonia education system and the reciprocity of audiovisual signals in Catalan between the various Catalan-speaking territories. A resolution, supporting the implementation of the Irish language Act in the north of Ireland, was presented by Conradh na Gaeilge. All resolutions were approved.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

Knowledge exchange in Frisian (DE/NL) education

School teachers from North-Frisia in Germany were in the Dutch province of Friesland for a two-day visit, focusing on the exchange of expertise and information about Frisian in education. In Germany, the North-Frisian language is currently offered on a number of schools. However, there is no systematic application of the language in education and there is a shortage of materials and teachers. The plan is to have a return visit from teachers from Friesland to North-Frisia next year. The ambition is to create a more structural cooperation between the two Frisian countries in the field of education and science.

Read more

Mercator Network Picture

Trilingual tourist signage in Moldovan Chişinău

The Mayor of Chişinău and representatives of the Council of Europe, the EU, and national minorities inaugurated the city’s new multilingual tourist signs. Chişinău is one of the Republic of Moldova’s pilot municipalities for the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. The trilingual signs will mark the most important tourist attractions in Romanian, English, and in one of the minority languages Russian, Ukrainian, German, Bulgarian and Yiddish. The 184 signs were implemented in the framework of the CofE/EU project 'Protecting national minorities and minority languages in Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Belarus'.

Read more

Conference 'Big Cities Small Languages' in Berlin

Big Cities Small Languages

From 13-15 November, the SOAS World Languages Institute, the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLeS), Mercator Research Centre and the Zentrum für Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft organised the conference Big Cities Small Languages in Berlin. Scholars from all over the world shared their work on multilingualism and language maintanance in urban areas such as Manchester and New York: big cities functioning as a new home to small languages, leading to a surprisingly rich local linguistic diversity. [Photography: Anne Schwarz]

SOAS ConferenceSOAS Conference
SOAS ConferencePresenting the results of the COMBI project


14 - 16 February 2019, York (United Kingdom)
Language, Identity and Education in Multilingual Contexts (LIEMC19)
Organized by University of York.

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

9 - 11 May 2018, Corfu (Greece)
Multilingual Language Theories and Practices (MLTP2019)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 15 January 2019
Organized by MultiLingNet and Ionian University.

15 - 16 May 2019, Hamar (Norway)
Multilingual Childhoods: Education, Policy and Practice (MC 2019)
Organized by Inland Norway University and Oslo Metropolitan University.

21 - 23 May 2019, Bielefeld (Germany)
International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education (ICMME 19)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 31 December 2018
Organized by Bielefeld University.

22 - 24 May 2019, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)
17th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVII)
Organized by Mercator Research Centre.

29 - 30 May 2019, Västerås (Sweden)
Interactional Competences and Practices in a Second Language (ICOP-L2)
Organized by Mälardalen University.

17 - 19 June 2019, Jyväskylä (Finland)
Thinking, Doing, Learning: Usage based perspectives on second language learning (TDL4)
Organized by University of Jyväskylä.

26 - 28 June 2019, Leeuwarden/ Ljouwert (The Netherlands)
International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 10)
Organized by Fryske Akademy.

2 July 2019, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Ninth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment
* Deadline Call for Papers: 7 April 2019
Organized by the University of Cambridge.

3-5 July 2019, Soria (Spain)
Fifth International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity in Schools and Society
* Deadline Call for Papers: 31 January 2019
Organized by the Loyola Marymount University School of Education.

27 - 28 August 2019, Chania (Crete, Greece)
International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2019 (ISMBS 2019)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 5 February 2019
Organized by the Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech.

14 - 15 November 2019, Udine (Italy)
2nd International Colloquium on Plurilingualism (2nd ICP )
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 April 2019
Organized by Udine University / Centro Internazionale sul Plurilinguismo.

Please send us your comments and suggestions!
Due to the holidays, the next newsletter will appear in the second week of January 2019.

twitter link

Please add us to your contacts to ensure the newsletters land in your inbox.