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Mayor fined €100k for bilingual inscription on village hall

On April 8, a Court of Appeals in Romania ruled that the mayor of Korond, a Transylvanian village, should remove the Hungarian inscription of the words 'Village Hall', written next to the Romanian inscription, from the municipality building. In addition, mayor Mihály Katona has to pay a fine of almost €100,000: about €87.50 for every day that the Hungarian inscription was visable in the last 12 years. The Federal Union of European Nationalities (FUEN) strongly objects to this form of intimidation of the Hungarian community in Romania. The FUEN states in a press release: "The EU has to offer a legal answer for these kind of situations. The Minority SafePack, the successful European Citizens’ Initiative which asks for European protection and support for autochthonous national minorities and language groups is the right solution." [Photo:FUEN]

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Korrika: eleven-day race for Basque language

From 4-14 April, the colorful event Korrika took place in the Basque Country for the 21st time since 1980. The Korrika is an eleven-day race for the Basque language, covering more than 2,000 kilometers without stopping. Hundreds of thousands of people participate every edition, to promote awareness and raise funds for Basque language schools.

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New report on application ECRML in Serbia

The Council of Europe published a new report on the application of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) in the Republic of Serbia. The experts welcome the progress made in education and media, but have concerns about pre-school education in Romani and the use of minority languages by administrative authorities.

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Russian-speaking Ukrainians concerned about new language law

Ukraine’s parliament has adopted a law that will require the use of the Ukrainian language in most aspects of public life. Supporters say it will strengthen national identity, but according to Russia it is discriminating against the Russian-speaking Ukrainians. A spokeswoman for Russia’s foreign ministry called the Ukrainian law “scandalous” and unconstitutional. The new legislation requires TV and film distribution firms to ensure 90 percent of their content is in Ukrainian and for printed media it has to be at least 50 percent. Winner of the recent presidential elections Zelenskiy, who speaks Russian natively, has avoided speaking out against the law. But he stated that he would “make a careful analysis of this law to ensure that it respects the constitutional rights and interests of all the citizens of Ukraine” after he is sworn in.

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Multilingualism in education: self-study unit and survey

Are you an educator, teacher, or lecturer who is open to reflect on and perhaps try out some multilingual ideas? If so, the international M-SOC self-study unit and research survey, hosted by the Graduate School of Education at the University of Exeter (UK), may be of interest to you.

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Public Office of the Catalan Language in Perpignan

The central French government has given green light to open the Public Office of the Catalan Language (Oficina Pública de la Llengua Catalana, OPLC) in Northern Catalonia. Thanks to a financial contribution, the office can now open its doors at the University of Perpignan in June 2019.

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PERL Conference


Teach and learn languages at university in the digital age (Call for Paper)

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CUSC-researcher Cabal awarded for thesis on Tatar

Researcher Miquel Cabal (from Mercator Network partner Centre de Recerca en Sociolingüística i Comunicació) has been awarded with a prize in XXII Premi Claustre de Doctors de la Universitat de Barcelona, for his doctoral thesis 'Attitudes, transmission and language use of Tatar people in Crimea', supervised by Carme Junyent.

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'Asylum interviews as linguistic conflict zones'

Distinguishing between “genuine” refugees and economic migrants is a linguistic process, stated Katrijn Maryns (Ghent University) at the symposium 'Language and Law' (Sydney University). "The asylum interview places extremely high linguistic demands on the asylum seeker while curtailing the possibilities for the production of a credible story."

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'Japlish': Japan struggles with English ahead of 2020 Olympics


A transportation company refers to children as "dwarfs", while another sign says "Put off your guilty shoes". Less than one and a half year ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, visitors are still struggling to comprehend the "Japlish", Japanese English. "This is a socio-linguistic issue," says Gregory Hadley from Niigata University. "We have to understand that none of the English-language signs that we see are really intended for English speakers. These are signs that have been written by Japanese people for Japanese readers to demonstrate that they are living in a sophisticated, cosmopolitan society that is connected to the rest of the world."

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COMBI modules online for migrant healthcare workers

The Erasmus+ funded COMBI project organised its last multiplier event in April at Swansea University, about 'Language learning of migrant healthcare workers in bilingual workplaces'. All of COMBI’s resources can be found on On, you can join a course about teaching and learning European minority languages in elderly care settings for free.

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Promote social equality for multiethnolect speakers?

Dr Ruth Kircher (our new Mercator European Research Center colleague) recently wrote a blog post about multiethnolects. It has its origins in mixed multicultural neighbourhoods of urban centres with large multilingual immigrant populations and their speakers face disadvantages compared to speakers of standard varieties. Kircher discusses possible measures to alleviate these disadvantages.

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9 - 11 May 2018, Corfu (Greece)
Multilingual Language Theories and Practices (MLTP2019)
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.

16 - 17 May 2019, Bolzano (Italy)
The BIG picture: repertori linguistici – Mehrsprachigkeit einmal anders
Organized by Eurac Research.

21 - 23 May 2019, Bielefeld (Germany)
International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education (ICMME 19)
Organized by Bielefeld University.

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

20 - 21 June 2019, Groningen (The Netherlands)
40th TABU Day 2019, International Linguistics Conference
Organized by University Of Groningen.

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

1 July 2019, Ghent (Belgium)
Symposium: The various guises of translanguaging
Organized by the Ghent University and Lancaster University.

2 July 2019, Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Ninth Cambridge Conference on Language Endangerment
Organized by the University of Cambridge.

3 - 5 July 2019, Soria (Spain)
Fifth International Colloquium on Languages, Cultures, Identity in Schools and Society
Organized by the Loyola Marymount University School of Education.

4 - 5 July 2019, Lisbon (Portugal)
2nd International Symposium on Endangered languages and language varieties in the Iberian Peninsula (LAPI 2019)
Organized by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLeS, SOAS World Languages Institute and the project FRONTESPO.

8 - 11 July 2019, Athens (Greece)
12th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics
Organized by the Athens Institute for Education and Research (ATINER) and the Athens Journal of Philology.

27 - 28 August 2019, Chania (Crete, Greece)
International Symposium on Monolingual and Bilingual Speech 2019 (ISMBS 2019)
Organized by the Institute of Monolingual and Bilingual Speech.

17 - 20 September 2019, Barcelona (Spain)
6th Barcelona Summer School on Bi- and Multilingualism (BSBM)
Organized by Pompeu Fabra University.

26 - 27 September 2019, Stirling (United Kingdom)
Languaging in Times of Change (tlang#2)
Organized by University of Stirling.

14 - 15 November 2019, Udine (Italy)
2nd International Colloquium on Plurilingualism (2nd ICP )
Organized by Udine University / Centro Internazionale sul Plurilinguismo.

20 - 22 November 2019, Graz (Austria)
Languages in an Open World 2019 (LOW 2019)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 30 June 2019
Organized by SOAS World Languages Institute (UK), Mercator European Research Centre (NL), the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CiDLeS), and the University of Graz /Plurilingualism Research Unit – Treffpunkt Sprachen (AT).

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