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'Scotland's Gaelic communities to 'die out' in 10 years'

The community use of Gaelic will reach a moribund stage within 10 years if current trends continue, with only isolated networks of elderly speakers left. The social use of Gaelic is at the 'point of collapse', with around 11,000 vernacular speakers found largely among the over-50s. That is the result of a comprehensive sociolinguistic survey of the state of Gaelic as a communal language by the Islands Gaelic Research Project (IGRP) from the University of the Highlands and Islands. They conducted a series of interviews across the Westerns Isles, Staffin in the Isle of Skye and the Isle of Tiree, which were published in the book 'The Gaelic Crisis in the Vernacular Community'.

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'Discrimination of Finnish-speaking children'

The European Court of Human Rights will rule on whether a Swedish school took sufficient action to prevent language-based discrimination. The Västerås local authorities and the school employees were accused by parents of prohibiting Finnish-speaking children from speaking their native language.

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Report calls for more Irish-speaking teachers

The Committee of Experts of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages states in a new report that there should be more education in Irish, that there is a need to train more Irish-speaking teachers, and that Ulster-Scots "continues to have a weak presence in public life" in Northern Ireland.

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Parliament adopts amendment on Hungarian Sign Language

Our Hungarian Mercator partner, the Research Centre for Multilingualism (RCM) from the Research Institute for Linguistics/ Eötvös Loránd Research Network, wrote us that on 3 July 2020, the Hungarian Parliament adopted the amendment T/10734 to the Act on Hungarian Sign Language and the Use of Hungarian Sign Language with full consent. Thanks to the current amendment, a number of issues have been added to an earlier law (2009) and for which there has been a growing demand in the Hungarian deaf community over the last 11 years. The two most important complements of the amendment are the following:
1) it defines the roles and tasks of sign language interpreters, deaf sign language interpreters, defines the notion of native sign language user, and sign language interpreter service;
2) it provides the possibility of taking a state language exam in Hungarian Sign Language from 2021, which will be accepted by higher education institutions as a certificate of foreign language proficiency.

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Language right report: call on Spanish government

The Catalan-language organisation Plataforma per la Llengua demands that the Spanish government comply with its international commitments after the United Nations Special Rapporteur on National Minorities (UN), Fernand de Varennes, warned of the situation of human rights violations suffered by minorities in Spain.

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Machine translation systems for minority languages

When the tools to efficiently process what you write are not available in the languages of your choice, you are forced to switch to another language to continue your online activity. Machine translation could be a solution. Prof. Mikel L. Forcada from the University of Alicante describes the challenges involved in building machine translation systems for disadvantaged languages.

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Promoting Catalan: perspectives and rationales

A new online course from the Universitat de Barcelona, organised by CUSC and with support from the Government of Catalonia, aims to provide students with up-to-date arguments to promote the social use of Catalan stemming from research on different areas, from language and political economy to ecolinguistics, liberalism and plurilingual education. Enrolment: before 15 Sept. 2020.

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FAQ's: Multilingual approach in the classroom

How can I encourage my colleagues to incorporate a multilingual approach in the classroom? How can teachers help students to overcome feeling ashamed of their home language? The VirtuLApp project addresses these and other challenges with a selection of short videos, in which experts share their perspective and concrete ideas about the creation of multilingual classrooms.

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CocoTV: Krio and Wolof

British-Gambian vlogger Coco posts make-up tutorials in native languages

ER sign language

Isle of Wight ER staff learn sign language

Message app Telegram available in Friulian language

The popular message application Telegram, with over 400 million active users, is now also available in the Friulian language. The platform interface has been fully translated, for all operating systems such as Android, iOS, TDesktop, MacOs and Android X, with guaranteed maintenance. This is the result of the work of an enthousiastic group of volunteers, supported by ARLeF (Agjenzie Regjonâl pe Lenghe Furlane). "It is confirmed, once again, that the Friulian, like all the other languages ​​of the world, is not precluded from any road of communication", says Eros Cisilino, president of ARLeF. "[This modern tool] is being used daily by all groups of users and, in particular, by young people [and] they know how to appreciate and enhance these tools that are very useful for increasing the knowledge of the Friulian language".

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Call: Bilingualism, heritage languages and migration

The second International Conference on Bilingualism (12-13 Nov. 2020) will be an online event. The Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED) welcomes proposals that deal with bilingualism, while establishing a clear correlation between bilingual speakers’ linguistic choices and migration. Deadline: 21 Sept. 2020.

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Media coverage on social media report Catalan

The report 'Català, youtubers i instagramers... [Catalan, youtubers and instagrammers: a starting point to promote the use of the language]', co-authored by researchers Marina Massaguer, Avel·lí Flors-Mas and F. Xavier Vila from Mercator partner CUSC, has received a considerable amount of media attention.

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Minority language media and COVID-19: the case of Welsh

The European Centre of Minority Issues (ECMI) started an online serie of expert interviews in the field of minority language media across Europe. Prof. Elin Haf Gruffydd Jones, affiliated with the University of Wales Trinity Saint David and founder member of the Mercator Network, was the first expert to be interviewed. "The consumption of news produced by broadcasters in Wales increased during the lockdown period [...] Audiences in Wales have turned to the public service broadcasters for many reasons, not least to access the most detailed information on the prevalence of the COVID-19 in their localities but also to be informed of the actions of Welsh Government, as well as those of the UK Government, as the two governments have not implemented the same measures during the same periods of lockdown."


ONLINE: 23 - 25 September 2020, London (United Kingdom)
Teaching and Learning Resources for Endangered Languages (FEL 24)
Organised by the Foundation for Endangered Languages and the University College London.

14 - 16 October 2020, Murcia (Spain)
13th International GLAT Congress: Le monde connecté et les approches interculturelles: vers un nouveau paradigme des frontières ?
Organised by the University of Murcia

29 - 30 October 2020, Meknès (Morocco)
Interdisciplinary colloquium: “La désuétude au carrefour des savoirs : De la langue à la culture”
Organised by the University Moulay Ismail.

2 - 3 November 2020, Valetta (Malta)
International Conference on Multilingualism and Multilingual Education 2020 (ICMME4)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 1 September 2020.
Organised by the University of Malta.

ONLINE: 12 - 13 November 2020, Madrid (Spain)
2nd International Conference on Bilingualism, Heritage Languages and Migration
* Deadline Call for Papers: 21 September 2020.
Organised by Lengua y Sociedad of the Facultad de Filología, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia.

ONLINE: 23 - 27 November 2020, Paris (France)
ENROPE’s second Intensive Study Week
Organised by the ENROPE consortium, hosted by the University Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris.

Dates to be announced, 2021, Zurich (Switzerland)
Symposium on Research Methods in Language Attitudes
Organised by the University of Zurich

24 - 26 March 2021, Bilbao (Basque Country, Spain)
18th International Conference on Minority Languages (ICML XVIII)
* Deadline Call for Papers extended: 23 August 2020.
Organised by the University of the Basque Country.

10 - 12 May 2021, Paris (France)
Minority languages spoken or signed and inclusive spaces
Organised by INSHEA.

26 - 28 May 2021, Zadar (Croatia)
New Contexts for the Use of Minoritized Languages/Varieties (NEWCON 2020)
* New Call for Papers: 1 November 2020 - 15 January 2021.
Organised by by the Linguistics Department of the University of Zadar,the SOAS World Languages Institute, Mercator European Research Centre and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Social and Language Documentation (CIDLes).

June 2021, Groningen (Netherlands)
TABU - International linguistics conference
Organised by Center for Language and Cognition, University of Groningen.

5 - 8 July 2021, Athens (Greece)
14th Annual International Conference on Languages & Linguistics
* Deadline Call for Papers: 7 December 2020.
Hosted by the Athens Institute for Education and Research.

15 - 20 August 2021, Groningen (the Netherlands)
AILA 2020: World Congress of Applied Linguistics
Organised by the University of Groningen, Multilingual Matters and others.

6 - 8 September 2021, Graz (Austria)
Language Teacher Psychology Conference 2021 (LTP)
* Deadline Call for Papers: 1 September 2020.
Organised by the University of Graz.

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