The European Union Celebrates European Language Day in the Kingdom
European and Saudi partners get together to promote multi-lingualism as an enabler of intercultural understanding and business opportunities
Riyadh, 26 September 2022 – On 26 September, the European Union marks the European Language Day, an annual celebration of the continent’s linguistic and cultural richness. This year, the European Union is also celebrating this occasion in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the aim of promoting further intercultural understanding and the learning of foreign languages.
As part of the festivities, the European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is hosting a European Night of Languages, a get-together where more than 200 participants will gather to practice various European languages and interact with Ambassadors and staff from the EU Delegation and several Embassies of the EU Member States. Participants will also get a chance to learn some basic words and phrases in some less spoken European languages as well as engage in entertaining games and quizzes. The event is held in partnership with Riyadh Language Exchange, a Saudi non-profit organisation that aims to boost intercultural and multilingual exchange in the Kingdom. Supported by Alliance Française, Goethe Institut and Education First, the European Night of Languages will be hosted at the Hyatt Regency Riyadh Olaya Hotel in Riyadh on 28 September 2022 from 6.45-10.30PM. Participants are asked to register in advance, as places are limited. No prior foreign language knowledge is required to attend. To register, please go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/european-language-day-tickets-419082215187
Speaking ahead of the event, the EU Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, H.E. Patrick Simonnet said: ‘’Europe is known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. On average, almost two-thirds of Europeans are able to converse in one or more foreign languages. Language is what connects us as people and enables us to communicate and better understand one-another. It is encouraging to see that also more and more Saudis are interested in learning languages. There has never been a better time to learn a new language and reap the socio-economic benefits that multi-lingualism has to offer, from global access to knowledge and education, to better job opportunities and greater cultural understanding.’’
Reiterating the importance of languages as a bridge-builder between cultures, Mohammed Matham, co-founder of Riyadh Language Exchange, added: “We at the Riyadh Language Exchange have dreamt about bringing world languages to Saudi Arabia and are pleased to see that dream coming true. Our efforts over the past four years to support the practice of languages and cultural exchange are bearing fruit. It is a great privilege to partner up with the European Union Delegation to organize such an exceptional event.”
The European Language Day will also be marked at various European schools in the Kingdom, including SEK International School Riyadh and the German International School in Riyadh, whereby students will participate in fun-filled activities focused on language learning. On the occasion of the European Language Day, Alliance Française and the Goethe-Institut will both offer also a free trial class for beginners on 26 September 2022, respectively in French and German.
The European Languages Day is an event celebrated annually on 26 September and jointly organised by the European Commission and the Council of Europe, aiming to promote linguistic diversity and cultural heritage, reinforce intercultural understanding as well as encourage people of all ages to learn languages.
About the European Union Delegation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
The Delegation of the European Union to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Sultanate of Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain opened in Riyadh in 2004. The EU Delegation is also accredited to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the Islamic Development Bank. The EU Delegation works on many areas of cooperation between EU and Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain as well as the GCC, including political dialogue, economic and trade issues, regional security, education as well as climate change and transition to green energy/economy.
Read more about us on the EU Delegation’s website / Twitter: @EUintheGCC & @eusimonpa / Instagram: @EUinKSA / Facebook: @EUinKSA