Here in the UK where I live, the European Union doesn't always get people excited. I guess when you live on an island, the benefits of being able to nip over to foreign country for café au lait and then another one for some poffertjes is lost on you. In fact, the language alone is quite revealing: Brits will refer to the European continent as "Europe" and their own country as "Britain", and those certainly don't mean the same thing.
But now let's just put all that to one side, because we have something to celebrate. This is the warm-up post for the European Day of Languages on 26 September.
I am planning to get involved. Apparently there are 225 indigenous languages in Europe. 225! That's LOADS! So for 26 September I am going to make a youtube video and pick 25 of them to greet my viewers in. I'll make my job easy for a start and include the ones I happen to know, but that still leaves 20 slots to fill. Any suggestions?
Update on 25 September
As the big languages are covered and I'm beginning to come across more unusual ones, the project is shown a lot more meat to it. We've now hit number 15 with Luxembourgish, and I've had help from kind people all over the world. Still not sure if I can make 25 languages in time, but in the very least you will hear me attempt to pronounce them :D
Update on 23 September
Today I put together everything I've got so far and made the first video - 11 languages are in the bag, including BSL, Danish, Spanish and Russian. I'm worried that I may not make it up to 25 languages in time, because it's just difficult to find speakers who are able to help me pronounce all the words. Will you guys accept 24?
Update on 22 September
Phew, this is tough going. I think I've got the Greek down now, and more friendly people on Facebook are kindly offering to help me with Portuguese and Galician. I didn't even know Galician was a language, so this is looking good! I'm up to 13 then, which means plenty more languages outstanding but hopefully I'm halfway there.
Update on 21 September.
Well, so far I have collected something to say in Polish, Italian and Romanian. I'm seeing a Greek speaker this afternoon as well so I'll make sure I've got Greek covered, and another friend is helping me out with Flemish. That's nearly 10 but I'm missing Scandinavian languages so far. Keep checking back for more updates!