Professor Don Barry and Dr. Jean Conacher, Head, Department of Languages and Cultural Studies
First ever 'Languages Week' at UL
Dia Dhuit, Guten Morgan, Hola, Bonjour
The Department of Languages and Cultural Studies, Aonad na Gaeilge and the University of Limerick Language Centre launches the first-ever UL Languages Week from 21 - 25 September, 2009.
The celebrations will feature a series of multilingual events including poetry readings, language taster classes, workshops and film screenings will be held on campus, and various campus restaurants will offer theme days with typical food from different countries.
Speaking at the launch, Prof.Don Barry said; "As members of Europe we, in Ireland, recognise the importance of learning languages. The EU now has a total of 500 million citizens, 27 Member States, 3 alphabets and 23 EU official languages of which Irish is one - it became the 23rd official language of the EU in 2007. Some 60 other languages are also part of the EU heritage and are spoken in specific regions or by specific groups. Currently there are 10 million Europeans work in other Member States and immigrants from other nations have brought a wide range of languages to the EU with them, it is now estimated that at least 175 nationalities are now present within the EU's borders."
The importance of languages for the growth of Ireland's economy was highlighted by Prof. Barry "Commission study of the impact on the EU economy of shortages of foreign language skills in enterprise estimated that 11% of exporting EU Small to Medium enterprises may be losing business because of language barriers. We, in Ireland, cannot afford for this to affect our SME's, particularly in the current economic climate. Making a positive contribution to Ireland is of high standing on this University's agenda and as such we are committed to providing a diverse range of language learning opportunities delivered in outstanding facilities by excellent faculty and staff."
For further information about events at UL Languages Week go to www.ul.ie/~lcs/events/
Miyuki Chiba (Japan), Nathalia Sabos de Freitas Alves (Brazil) wearing the UL Languages Week t-shirts