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A service for global professionals · Monday, June 17, 2024 · 720,512,329 Articles · 3+ Million Readers

Connecting through languages as Europeans

Europe is a hub of languages, with 24 official languages spoken within the European Union. This linguistic diversity is not just a feature of the EU but a fundamental principle which we can find in the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, which states the importance of respect for cultural, religious and linguistic differences. As a matter of fact, the EU’s motto, “United in Diversity” reflects the essence of our identity as Europeans and its connection to the languages and cultures that coexist throughout the continent. 

For me, languages are far more than just a means of communication, they are the most direct expression of our culture and a way of connecting. I can say for sure that I wouldn’t be a part of this network if it weren’t for languages, because languages are what acted as bridges between me and Europe even when I didn’t live there. It is thanks to languages that we, as Young European Ambassadors, can work together and create meaningful projects, no matter where we come from, and that’s the main essence of our network, its diversity.

For me, learning Polish opened many doors, allowing me to communicate with my Polish grandmother, or Babcia, everyday and really delve into the culture of my ancestors and learn about Europe, even from very far away. This experience allowed me to embrace my identity in the EU as both a foreigner and a local, going through all the complexities of starting from scratch in a new country.

But it doesn’t end there: thanks to becoming a Young European Ambassador, I found a community full of people from all over the EU and the Eastern partner countries who shared my passion for making a difference in our society. YEAs are all about connecting, through languages, projects and more, meeting fellow YEAs like Claudia in Kraków reminded me of the importance of connection, that no matter where we come from or what languages we speak, we are united by our commitment to building a better Europe, and as our motto says, we are STRONGER TOGETHER!

Because language learning is not about mastering grammar or vocabulary, it’s about breaking down the barriers between people. This is why I believe it’s crucial to invest our time and energy in programmes that promote language learning and cultural exchange in order to empower individuals to connect, collaborate and create a stronger and more inclusive Europe for future generations.

So I encourage you to learn new languages, learn about another cultures and discover on your own the power of connecting through languages. I can assure you that it’s a never-ending journey. There are a lot of free resources out there, you can try different streaming platforms to really immerse yourself in the language, as well as chat with people abroad and do language exchange sessions and so on. One website created by the EU for learning foreign languages that I really recommend is the “EU Academy”: here you can find a lot of resources to learn different European languages. It’s a really valuable resource for beginners and to get a really good first contact with the language that you choose.

There’s no excuse not to try it!

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