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Sheffield and international languages

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Local MP Meg Munn was delighted to attend the opening ceremony of the 1st International Languages Festival at Sheffield University recently. The venue was the perfect place to hold the festival, with 90 different nationalities amongst the teaching staff, and 130 different nationalities amongst the student body. The university recognises the benefit of speaking more than one language in the 21st Century and has a thriving languages department.

 

The festival was organised with hour long taster sessions of a number of languages, with over 70 sessions available each day. Languages included well known ones such as Italian, Mandarin and Urdu, but also less well known ones such as Tagalog spoken in the Philippines, Bislama spoken in Vanuatu and Manx, of which the last native speaker died in 1974. Included were sessions for sign language and Esperanto - an invented language which has simplified rules to encourage easy learning and hence easier communication.

 

During her contribution at the opening ceremony Meg, herself a keen linguist, spoke of the extra understanding to be gained about different cultures from learning another language. She commented that even by learning just a few words of another person’s language a connection can be established.

 

Meg said:

 

"This was an inspiring event organised by a group of students. For anyone interested in languages or keen to try a new one this was a great opportunity.

 

I know that the University of Sheffield has an excellent reputation for its language teaching, I am sure this will have enhanced that reputation further."

Associated Photograph :

Zulu speakers performing poetry to demonstrate a language that uses click sounds

Zulu speakers performing poetry to demonstrate a language that uses click sounds


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