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DYLAN — Result In Brief

Project ID: 28702
Funded under: FP6-CITIZENS
Country: Switzerland

Europe's strength lies in its many languages

Identifying issues related to linguistic diversity in Europe will strengthen multiple language use and promote a fairer model to exploit all the continent's languages in political, economic and academic settings.
Europe's strength lies in its many languages
Rather than being considered a hindrance, Europe's linguistic diversity can help encourage the continent's economic and academic sectors in many ways. The EU-funded project 'Language dynamics and management of diversity' (DYLAN) outlined the political, educational, scientific and economic factors behind the continent's many languages.

To illustrate, political aspects require fairness in treatment of various languages and their speakers, while educational aspects necessitate transmission and use of knowledge in many tongues. This not only preserves cultural heritage but encourages openness, cultural diversity, employment, social justice and a global sphere of influence for Europe.

In this context, the project team studied language practices, multilingualism,linguistic diversity, language policies in government and language strategies in the corporate world. It looked at the interaction of these aspects through discourse analysis, ethnography of communication, and analysis of the linguistic landscape to study three main issues related to linguistic diversity.

The first issue looked at how companies, European institutions, academia and citizens themselves dealt with growing linguistic diversity in Europe. The second examined how 'multilingual solutions' were not just a response to a problem, but a genuine advantage for organisations and individuals. Lastly, the third identified how multilingual responses can actually be an advantage for the continent.

Notable recommendations have come to light from the project's findings and studies. Overall, DYLAN called for development of language strategies that consider complexity of actual practices in the workplace, political institutions and academia. It suggested that language policies be supported by effective language practices as well.

From these outcomes, the project helped articulate language indicators tomonitor, assess and compare important linguistic practices and considerations. It developed a viable toolkit to manage multilingualism and advance research on the topic. With the correct tools and guidelines, Europe's languages and language guidelines will reinforce the continent's cultural richness in all spheres of daily life.

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