Figel for more R&D on multilingualism

Speaking at a conference dedicated to translation and interpreting, Commissioner Jan Figel highlighted the importance of research on multilingualism and on language isses related to social sciences such as social exclusion.

“I have a feeling that translation technology, research into language issues in relation with, for example, social exclusion, identity and cross-cultural understanding are domains where there are very topical issues to be addressed these days,” said the EU Commissioner for Education, Culture and Multilingualism, Jan Figel, speaking at the tenth conference of SCIC-Universities, on 10 March 2006. 

The concept of multilingualism covers translation and interpreting services as well as language learning. The Commission unveiled its first ever communication on multilingualism in November 2005. It aims to promote foreign language learning in the EU so that every citizen would, in addition to his mother tongue, speak two foreign languages. 

The Commissioner also recalled that the EU’s framework programme for research already addresses multilingualism and finances R&D on the issue to the tune of some 20 million euro per year. “I can only encourage universities to come forward with interesting projects for the FP7 as we are keen to develop this work.”

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