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Embassy of Ireland participates in European Day of Languages 2017 in Rotterdam

On 26 September 2017, the Embassy of Ireland took part in the European Day of Languages event hosted by the Czech Institute in Rotterdam. Embassy staff, with the assistance of Czech Institute colleagues, spent the morning teaching basic conversational Irish to Dutch schoolchildren. 

Embassy of Ireland participates in European Day of Languages 2017 in Rotterdam. Credit: Image courtesy of Council of Europe

In their Irish class, the students were taught the history of the language, how to introduce themselves and say their ages, along with learning the words for essential Dutch items including rothar (bicycle) and paitín (clogs). Many of the students were surprised at the extent of the difference between Irish and English but all engaged enthusiastically in picking up a cúpla focail. The teachers accompanying the students also joined in and all left with a newly-found curiosity for Ireland’s national language.

This was the first time Irish was part of the European Day of Languages programme, with classes also available in Rotterdam in Croatian, Czech, German, Romanian, Spanish and Turkish. The European Day of Languages, held annually on 26 September, celebrates Europe’s linguistic diversity. Celebrating this day is a chance to raise awareness of the wide variety of languages in Europe and encourage people of all ages to learn new languages.