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Behind the scenes in the EU’s 24 official languages

The European Union is the world’s most multilingual organisation. All 503 million citizens of 28 member states have the right to communicate with the EU in their own language, and to receive information in their own language too. In the European Parliament, all 751 MEPs also have the right to speak in their own language, and to receive a live …

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Israel and the Balkans: getting ready for the summer

The summer is nearly upon us, and that means that we’re in for an exciting few months on RawLangs. You may have noticed that technically this is a “Language and Travel” blog, and you may wondering why we’ve had a lot of posts about the first, but not so much about the second. We’ve had a heavy year so far …

Language learning resolutions for 2013

As it’s nearly February, I figured I should probably get some New Year’s resolutions. These are of course all to do with languages, but this time I’m taking a new approach to learning. The test is going to be to see how well it works. It was only when I started at university that I realised how much free time …

Language and politics: when is multilingualism a political act?

Recently it was announced that for the first time in 20 years, Hebrew classes have been reintroduced by Hamas to the university syllabus  in the Gaza strip. Hamas apparently intends to entirely reintroduce Hebrew teaching to secondary schools as well, despite great resistence from the local population. However, Hamas insists that it is important for the Palestinians to “know the …