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Spotlight on Limassol

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Limassol (Lemesos) is the second biggest town of Cyprus and the biggest Municipality. After the Turkish invasion, and the occupation of the northern part of the island, which took place in 1974, it has become one of the greatest Mediterranean harbours for the transshipment of goods. Therefore, Limassol has ever since developed rapidly and is actually one of the most important maritime, commercial, tourism and service centres in the area.

Limassol is also known for its long tradition in cultural issues. It gives the possibility to visitors to attend a great number of activities and visit many museums and archaeological sites, which are of great interest and which combine, in a unique way, Ancient, Frank, Byzantine and other, modern historic influences.

Internal migration since the 1960s and influx of displaced persons after the 1974 events significantly increased the population of Limassol and its suburbs. More recently, various world events have sent numerous groups of people in Limassol searching for relocation opportunities. The accession of Cyprus to the European Union in 2004 has brought about even more changes in the demographic character of Limassol.

Limassol has had a multilingual and multicultural character since ancient times. This, however, is now more evident than ever before and it is reflected in all aspects of life.

For historical reasons, the most commonly spoken languages in Cyprus in general are Greek by Greek-Cypriots since ancient times, and Turkish by Turkish-Cypriots since the Ottoman Era (1571-1878). Other languages and cultures also left their mark on Cyprus: French was used during medieval times (1192-1489), and Italian during the Venetian Rule (1489-1571). Assyrians, Persians, Arabs and others also spent some time in Cyprus during different times for various reasons and left their linguistic and cultural mark on the island. English is widely spoken as Cyprus was a British Colony from 1878 until 1960, when it gained its independence. Also, German, Russian, Italian and French are very common in the island's tourist industry, in economy and in other spheres of life. All these languages and cultures have enriched the linguistic and cultural mosaic of Cyprus through the centuries.

Due to the geographic location of Limassol, people from all over the world call Limassol their home. In recent years, other languages like Russian, Arabic, Indian, or Vietnamese are also heard in the street and a mixture of cultures is evident in everyday or cultural and intercultural events.

Although the majority of Limassolians are Greek-speaking, multilingual Limassol is now a reality more than ever! This has brought about new conditions, situations and needs which must be addressed so as to create a place where diverse communities coexist peacefully and harmoniously.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 07 June 2012 12:24 )

Spotlight on London

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London as a Global City: Educating a community of multilingual international young people. Read more. Multilingual London: The facts about languages in our Capital.

Multilingual signs in London
Last Updated ( Monday, 02 June 2014 16:04 )

Spotlight on Madrid

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Madrid is a modern metropolis, full of museums, monuments, cinemas, theatres, restaurants and a famous night life. It has many attractions offering a wide range of cultural and leisure activities all through the year. It has gained a good reputation for being an open city with friendly people where everybody feels at home. http://www.esmadrid.com/es/portal.do Our location together with Barcelona is one of the most representative multilingual cities in the country. Our experience in bilingual and multilingual education makes Madrid a perfect venue to test how multilingualism works in the twenty first century.

Located in the very centre of Spain, the Community of Madrid holds one of the biggest concentrations of university students in Europe with a total of fifteen universities, seven of which are public and 8 private, and with more than three hundred thousand students. Thanks to the different mobility programmes and to the many opportunities provided by the city, a high percentage of these students are foreigners from other European countries, but also form America, Asia and Africa. http://www.emes.es/Sistemauniversitario/Universidades/tabid/215/Default.aspx

By now we are all aware that the world today is becoming increasingly globalized, where the need for multilingual communication grows all the time. In the last two decades, there has been an unprecedented immigration into Madrid, which has rapidly transformed the city into a multicultural and multilingual place. At present around five hundred thousand inhabitants are immigrants which represent fifteen per cent of the total population, although last year around twenty five thousand of them had to leave because of the economic crisis. In any case, the presence of different languages in public spaces allows us to observe the continuous transformations of the city and the way in which its inhabitants coexit. Learning languages is an excellent way of getting a better understanding of other people´s values, culture and behaviour. http://www.madrid.org/cs/Satellite?cid=1158156469855&idPaginaAsociada=1158156469855&language=es&pagename=PortalInmigrante%2FPage%2FINMI_portadillaUnaColumna

In Madrid there has been a programme of bilingual education going on for more than ten years and nowadays there is a network of two hundred and forty primary schools and sixty secondary schools developing a bilingual programme in Spanish and English. Agreements have also been signed with the French Embassy and the Goethe Institut to establish immersion programmes, although they are much less widespread than the English programme. http://www.madrid.org/dat_capital/upe/bilingues.htm

Jesús Casado

Vice-Dean of International Relations

Faculty of Education

Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM)

LUCIDE Network Member

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 30 May 2012 23:00 )

Spotlight on Osijek

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Poster for the trilingual exhibition Susreti Encounters Begegnungen hosted by the Museum of Slavonia, 2012

The history of the City of Osijek is a history of multilingualism. It is best described in this short quote from the Wikipedia entry:

Due to its past and its history within the Habsburg Monarchy and briefly in the Ottoman Empire and also due to the presence of German and Hungarian minorities throughout its history, Osijek also has (or had) its names in other languages, notably Hungarian: Eszék, German: Esseg or Essegg, Latin: Mursa, Turkish: Ösek. Also spelled Esgek. All those names were adjusted variations to the original Croatian given name. In Roman times Osijek was called Mursa Maior, but its official Roman name was Colonia Aelia Mursa, as it was established by emperor Hadrian.

If you want to know more about Osijek minorities and languages presently spoken, have a look at this bilingual booklet (Croatian/English)

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:11 )

Spotlight on Oslo

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The Multilingual library in Oslo (DFB) is contributing to create a thriving multilingual society. DFB is a competency centre for library support to Multilanguage speakers. It contents books and other media in 44 languages.

oslo-spot-01 oslo-spot-02

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 May 2012 11:53 )

Spotlight on Sofia

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Founded seven thousand years ago, Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe. It has been given several names in the course of history and has been a crossroads of different cultures and languages. The remnants of the old cities can still be seen today. Sofia is the capital of Bulgaria and the economic, political, administrative, cultural and educational hub of the country, with approximately 20 universities and academic centers. Its population size expands rapidly; today the population of Sofia is over 1 200 000 people. Sofia during the centuries has integrated different linguistic communities and it accommodates new migrants as well. This makes Sofia a multicultural city with increasing linguistic diversity.


Spotlight on Utrecht

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After Luxembourg Utrecht is the second multilingual hotspot in Europa. How can we make our city an interesting European laboratory in a globalizing world? This weblog will collect local and global inspirations for creating this laboratory.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 29 May 2012 12:14 )

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