Home Have Your Say Dr Charmian Kenner - University of London, UK

Dr Charmian Kenner - University of London, UK

Contradictions in European multilingualism

At our discussion group at the LETPP December conference, we discovered an interesting contradiction - that it's possible for people to have a 'European identity' as multilinguals who speak other European languages as well as their own, whilst at the same time not being comfortable with the other languages (perceived as 'non-European') used in their own country.

The example was given of Bulgaria, where a referendum has been called for on whether news in Turkish for ten minutes a day on mainstream TV should be allowed to continue. In other words, whilst apparently being the 'mother tongue plus two' citizens that Europe seeks, people do not necessarily have an understanding of multiple identities and social cohesion within their country.

Do other people have similar examples, and if so, what could be causing such contradictions and how can they be addressed?


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