The Ramon Llull Foundation headed the participation of the Catalan language at the 32nd edition of the Expolangues International Language and Culture Fair in Paris, from 5th to 8th February. After several editions in which the Institut Ramon Llull has handled Catalan representation, this year, and as the result of an agreement signed last year between the Andorran Government’s Ministry of Culture and the IRL, it was taken over by the entity made up of the various Catalan-speaking territories.
As was the case in 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Ramon Llull Foundation had a stand there, at which information was offered about the Catalan language and all the territories where it is spoken, the teaching of it at French universities, the online learning method “parla.cat”, and about the universities that make up the Vives Network. In the framework of the Expolangues programme of activities, Catalan beginners’ classes were given for visitors and there was a conversation workshop for advanced level learners. The Andorran Government’s Linguistic Policy Department reissued the collection Entrelletres, first published in 2012, and handed it out on the days of the Fair. It is a collection of poems by Teresa Colom and Manel Gibert translated into 10 different languages by Catalan learners on the programme Voluntaris per la llengua (Language Volunteers), from self-access centres, Adult Education schools, and others.
In 2010 the Catalan language was the guest of honour at this fair, with a central stand and a programme of complementary activities, with the participation of all the institutions that make up the Ramon Llull Foundation and the Vives University Network, under the technical coordination of the Institut Ramon Llull.
Expolangues is the most important language-learning fair in Europe. It was created to promote foreign language learning and to encourage intercultural dialogue. It is an excellent platform for promoting multilingualism, for meetings, exchange and debate, and for 30 years it has been bringing together agents in the languages market and the institutional field, professionals and private individuals. The Translation Services of the European Union and the French Ministry of Culture’s Délégation Générale à la Langue Française et aux Langues de France have always taken part in it.
About 180 exhibitors are there every year, representing over 80 languages from all over the world, with institutions from some 30 countries. They include universities, schools and entities that teach languages and organize language-learning stays, translation and interpreting companies, publishers of language teaching methods, institutional bodies, embassies, institutes and cultural centres with the job of promoting languages abroad, and tourist offices. Of the almost 24,000 annual visitors to the fair, 12,000 are professionals (teachers, directors of educational centres, training managers, company directors, publishers, booksellers, translators and interpreters, and so on). The rest are from the general public (young people, secondary school pupils and university students, etc.).
Up to now the Institut Ramon Llull has been in charge of participation
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