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Collection Highlights: Celebrating European Languages

On the 26th of September, we celebrate the European Day of Languages. There are more than 200 indigenous languages spoken across all the European countries, and each region has its own dialects and specificities. This linguistic diversity is the backbone of a multicultural Europe where different traditions and cultures can coexist next to each other. The EUscreen collection of television footage brings this multilingual audiovisual heritage together in one place.

In this month’s collection highlights, we explore the diversity and richness of European languages captured in the archival footage. Watch the selected videos from six European broadcasters to discover how European languages are taught, what unusual languages still exist and how the multicultural European landscape changes the way we communicate.

Universal Language

Is it possible that we could all communicate in one language? There have been numerous attempts throughout the history to invent a universal language. This excerpt from an Italian newsreel La Settimana Incom documents one of them.

Provider: LUCE, Italy – 1954

European School in Brussels

In this report from the Tonight show, journalist Trevor Philpott speaks with pupils from the European School in Brussels. Here, kids of various nationalities are taught in four different European languages.

Provider: BBC, United Kingdom – 1962

Czech Language in Uniform

An episode from a famous Czech television programme Tajemství řeči (Secrets of the Speech). The show was hosted by actor Karel Pech who explored the richness of the Czech language with incredible wit and ingenuity.

Provider: Ceská Televize, Czech Republic – 1969

Whistle Language

A language can be so much more than words. Here is an interview with shepherds from Béarn who use whistling as a way to communicate over long distances. This skill is still taught in schools in the province. Read more here.

Provider: RTBF / Belgium – 197

Irish Classes for Adults

Irish is the national language in the Republic of Ireland but many Irish people speak it as their second language or only use English. This report investigates why adults in Dublin are eager to learn the Irish language.

Provider: RTÉ, Ireland – 1976


How do languages change over time? How are they affected by the mixing of different cultures? This video reports on the neologisms that have invaded the Romanian language and the urban landscape in Bucharest.

Provider: TVR, Romania – 1993


Browse through the collection to discover more.