European Language Day in Salo
When we came to Turku University of Applied Sciences, we never thought we would prepare our own stand for the European Language Day. How should we participate in an event where the majority of people speak and understand only Finnish? First, some general information – what is European Language Day?
Text: Anastasia Weber, Cansu Cav, Huyeson Lee, David Padilla
The vision of the European Language Day was to bring people together, teach about languages and achieve an intercultural dialogue. The event took place on the 26th of September in the heart of Salo – the Plaza. Different co-operators, such as the City of Salo, local schools, Turku University of Applied Sciences and many more, organized the event.
The preparation of the activities that took part in the European Language Day started a couple of weeks before. We worked in mixed teams to come up with an activity that is fun, interactive and easy to play for everyone. The main goal of the game was to guess as many words as possible in a foreign language that belonged to a certain group. The languages were chosen based on the international students that were participating (Spanish, Turkish, Korean, German, Russian, Basque, etc.) We also created a computer-based game, where we recorded sentences in different languages. The people were supposed to guess which language it is.
Our mission was to let participants experience as many languages as possible and test their language skills. On the day of the European Language Day, a stand was built. As an incentive for people to take part in our activity small gifts were given.
At the event, there were many different stands such as the German Club, Vocational School, Salo Irish ry, Suomi – Romania, EURES and many other organizers. They provided brochures and goodies, so anyone interested could get specific information. The event gave us an opportunity to network with many different people who work in various fields. Although we were worried at the beginning about the difficulties of not knowing Finnish, we connected through the game in a playful way.
The Language Day gave us the chance to get an insight into different professions and new ideas for our future life.
Overall, we had a great experience and even though it was a long day, time went by really fast and we are taking many memories from this day with us. We had the opportunity of meeting many locals and interact with them, as well as sharing a little bit of where we all come from to the people from Salo.
Kiitos! Anastasia, Cansu, David and Hyeseon