The Graz Language Festival takes place on September 22 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on and around Schloßbergplatz.
On the initiative of the Council of Europe, linguistic and cultural diversity is celebrated annually on 26 September, the European Day of Languages. Activities under the motto “Discover multilingual reading worlds” were launched throughout Austria – from language taster courses to reading courses on multilingualism. The Graz Language Festival is also taking place in the Styrian state capital for the tenth time.
Program at Schloßbergplatz
Linguistic diversity is celebrated on and around Schloßbergplatz with workshops, city walks and treasure hunts. The Graz Language Festival is an initiative of the Language Network Graz and is supported by the City of Graz and the Province of Styria by the Federal Ministry of Education and the European Commission. A musical and artistic supporting program offers various songs and dances as well as plays and literature.
Experience French culture in Graz
One of the languages represented at the festival is French. It is spoken as a mother tongue in 47 countries around the world and is the second most learned foreign language after English. The Romansh language is also represented at the Austro-French cultural institute in Graz, one of the oldest language institutes in Austria. The French language has been learned and practiced there at Herrengasse 3 since 1947.
According to the institute’s president, Gerald Hafner, many are put off by the language. He wants to take away the fear of it: “Of course, a lot is a cliché. The pronunciation clearly takes some getting used to, because there are many sounds that are not found in German. But it is no more difficult to learn than any other Romance language.”
Language skills as a professional advantage
France is also the sixth largest economic power in the world, so mastering the French language is also a professional advantage, says Gerald Hafner: “France is an important trading partner for Austria, I’m thinking of the timber industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the automotive industry, aviation or even the whole industry important in these times, the energy sector,” says the institute president.
Get to know the culture and cuisine of France
The courses range from group and individual courses to courses for children or pensioners, and they are held at the institute or online. According to Hafner, there will be French readings and film weeks so that French culture and French life are not neglected. The culinary side of France should also be celebrated. It will be celebrated at the end of November with the new French wine “Beaujolais Nouveau” – together with the 75th anniversary of the Austro-French Institute.