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European Day of Languages ​​in Leeuwarden with discussion about 'Language & Law'

On Tuesday afternoon, September 26, the  Europeesk Buro foar Lytse Talen (EBLT) and the Mercator European Research Centre on Multilingualism and Language Learning (part of the Fryske Akademy) will celebrate the European Day of Languages, with the theme 'Language & Law'. This is done with a roundtable discussion, poetry and music.


Taal & Rjocht (Language & Law)

"Frisian does not want to speak Dutch in court". That is how the Dagblad van het Noorden newspaper headlined the newspaper article on 18 August about the judge who did not accept Jan Benedictus' Frisian oath. But, says Benedictus: "That is the right I have." Language diversity and the court, what's the deal?

A roundtable discussion on this will feature:

  • Attje Meekma, Member of Parliament in Fryslân (CDA) and chairman of the Statencomité Fries;
  • Jan Benedictus, former alderman of Skarsterlân and in the news because of the Frisian oath in court;
  • Fieke Gosselaar, criminal lawyer at the District Court of Northern Netherlands and regional language consultant at the Centrum Groninger Taal & Cultuur.


Besides the roundtable discussion, there will be poetry by Groningen poet Fieke Gosselaar and Drenthe poet Ria Westerhuis. Fieke Gosselaar is not only a criminal lawyer and regional language consultant, but she also writes, both in the language of Groningen and in Dutch. Ria Westerhuis writes in the regional language of the Reest - the lowland stream and border between Overijssel and Drenthe - and in Dutch.


European Day of Languages

The European Day of Languages is an initiative of the Council of Europe and has been celebrated every year since 2001. There are more than 200 languages in Europe. At the Council of Europe, 81 regional or minority languages have been recognised from a total of 206 language communities. These include languages such as Frisian, Sorbian, or German, which is recognised in several countries from Armenia to Denmark.


Place & time

The event is public and free of charge and will take place on Tuesday 26 September at Café De Gouden Leeuw in Tresoar, at Boterhoek 1, Leeuwarden. Walk-in is at 15:30. The programme will start at 16:00 and end with a snack and a drink at 17:30.