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United in Diversity: Multilingualism in the European Union - Special Exhibition

The EU Commission co-organised an exhibition on multilingualism with the Shanghai International Studies University in the Museum of World Languages in Shanghai. It can also be visited virtually.

The exhibition from the European Commission’s linguistic services (Directorates General for Interpretation and Translation - DG SCIC and DGT) proposes to take the visitor on a journey through the development of multilingualism in the EU, from the earliest days of European integration through to the present day. It will highlight the role multilingualism plays in promoting the values of inclusion, solidarity and non-discrimination which are so essential to the European Union and which are reflected in its motto: “United in Diversity”.

With its 27 Member States, 450 million citizens and 24 official languages, the European Union is a living example of multilingualism at work. All EU citizens have the right to communicate with the EU institutions in their own language and all EU laws are translated into the 24 official languages of the Union, to ensure they are accessible to all. It is through multilingualism that the Union’s myriad cultures, traditions and languages are expressed.

The exhibition shows how the translation and interpretation services of the European Institutions make multilingualism possible, how they developed from a relatively small part of the institutional make-up of the EU to the highly professional, future-oriented services they are today.

It also shows how multilingualism underpins our international cooperation activities. DG SCIC’s cooperation with China dates back to 1979, and the EUCITP programme, set up in 1985 to allow young officials from Chinese ministries to spend up to 5 months in Brussels learning how to be an interpreter, now boasts over 500 alumni. DG SCIC also works with universities in China. Cooperation with SISU’s Graduate Institute of Interpretation and Translation (GIIT) dates back to 2003, with SCIC officials attending final and mid-point exams. Over the years, some 120 students of conference interpreting programme have successfully graduated from the Institute.

Finally, the exhibition will take a look at some of the challenges and opportunities of the future, to see how the time-honoured professions of translation and interpretation can remain fit for purpose in the globalised world of the 21st century.

Please find more details on the exhibition here and on the museum here.

You can visit the exhibition virtually here.

September 2021 - Feburary 2022

Museum of World Languages, SISU
Shanghai International Studies University (Songjiang Campus)
1550 Wenxiang Road, Shanghai 201600, China