HITZARGIAK – Languages illuminating each other
Language diversity is the main feature of Europe. It was in the past and still is now that we are at the start of the 21st century. Nevertheless, the contact between languages has frequently failed to be a balanced relationship. In different regions, the local languages have found themselves immersed in debilitation processes before ending up vulnerable or in danger of extinction, and this process has even affected Europe’s language diversity.
In parallel with this debilitation process, many of Europe’s language communities and communities of speakers have managed to set up effective processes to revitalise their languages. With survival in mind, the main aims of these processes are: transmission, use, expansion into various fields, adaptation and success in becoming a language that is useful, interesting and pleasant for today’s generations and the future ones.
The project Hitzargiak – Languages illuminating each other gathers together the activities that illuminate these languages and build bridges between them.
In line with Donostia/San Sebastián 2016 European Capital of Culture
The Donostia/San Sebastián 2016 European Capital of Culture has a mission: to set up a new model of coexistence in relations among all the citizens. To achieve this, the meeting of a number of challenges and the exploring of new modes of coexistence and relationship has been proposed to bring together what is different and to set up collaboration by doing things differently.
The project Hitzargiak - Languages illuminating each other is in line with the character and all the above-mentioned values of DSS2016EU. And that is why it has the backing of the European Capital of Culture.
What is Hitzargiak?
Hitzargiak – Languages illuminating each other is a project that sets out to encourage European language diversity, as it will be setting up new relationships between the language and speaker communities that are already immersed in revitalisation processes and will strengthen the already existing ones. The greater the number of language communities that are activated in this process, the greater the chances of achieving success.
The hub of the project comprises the processes of all types that the communities of speakers have used. These processes are innovative, appropriate, successful and exemplary, not only for the community that has set them up but also for many other language and speaker communities.
The knowledge of good practices may have multiplying effects; the sharing of experiences, learning from everyone else, nourishing each other and collaborating on the initiatives with the potential to reinforce success, and strengthening the international movement, besides combining the global and local approach.
So the goal of the Hitzargiak project is to bring together the good practices and display them on the website and also put the organisations that are working on language revitalisation in contact with each other. These are its focus and aim. The good practices have been plotted on a map like a light positioned in the sphere of influence of the language in question. As the activities designed to revitalise languages are gathered, these languages will be displayed on the map so that it will be possible to see the area covered by the language for which each activity has been started.
What are good practices?
Good practices are all kinds of initiatives that help to improve the situation of the languages in their revitalisation processes. They may belong to many spheres relating to language knowledge and use, such as those relating to the development of the language itself, the spheres of work, education, planning, the ensuring of transmission, those that aim to promote use in the home, the ones that seek to reinforce the reputation of the language through art or creativity, those that affect the mass media or those that create synergies. They all have a place in the Hitzargiak project.
Good practices may be implemented by a whole range of players such as social bodies, public administrations or political officers in language communities; they can be set up by private companies or driven by social groups, and those that are started up through the collaboration of different players may also achieve great success.
What is the main aim of the Hitzargiak project?
The main aim of Hitzargiak is to consolidate the network of contacts in Europe’s language communities enabling them to get to know and nourish each other, and make the processes to revitalise the local languages more effective. So it is not an exact descriptive map of Europe’s minority languages, nor a website providing sociolinguistic data on these languages.
So, besides identifying and reporting on the good practices that have been developed or are being developed in the process to revitalise Europe’s minority languages and to put the active players participating in these good practices into contact with each other, Hitzargiak will be organising a MEETING to encourage the direct contact between the players who are promoting these good practices.
To ensure that the Hitzargiak project does not come to an end with the meeting, and to ensure that in the future the network built so far will go on being woven, the virtual platform will go on working by gathering and channelling future relations via the Internet.
We invite you to participate in the project!
Do get in touch with us…