* The annual event brings together speakers, learners, and enthusiasts of the diverse European languages

Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano underscored the importance of the European Day of Languages in deepening cultural ties with Qatar and its people.

“This is a real opportunity for Italy to develop and strengthen cultural links with Qatari people and the international community in Doha, creating this way a common land of mutual understanding,” the envoy said in a statement.

This annual event, which is being celebrated globally on September 26, aims to promote the cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe.

The celebration in Doha was organised on Thursday by the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) cluster in Qatar, in co-operation with the Translation and Interpreting Institute (TII) – College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU). Some 11 parallel classes have been held at the Penrose House (LAS Building) in Education City, bringing together speakers, learners, and enthusiasts of the diverse European languages.

“Italian is certainly one of the most studied languages in the world and the main reason is that people are interested in knowing more about art, design, fashion, music, cinema, and cuisine – all fields that express at best the Italian identity,” Salzano noted.

He cited the “excellent co-operation” between EUNIC and TII-HBKU in this fourth edition of the initiative, offering the people of Qatar with crash courses in 11 European languages for free.

These include Bulgarian, Dutch, English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish and Swedish.

The EUNIC cluster in Qatar, dubbed as the first-of-its-kind to be established in the GCC region, gathers EU Member States represented in Qatar and Switzerland to develop exchanges between European and Qatari youth, as well as foster European and Qatari artistic exchanges.

Meanwhile, TII was founded in 2012 to build capacity in Qatar and the region and to function as a physical and virtual space that delivers sophisticated translator and interpreter education, high-level training in a range of languages, and quality translation and interpreting services of the highest international standards.

“By promoting the diffusion of the Italian language in Qatar, we would like to encourage a better knowledge about our traditions and consolidate our bonds of friendship,” Salzano said.

“We are also glad to announce that the Embassy of Italy is planning one full week, from October 21 to 27, dedicated to the promotion of the Italian Language in Qatar by organising conferences, concerts and activities of different kinds, with special attention to the Italian Opera and music,” he added.

The European Day of Languages also provides participants access to information on all the language courses organised year-round in Qatar, giving residents, particularly students, to learn a new language.

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