@LANGUNE, the Language Industry Association of the Basque Country, holds a briefing about the sector in Brussels

Oct 28, 2013

Along with the Delegation of the Basque Country for the European Union, Etxepare institute and the partner companies Elhuyar and Euskal Herriko Ahotsak, LANGUNE, the Language Industry Association of the Basque Country, holds a briefing named: “From bilingualism to multilingualism, a potential seed for the development of the competitiveness in our industrial sector”

The conference, presented under the title of “From bilingualism to multilingualism, a potential seed for the development of the competitiveness in our industrial sector”, has been dedicated to share with some of the main European institutions, related to multilingualism and language industries, the good practices that are being carried out from organisations and companies from the Basque Country in order to promote visibility and competitiveness of this strategic sector. The initiative is carried out in the process of the new schedule and financing line of the European Union for the period 2014-2020, positioning the language industry sector of Euskadi in the European Union.

The session started with the talk of the Basque Delegation to the European Union, Marta Marín, who introduced the actions that the European Union is taking regarding to multilingualism, as well as the future schedule of the European Union for 2014-2020, and the economical weight of the language industry and the cultural and creative industries.

Right after, LANGUNE’s CEO stated that the main objective of the Association is to to promote the development and competitiveness of the language industries in the Basque Country, “where we are a growing and strategic sector, totally rooted in our society”.

Fernando Alana also pointed out that “we are a sector that is in a process of continual change and growth because, fortunately, the language products and services are starting to be seen as an indispensable aspect to be taken into consideration in any process involving the sale and marketing of a product or service in external markets, rather than an unnecessary expense".

In this respect, LANGUNE’s CEO said that the present is marked by multilingual companies and professionals that are able to communicate and manage information in several languages in order to be more competitive.

“This is where the Language Industry in the Basque Country is playing a leading role by supporting and assisting through specific products and services any company in any industrial sector that needs multilingual management in its communication processes, internally and externally,” he added.

Leire Cancio has also participated in the conference held up in Brussels, Elhuyar’s Executive Director, one of the main companies of the language industry and entity that holds the presidency of LANNGUNE, where she has explained the evolution of her entity, from offering bilingual products to the offer of multilingual products.

The Director for the promotion and diffusion of the Basque language and culture in Etxepare Basque institute, Mari Jose Olaziregi, has shared with all the assistants the work of the institute in the diffusion of the Basque language and culture throughout the world. She insisted on the 36 agreements with foreign universities, universities where classes of Basque language and culture are taught, language exhibitions they attend(Expolangues, London Language Show), the grants for the translation of literary works, the book exhibitions where they promote Basque authors (Liber, Frankfurt, Guadalajara), their training courses they teach at the University of the Basque Country to the future Basque language and culture teachers (“Excellence in Basque Studies”), the multilingual publications (Colección Cultura Vasca, Colección Creadores Vascos), the university student’s grants to study Basque, and the grants to the scheduling of cultural events in their lectures. Dr Olaziregi insisted on the more than 40 colaboration agreements that Etxepare Basque Institute has with institutions such as Euskaltziandia, Institut Ramon Llull or Instituto Cervantes, or associations like EIZIE, BAsque Penn Club o LAF (Literatura Across Frontiers).

Finally, Idoia Etxeberria and Ainhoa Bernabe, representing Euskal Herriko Ahotsak, informed about Ahotsak.com Programme for the collection and diffusion of Basque oral heritage and Basque dialects.

Apart from the informative session, LANGUNE’s CEO, Fernando Alana, took advantage of his stay in Brussels to take part in the 2nd European Language Industry Forum, held up the 24th of October in Brussels(http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/translation/programmes/languageindustry/platform/forum_en.htm), sharing information and good practices related to the development of products and training of the professionals of this industrial sector.

The intervention of the LANGUNE Association in the Forum is the result of the recognition that the European institutions are giving to the language industry in the Basque Autonomous Community, thus turning it into good European practice. At the end of last year, LANGUNE had its first contacts with the European institutions accompanied by the Sub-Ministry for Language Planning of the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community together with the Local Office representing the Basque Autonomous Community before the European Union.

Alana highlighted the importance of the sector in the Basque Autonomous Community (region) where last year it achieved a turnover close to 276 million Euros employing 5,000 people, these figures represent 0.42% of the total turnover of the sector in Europe. The forecasts for the sector in the Basque Country indicate growth of around 1% throughout 2013.

With its participation in the 2nd European Language Industry Forum, LANGUNE is taking another step forward: to be recognised as a representative, a benchmark association and interlocutor of the language industry in the European ambit. This is apart from being the driving force of the sector State-wide because no other similar association exists.


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