“Since 2009 The Languages Company has been centrally involved in language policy is-sues, in particular as it relates to the multilingual city, which we have seen as a major driver of change in the 21st century. The city is a concentration of different, changing cultures which are creating new kinds of identity. London, New York, Madrid, Johannes-burg and Mumbai are living examples of the “common sense of belonging based on cul-tural and linguistic diversity” referred to in one of the most challenging documents pub-lished by the European Union in recent years – Amin Maalouf’s 2008 report on Intercultural Dialogue.
Cities are important in this context for a number of reasons:
- They are living examples of what can be and how diverse communities may inter-relate.
- They are places where policy discourse can be created more easily.
- They are places where the constraints of national policies and national discourse can be modified or overcome.
- The city is the locus for multilingualism in all its functions – learning and using languages, and in all its sites – institutional, commercial, educational, and gov-ernmental. It therefore provides a great opportunity to bring together policymakers and stakeholders at both local and national levels.
- Cities also link to other cities, and provide the space where new generations are creating their new realities.”
Most importantly, cities are NOT national. They can be ‘beyond the nation’.
– Dr Lid King