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Issue 472, 5 November 2001

First words and fortunes at Leeds language festival

Visitors to the Festival of Languages on November 14 will see martial arts demonstrations, taste pasta and croissants, try out origami, dance the samba or salsa, find out more about German medieval fortune telling and take their first lessons in languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Hebrew, Greek and Arabic.

Language takes you places photos from time spent studyng aborad in Japan (above) and Martinque (below)

Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Alan Wilson and Look Northís Harry Gration will welcome hundreds of pupils from across Yorkshire to dance, eat, talk, photograph, write and perform in 12 languages in the festival. The event is open to all, and celebrates 2001 as the official European year of languages. Schools in Leeds, Barnsley, Rotherham, Sheffield, Bradford, Wakefield, Mirfield, Grimsby, Goole, York and Huddersfield will be among those participating.

The festival aims to help pupils understand the value of studying foreign languages and their influence on business, the arts and leisure. Language courses have not gained popularity amongst university applicants, despite Tony Blairís belief that Europe is Ďan opportunity for usí and the UKís role as a base for many multi-national companies.

Foreign-language films from Spanish director Miguel Albaladejo and French director François Truffaut will be shown, and there will be an exhibition of photography from language studentsí time spent studying abroad. Also on display are examples of how information technology is used in translation, as well as useful resources for language teachers, including foreign language websites, language learning sites and online translation tools.

The festival has been organised by the school of modern languages and cultures and activities are taking place across the University campus.

Leeds offers courses in 17 languages and is home to the UKís largest French and East Asian studies departments.

The festival runs from 10am-4pm and more details can be found at uk/eyl/events.htm

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