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Multilingualism in Saarland: Attitudes towards the ‚France strategy‘

Project lead:

  • Dr. Philipp Krämer (Interdisciplinary Centre for European Languages and the Department for Dutch linguistics, Freie Universität Berlin)

Project description:

The project investigates the attitudes towards the regional government’s ‘France strategy’ in the population of the German federal state of Saarland. Language policy, specifically the promotion of French and its development into a second vehicular language, play a privileged role in the strategy. In April and May 2017, a total of 1’200 persons in Saarland participated in a survey about the goals and measures of the strategy, about their language skills and linguistic practices in cross-border communication. The results show a generally positive assessment of the strategy’s foundations and an already largely multilingual set-up of the population.
An extension of the project towards a more historical perspective is currently under preparation. Based on interviews with contemporary witnesses and historical documents, the new chapter of the project will focus on language policy and language learning in the Franco-German border region in the post-war periods of the 20th century.
The project is accompanied by continued efforts for knowledge transfer through public events, media coverage and background discussions with policy makers.

Attribution to the fields of inquiry: