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April 2015

The Language Forum launched

(31 March 2015)

This new project supported by Multilingual Manchester, in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, is aimed at breaking down language barriers and integrating local communities.

Research found that Manchester is one of the most linguistically diverse cities in Europe. As a result, Multilingual Manchester has helped to launch The Language Forum in coalition with the NHS Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Big Life Group, and Manchester College.

The project, which is the first of its kind in the UK, will help to ensure that communities across Manchester get equal access to services. The University will provide language support to residents across the city as part of the project.

Professor Yaron Matras, who directs the Multilingual Manchester project, said; “In Manchester the community languages with the largest number of speakers are Urdu, Arabic, Chinese, Bengali, Polish, Panjabi, and Somali. This city can boast an estimated 200 different languages spoken by its long-term residents.

 “I can confidently say that our numerous languages are not a barrier, but a rich resource which holds powerful potential on a local and global scale. We hope the Language Forum will benefit schoolchildren, their careers and their communities in the near future, and push Manchester ahead in global commerce.”