The Goal of the World Language Centre

The vision of a World Language Centre will be realized through the construction of a 3000m2 building which will house the Vigdís  Finnbogadóttir Institute’s activities.

The aim is to have this building ready in the year 2014 and situated on the University campus in the heart of Reykjavík.

In the centre there will be facilities for the following activities:

  • Languages and Cultural Database
  • Language Library and Resource Centre
  • Vigdís Auditorium
  • A Lecture Hall in honour of Vigdís´s contribution

The main purpose of the World Language Centre will be to to raise awareness on the importance of languages as mankind’s cultural heritage, with a special emphasis on preserving linguistic and cultural diversity. Other goals will be to:

  • To create a forum for international research in fields related to linguistic and cultural diversity through the establishment of an extensive database on language and culture. This database would be based on newly gathered data as well as on databases that already exist. The first step would be to create a corpus which could be useful for teaching and research in those languages taught at the University of Iceland.
  • To promote research in sociolinguistics and systematically gather information on the status of languages throughout the world.
  • To provide excellent facilities for the teaching and experiencing of languages through an international information centre where various sources on languages and related subjects would be available, i.e. corpuses and electronic data, academic literature, journals, computer programmes, multimedia and audio material.
  • To enable the general public to experience and learn about languages of the world in a technologically advanced experience centre. With the aid of information and language technology, it would be possible to virtually learn about different languages and their function in both a social and cultural context.
  • To create excellent facilities for research and teaching of foreign languages, including comparative cultural and literary and translation studies.
  • To continue the pioneering work carried out by former president of Iceland, Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, as UNESCO’s first and so far only Goodwill Ambassador for the Languages of the World.
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