The World in archipelagos, for multilingual globalisation

Multilinguism and diversity

13 june 2018 at 7pm

at the palais des académies of Brussels


In a few decades’ time, only 50% of the 6,000/7,000 languages spoken on Earth will remain. These languages are fundamentally linked to the richness and biodiversity of our planet and also decline humanity in the plural. By advocating a possible world in French, can the French-speaking world also protect and enrich such biodiversity and linguistic ecosystems which are the template for future richness? How is multilinguism valuable to the development of the human being, and what are the various ways in which children learn language? How is a language also a cultural, social and political marker? How do we invent multilingual societies which retain the richness of all their languages in the globalised world?

the speakers

Barbara Cassin

Barbara Cassin, a director of research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), is a philologist and philosopher, specialising in Greek philosophy, and works on the capacity of words. She has written around twenty books and edited thirty or so others, including the European Philosophical Vocabulary, Dictionary of Untranslatable Terms (2004), translated or currently being translated into a dozen languages. She has just curated two exhibitions: After Babel, translate (Mucem 2016-7) and The Roads of Translation. Babel in Geneva (Bodmer, 2017-8).

On May 4th 2018, Barbara Cassin is elected at the Académie française.

Rozenn Milin

Rozenn Milin is a historian by training and all her life has had a career as a journalist, television producer and director, whilst pursuing her research activities. Her current scientific work focuses on where history and sociolinguistics cross paths: in particular it examines the way in which the French language became established in France and in the former French colonial empire.

She is also the creator and director of the Sorosoro programme, a programme promoting filmed documentation and the safeguarding of endangered languages around the world. Find out more

Martine Poncelet

Martine Poncelet has a PhD in Psychological Sciences and is a lecturer in Psychology and Neuropsychology of Language at Liège University. She manages the Department of Neuropsychology of Language and Learning and is a member of the Psychology and Neuroscience of Cognition Research Unit (PsyNCog) at Liège University. Alongside her research team, her work essentially focuses on three major areas of research: aphasiology, the acquisition of written language and bilingualism.

In the field of bilingualism in particular, she is interested in the relationship between cognitive development and the acquisition of a second language, particularly in the context of early school language immersion. Find out more

the moderator

Paul Germain

Paul Germain has been editor-in-chief at TV5MONDE since 2004. He is responsible for the channel’s European programmes. He presents ‘Le Bar de l’Europe’, a weekly programme produced at the European Parliament. This show is also broadcast on RTBF (the public broadcasting organisation of the French Community of Belgium). Paul Germain is also editor-in-chief of the programme #MOE, Maghreb-Orient Express, dedicated to Mediterranean cultures. He is in charge of many of the channel’s special operations, like, for example, the coverage of the upcoming Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, in October 2018. Before he joined TV5MONDE, Paul Germain was a journalist for almost 20 years at RTBF. There he was a reporter, the TV news presenter, and the host of debates, particularly for the programme ‘L’écran Témoin’. Since 1992, Paul Germain has been a university lecturer at the EJL, the School of Journalism at Louvain University.

Under the patronage of UNESCO

Practical information


At the Palais des Académies, rue Ducale 1, 1000 Brussels

On Wednesday, June 13th 2018 at 7pm

Discussions in French, translated in English.

Free entrance

Entrance upon registration only. Thank you for confirming your attendance by clicking on the link below.

Contact: culture(at)

The next events

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4 december 2018


"The World in Archipelagos" is an initiative by the Alliance Française Bruxelles-Europe together with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie, the International Organisation of La Francophonie, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, the Service for Cooperation and Cultural Action of the Embassy of France in Belgium, the Embassy of Luxembourg in Belgium, the Embassy of Switzerland in Belgium, the Québec Government Office in Brussels, the Embassy of Tunisia in Brussels (the Tunisian socio-cultural Centre in Brussels) and the Palais des Académies.