to be or not to be? that is the question

BabeliUM – the name of the Language Centre of the School of Letters, Arts and Human Sciences of the University of Minho (UMinho) alludes to the myth of the Tower of Babel.

However, instead of understanding the confusion of different languages as a divine punishment, BabeliUM adopts another interpretation that emerged from Enlightenment, according to which linguistic and cultural plurality is seen as a gift and a valuable resource of this planet. With this vision in mind, BabeliUM’s mission aims at transforming the University of Minho into a multilingual university opened to the world.

Multilingualism is a key vector of the internal institutional policy and interaction with BabeliUM’s partners, in line with the policies of the Council of Europe and the European Union, as well as with the USA recommendations (European Universit y Association), with a view to promoting the University of Minho:

  • As internationalised university, open to the plurality of languages and cultures;
  • As a vital element of a region of knowledge and culture.

All are invited to be part of this project that, through a wide range of actions, events and services:


Emphasises the importance of languages (mother tongue, second language, foreign language) as tools of cognition, communication and intercultural coexistence, since the knowledge of languages increases key competences in a multilingual world;


Promotes intercultural coexistence as an essential element of citizenship within democracy, peace and solidarity, against xenophobia and social exclusion trends;


Supports the widespread awareness of the importance of the Portuguese language and its competences on the European and international context, particularly through educational and learning programmes of Portuguese as non-native language (Portuguese as Foreign Language – PLE / Portuguese as Second Language – PL2).

General and current information on BabeliUM is available in these websites. For further information, please feel free to get in touch with BabeliUM’s General Office ( or with any members of the Executive Committee.