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Communication in the EU


Communicating in the EU


Languages


Europe is rich in languages with about 225 spoken indigenous languages. The main language families in the EU are Germanic, Romance, Slav, Baltic and Celtic. The EU institutions now have 20 official languages but you may get along very well with English in all European countries, especially when communicating with the younger generation.

Many Europeans speak at least one other language as well as their mother tongue but during your travels in Europe, try using at least a few phrases of the local language when talking to local people. It will add colour to your experiences.

A European Day of Languages now takes place on 26 September, every year, to celebrate and encourage language learning. The slogan for this year is “Pack an extra language in your luggage”. It is never too late to learn a language and enjoy the opportunities it opens up.


Telephone

There is just one prefix for making international telephone calls anywhere in the EU: 00.

The country codes are:

Austria
43
 
Italy
39
Belgium
32
Ireland
353
Cyprus
357
Luxembourg
352
Czech Republic
420
Lithuania
370
Germany
49
Latvia
371
Denmark
45
Malta
356
Spain
34
The Netherlands
31
Estonia
372
Portugal
351
France
33
Poland
48
Finland
358
Sweden
46
United Kingdom
44
Slovakia
421
Greece
30
Slovenia
386
Hungary
36
   

The prefix 00 800 followed by an eight digit number indicates a universal international free phone number but be aware that not all mobile phone companies and hotels recognise it and may charge.
The prefix 00 979 followed by a nine digit number indicates a universal international premium rate number.

The prefixes which indicate national telephone services that are either free or cost extra high premium charges are not the same in all EU-countries. Top


Mobile phone communicationMobile phones

You can use your mobile phone anywhere in Europe and in many other parts in the world thanks to the EU's GSM technical standard. Before travelling, however, contact your network provider to make sure that your phone is enabled for international roaming. Coverage will vary and the costs will depend on your provider. Don't forget that there can be charges for receiving calls abroad both for you and the caller. Most US mobile phones will not work in Europe but there are ample possibilities of renting a mobile phone in Europe for the duration of you stay. Top


Postcards

Postage stamps can only be used in the country in which you buy them, even when priced in euro.
If you want to send a postcard to another EU country, here are the most used rates valid at the beginning of 2004. For letters and other rates, ask the local post office.

Country you are in:

Austria
0.55  
Italy
0.62
Belgium
0.59
Ireland
0.57
Cyprus
0.26 Cyprus pound
Luxembourg
0.60
Czech Republic
9.00 koruna
Lithuania
0.30 lats
Germany
0.45
Latvia
1.70 litas
Denmark
6.00 kroner
Malta
0.16 lira
Spain
0.52
The Netherlands
0.61
Estonia
6.00 kroon
Portugal
0.55
France
0.50
Poland
2.60 zloty
Finland
0.65
Sweden
10.00 kronor
United Kingdom
0.38 pound sterling
Slovakia
14.00 koruna
Greece
0.65
Slovenia
0,35 €
Hungary
130 forint
   

  

 
  GREECE AND THE EUROPEAN
  UNION
  COMMUNICATION IN THE EU
   Languages
   Telephone
   Mobile phone
   Postcards

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