About the Centre


About the Centre

The Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding is situated in Veröld – House of Vigdís. The centre operates under the auspices of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and is affiliated to the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir Institute for Foreign Languages at the University of Iceland.

The Vigdís International Centre for Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding began operations on 20 April 2017 when Veröld – House of Vigdís was formally opened. Within the centre are facilities for conferences, symposia, lectures, research, film screenings, courses, meetings, exhibitions and collections of various information and data on languages in a broad context, all in accordance with aims outlined in the collaborative agreement between the Government of Iceland and UNESCO from 2013.  The main objectives of the Centre shall be:

  • To promote multilingualism in order to further understanding, exchange and respect between cultures and nations;
  • To raise awareness of the importance of language as a core element of the cultural heritage of mankind;
  • To promote translation and translation studies and the observation, analysis and statistics of translation flow;
  • To work at the preservation of languages and to create awareness of language policies and control of languages, with multilingualism as a guiding light;
  • To promote research and education in foreign languages and cultures;
  • To support and promote research into mother tongues, regarding them as a basic element of human rights.

The main emphases of the Vigdís International Centre are as follows:

  • Ecology of Languages in the West Nordic Region, i.e. the interconnection of languages and cultures on the western coast of Norway and in the Faroe Isles, Iceland and Greenland.
  • Indigenous languages and languages in limited geographic areas with small numbers of native speakers, in connection with the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022–2032 (IDIL 2022-2032) in collaboration with UNESCO.
  • The literature, language and culture of the Romani/Gypsy peoples around the world in connection with the research network Roma in the Centre.
  • An exhibition, The Living Language Lab, in which visitors have the opportunity to become acquainted with a wide variety of the world’s languages and to learn about their histories.