Playwright Sir Tom Stoppard has presented to a committee of MSPs on the subject of languages.

In a petition, he told the committee that more needs to be done to protect lesser taught languages such as Polish, Russian and Czech. The teaching of these languages in Scottish institutions is currently under threat, with Glasgow University considering axing the teaching of five languages.

Sir Tom was born in Czechoslovakia and came to Britain as a refugee. He told the committee:

“For me the reputation for teaching language in general, and East European languages most particularly, gave Glasgow University, and by reflection the country, a distinction.

“It made it a place to be recommended everywhere.”

He warned: “It is on its way out, it will be gone.” (Source: BBC News)

Official letters will now be sent by the committee to Glasgow University and the Scottish government to ask what can be done about the decline.

Are you learning one of the “lesser taught” languages?