#MotherTongue; #FadingOfLanguages; #Globalization; #6000WorldLanguagesEndagered; #LanguagesWithoutBorders
Geneva, Feb 21 (Canadian-Media): Feb 21 was declared to be the International Mother Language Day by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1999, media reports said.
International Mother Language Day. Image credit: unesco.org
The declaration came up in tribute to the political movement known as Language Movement done by the Bangladeshis(then the East Pakistanis) to advocate the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of the then-Dominion of Pakistan in order to allow its use in government offices.
It has been observed throughout the world since 21 Feb 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
The 2020 International Mother Language Day edition will contribute to promoting peaceful dialogue and social inclusion. The 2020 theme is "Languages without borders".
On 16 May 2007 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world" and proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages and named the UNESCO to serve as the lead agency for the Year.
Languages are an important means of identity, communication, social integration, education and development.
Yet due to globalization, these are at present greatly threatened or disappearing altogether. When languages fade, cultural diversity, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression are also lost.
Reportedly about 43 percent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.
We should strive to promote the dissemination of mother tongues not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to be aware of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world.
Toddlers in Bangladesh are introduced to the alphabet.
Image credit: © UNICEF/BANA2014-00573/Mawa
A language disappears every two weeks and takes with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage.
The existence of multilingual and multicultural societies transmit and preserve, through their languages, traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.
Besides increasing awareness of language issues, this initiative also served to mobilize partners and resources in implementation of policies in favor of language diversity and multilingualism in all parts of the world.
The International Year of Languages makes us realize that language is fundamental to communication of all kinds and leads to change and development. Besides languages promote intercultural dialogue, strengthens co-operation in attaining quality education for all. Languages preserve cultural heritage, mobilizes political will for applying the benefits of science and technology to sustainable development.
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