International Mother Language Day

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Related Hashtags#Motherlanguage, #Language, #Mothertongue, #India
2023 Date21 February 2023
2024 Date21 February 2024
International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day History

International Mother Language Day seeks to promote linguistic and cultural diversity as well as multilingualism. This day aims to support quality education, unity, diversity, and international understanding. Language is the most effective way that humans communicate. It serves as a powerful instrument in the preservation and development of cultures and ethnicities.

International Mother Language Day was established in 1999 by UNESCO. It is observed annually on February 21. It serves as a commemoration for the group of university students who were killed by the Pakistani Police in Bangladesh for using their mother language.

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International Mother Language Day Facts & Quotes

  • The theme for International Mother Language Day in 2022 was Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities.
  • As of 2022, the number of known spoken languages was 7,151. about 40% of languages are endangered and have less than 1,000 speakers.
  • The most widely spoken languages in the world by native and non-native speakers are: Mandarin, English and Spanish.
  • The five most difficult languages to learn for an English speaker are Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
  • Mother languages in a multilingual approach are essential components of quality education, which is itself the foundation for empowering women and men in their societies. — Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General.

International Mother Language Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Read about language acquisition and its critical period. Language and The Mind is an educational read by world renowned scientist Noam Chomsky.
  • Host a language party. Invite friends from all over the world and play games requiring each one of you to teach a few basic words in your language and the others to make use of them.
  • Make a financial donation or volunteer at an organization that aims to preserve endangered languages in the world. These organizations work with communities whose languages are at risk of extinction and promote the use of the language in education and communal life. Some such organizations include, The Linguistic Society of America and The Endangered Languages Project.
  • Gather with friends and family to assess your local education system. Does it provide adequate language instruction and second language instruction? Second language acquisition has been linked with critical thinking, creativity and flexibility of the mind.
  • Generate awareness for International Mother Language Day by using the hashtags #InternationalMotherTongueDay, #IMLD, #motherlanguage or a hashtag followed by the language of your post (#english, #bengali, #xhosa).

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