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International Mother Tongue Day

21st February 

 

International Mother Tongue Day is a remembrance day declared by UNESCO to "promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism". It has been celebrated on 21st February each year since 2000.

 

Given that a good half of the world's spoken languages is threatened with extinction, on the one hand UNESCO has made it a mission to promote languages as a sign of the cultural identity of its speakers. On the other hand, it is about teaching foreign languages and multilingualism as a key to mutual understanding and respect.

 

The purpose of the annual day of remembrance is to draw attention to minority languages with less than 10,000 speakers. In many cases, these languages are no longer passed on to subsequent generations and fall into disuse. Many languages with less than one hundred speakers are not even recorded and documented. A particular priority in 2005 were the sign languages for the deaf and Braille for the blind.

 

(Source: Wikipedia, license: CC-A/SA) The text "Internationaler Tag der Muttersprache" was from taken from www.kleiner-kalender.de.

 

Linguist and expert on multilingualism, Dr. Karin Martin gives Webinars, workshops and consultant services to understand and facilitate children’s language learning and to help adults to communicate with confidence in a foreign language. More info: www.karinmartin-linguist.com