[EDLING:1265] International Mother Language Day: 21 February
Francis M. Hult
fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Wed Feb 22 01:14:17 UTC 2006
International Mother Language Day
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by UNESCO's General
Conference in November 1999. The International Day has been observed every
year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our
tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of
mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and
multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and
cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on
understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
International Mother Language Day 2006 will be devoted to the topic of
languages and cyberspace.
For more information visit:
On the occasion of the sixth International Mother Language Day,
celebrated 21 February, UNESCO is organizing a conference on linguistic
diversity*. Participants will include: VigdÃs FinnbogadÃ³ttir, former
President of the Republic of Iceland and Goodwill Ambassador of the
Organization, Adama Samassekou, President of the African Academy of
Languages, Vittorio Bo, President of Codice (Italy) and Daniel Prado,
Director of the Terminology and Language Industries Department of the
Latin Union (Room IV, from 10 am to 6 pm). The conference will be opened
by UNESCO Director-General KoÃ¯chiro Matsuura, Musa Bin Jaafar Bin
Hassan, President of the General Conference, and Zhang Xinsheng,
President of the Executive Board of the Organization.
VigdÃs FinnbogadÃ³ttir will discuss the impact of the disappearance of
languages, which is the subject of a documentary film, In Languages We
Live â Voices of the World (Denmark 2005), made at her initiative.
Directed by Billeskov Jansen and Signe Byrge SÃ¸rensen, the film treats
the issue through a number of individual stories.
The documentary film screening will be followed by the presentation of a
number of initiatives for the protection of linguistic diversity.
Vittorio Bo will talk about the City of the Word project for a museum
dedicated to languages soon be established in Italy. This project is an
initiative of Codice, an association which creates and manages cultural
research projects (_http://www.codicecultura.it_).
Adama Samassekou will present the activities of the African Academy of
Languages, which was recently instituted as an organ of the African
Union (AU), entrusted with developing continent-wide programmes
(_http://www.acalan.org_). The AU has proclaimed 2006 as the Year of
Daniel Prado will present the results of the survey about
multilingualism recently carried out by the Latin Union, an institution
dedicated to the promotion of the common heritage and identities of the
Latin world (_http://www.unilat.org_).
International Mother Language Day is celebrated every year on 21
February to promote the recognition and practice of the mother languages
of the world, and especially those of minorities. It was proclaimed in
1999 during the 30th session of UNESCO General Conference.
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