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International Mother Language Day International Mother Language Day
by The Ovi Team
2023-02-21 09:59:33
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language01February 21st; 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 multilingualism.

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.

On 16 May 2007, by resolution 61/266, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.

UNESCO promotes mother tongue-based bilingual or multilingual approaches in education - an important factor for inclusion and qualilty in education. Research shows this has a positive impact on learning and learning outcomes.

The Organization provides normative frameworks for language policy and education and shares good practices in bilingual and multilingual education and mother tongue instruction.

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Emanuel Paparella2013-02-21 17:53:06
Vico wrote that language is essential to civilization. Today there are some 7000 languages still alive. It is predicted by linguists that by the end of the 21st century 90% of those languages will have been lost. This goes in tandem with the ecological disaster. It is a cultural disaster.

The “progressive” among us in love with globalization and "inevitable progress" see this as a positive: in the end we will have one language and it will be English and things will run more efficiently. This is part of their reductionism: reduce everything to its lowest common denominator, including cultures, in the interests of venture capitalism and the accumulation of wealth.

What those myopic visionless individuals lose sight of is that the disappearance of even one language is an enormous cultural loss: it diminishes our way of expressing the relationship with nature, with the earth, between each other within the framework of families and next of kin (especially the dialects), the way humor is expressed, community organization, life itself.

The delusion that what comes at the end is always the best and globalizaion is an unvarnished step forward for mankind needs urgent revisiting. Sometimes what comes at the end is not progress but cultural impoverishment and extinction. Food for thought!

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