When languages fade, the UN says, “so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression – valuable resources for ensuring a better future – are also lost.” It is because of this that International Mother Language Day was created in 1999 when the United Nations General Assembly called on members to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by all peoples of the world.
According to Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, “Multilingualism is a source of strength and opportunity for humanity. It embodies our cultural diversity and encourages the exchange of views, the renewal of ideas and the broadening of our capacity to imagine.” This week, we have honored International Mother Language Day by sharing the stories of Carla Hurd and David Harrison.
To learn even more about the future of the world’s 7,000 languages, take a look at this infographic from Transparent Language.