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Dig Deeper: International Mother Language Day

By Abby Stinson

Today, Feb. 21, marks International Mother Language Day, a commemoration established by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to honor the linguistic diversity that enriches our world. Sadly, 40 percent of the world’s population lacks access to education in their “mother language,” or native tongue, leading to the loss of a language every two weeks and erasing valuable aspects of history and culture.  

This initiative, inaugurated in 1999 in Bangladesh, aims to “promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world,” according to the UN. The 2024 theme, “Multilingual education: a necessity to transform education,” underscores the significance of incorporation indigenous languages into education systems. To further this goal, the UN is convening an online panel event featuring experts in multilingual education from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They also have named 2022-2032 as the “International Decade of Indigenous Languages”, ensuring an opportunity to collaborate and stimulate global change in this department.  

The preservation of languages is paramount for maintaining identity, facilitating communication, fostering social integration, promoting education, and driving development. For more information, read here: International Mother Language Day | United Nations.

Dig deeper and explore the resources below.

Abby Stinson ’26 VSB, is a Marketing and Business Analytics major and a student worker at Falvey Library.







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Last Modified: February 21, 2024

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