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International Mother Language Day 2019


February 21 is International Mother Language Day declared by UNESCO in 1999 to celebrated linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Events, workshops, and tweets on this date promote awareness.

Key Links

UNESCO: “UNESCO believes in the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity for sustainable societies. It is within its mandate for peace that it works to preserve the differences in cultures and languages that foster tolerance and respect for others. Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages disappear. Globally 40 percent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. Nevertheless, progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life. Multilingual and multicultural societies exist through their languages which transmit and preserve traditional knowledge and cultures in a sustainable way.”

Planeta.com has paid special attention to this celebration for years and challenge readers to translate ‘International Mother Language’ to other languages.

2019 Message
“Indigenous peoples have always expressed their desire for education in their own languages, as set out in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Since 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme of this year’s International Mother Language Day will be Indigenous languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation. Indigenous peoples number some 370 million and their languages account for the majority of the approximately 7,000 living languages on Earth. Many Indigenous peoples continue to suffer from marginalization, discrimination and extreme poverty, and are the victims of human-rights violations (…). On this International Mother Language Day, I thus invite all UNESCO Member States, our partners and education stakeholders to recognize and enforce the rights of Indigenous peoples.”
— Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of International Mother Language Day

Translating: International Mother Language Day
Spanish: Dia Internacional de la Lengua Materna
Zapotec (San Jerónimo Tlacochahuaya): Chii Xte Dich ni Gul Niu (Day of the Language you were born with)
Ayöök: (Santa María Ocotepec) Ja xëë jöma ja aa ayöök yak jaa’myets

You are what you speak: How your mother tongue shapes you – New Scientist

Embedded Tweets


International Mother Language Day

Indigenous Languages



Dizhsa Nabani


2019 – International Year of Indigenous Languages

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