Last updated on February 14th, 2020 at 05:22 pm
“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. (…) 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.
2019 was designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Indigenous Languages, in partnership with the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. As we continue into 2020, we want to carry that forward into this year and the others to come. Our translation company is devoted to translation and interpretation as a method of intercultural and multilingual exchange, and so we want to put a spotlight on Mother Language Day/MLD since it is special to us. Our mission is multilingual communication via multilingual translation services, a mother language day is a way to celebrate all the languages.
Approved in 1999 by the UNESCO General Conference, Mother Language Day is observed yearly on the 21st of February. Introduced by Bangladesh in late 1999, Mother Language Day has been a global day of awareness since 2000. Its purpose is to bring focus to linguistic conservation as an important component of improving globalism, tolerance, cultural interconnectedness, etc.
The celebrations of Mother Language Day have a tragic backstory. On February 21st, 1952, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, four students of the University of Dhaka were shot and killed by police during protests. The protests were in response to a 1948 government ruling that declared Urdu the national language, despite the majority of the local population speaking Bengali. People felt that this was an unjust erasure of their language and culture, a feeling echoed by untold millions of indigenous peoples throughout history.
International Mother Language Day is now a public holiday in Bangladesh. People go to the Shaheed Minar, or Martyr Monument, in Dhaka to pay respects to those killed. Around the globe, it is a time of remembrance, and a reminder to defend what we hold dear. Language and culture are deeply intertwined, and our ideas and how we express them to each other are only as good as the linguistic tools we have available to us.
International Mother Language Day observance is gaining traction around the world. Since 2002, the Linguapax Institute in Barcelona, Spain has awarded a prize for excellence in promoting linguistic longevity, diversity, preservation, education, and healthy relations between language groups. Organizations such as the International and Heritage Languages Association, the 2016 winner of the Linguapax Prize, work to preserve minority languages and the cultures they embody.
As the world continues to globalize, we see more and more opportunities to serve our clients and the world with language services, from translation to interpretation to localization.
Even with the freedom we have today to converse with people around the globe, we see some languages dying for different reasons. These languages must be preserved and represented. Did you know that, according to UNESCO, about 40% of our world’s population has no access to information, education, or community resources in their preferred language?
You can use this to your business or organization’s advantage. As the internet grows by leaps and bounds, translating your website can draw users from around the world. Market analysis can help you decide what languages to consider translating your material into.
We dream of having established linguistic avenues for every language possible, and we believe that it doesn’t have to be a dream, especially in 2020 and beyond.
Multilingualism promotes improvements for human wellness in a myriad of different ways, including:
On International Mother Language Day, take time to consider the place your unique language and dialect hold in your everyday interactions and consider the languages spoken around you. Consider different ways to make multilingualism a part of your efforts to better serve your own interests and those of your fellow man. JR Language is Translation Company proud to be a part of the global movement to safeguard indigenous languages while connecting voices everywhere through professional language services.
Contact us today to find out more about getting your message to the world. We can connect any industry to any market in any language with our worldwide network of native professionals translators and interpreters.