Poster: Ron Mader, International Mother Language Day = Dia Internacional de la Lengua Materna
February 21 is International Mother Language Day declared by UNESCO in 1999 to celebrated linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. Events, workshops and even tweets on this date promote awareness.
Hashtags: #imld17, #dilm17, #LenguaMaterna
UNESCO: “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.”
We are fans of the #UsaTuVoz initiative in Oaxaca, Mexico. There is a veritable renaissance of recognition of Indigenous culture in this southern Mexican state starting with language.
We have paid special attention to this celebration for years and challenge readers to translate ‘International Mother Language’ to other languages.
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)
Ayuuk: (Santa María Ocotepec) Ja xëë jöma ja aa ayöök yak jaa’myets
International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.