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: #imld18, #dilm18, #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.
2018 Theme: Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development
To foster sustainable development, learners must have access to education in their mother tongue and in other languages. It is through the mastery of the first language or mother tongue that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired. Local languages, especially minority and indigenous, transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge, thus play an important role in promoting sustainable futures.
International Mother Language Day also supports target 6 of Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “Ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy.”
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