Resolve to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism: UN's International Mother Language Day
Dr. Lalit Kishore
The UN Agencies, literature and language groups and educators across the world are celebrating the International Mother Language Day on the 21st February to promote and preserve mother tongues in the form of dialects and home languages.
The observance has been held every year since February 2000 'to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.'
According to the UN, languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and planet, however, due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat, or disappearing altogether.
"When languages fade, so does the world's rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression ? valuable resources for ensuring a better future ? are also lost," observes the UN.
The UN warns that at least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world. "Every two weeks a language disappears taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage," informs the UN.My take is that in rural and tribal areas, transitional courses for school children should be prepared for switch over from home language to the school language so as to preserve the local dialect for using it the core medium to learn the new language or standard language.