International Mother Language Day, February 22 and 23
Is technology friend or foe when it comes to preserving local languages? That was one of the questions posed as part of a two-day event to mark the 11th International Mother Language Day (IMLD).
The International Symposium: Translation and Cultural Mediation brought together experts in Paris on February 22 and 23 to discuss topics including bridging global and local languages and Translation, Mutual Understanding and Stereotypes.
Information sessions on UNESCO’s languages and multilingualism activities included one on the New Atlas of Endangered Languages. In addition there were two education presentations, one on mother tongue instruction in bilingual or multilingual education and the other entitled Technology and the Mother Tongue; Friend or Foe?
IMLD has been celebrated annually on 21 February since 2000 to raise awareness of the importance of recognizing cultural and linguistic diversity and multilingual education. This year it is celebrated as part of the 2010 - International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures.
IMLD grows in importance each year with more and more countries organizing educational and cultural events. This year, among other events worldwide, the village of Kovacica in the Republic of Serbia where national minorities of Slovaks. Romanians, Roma, Hungarians, Ruthenians and Croats live alongside Serbs, will celebrate the event with roundtables and discussions. On February 21 one lesson in every school in Serbia will be dedicated to mother languages.