Многоязычие и языковое разнообразие

Multilingualism and Linguistic diversity

Information and knowledge are key determinants of wealth creation, social transformation, and human development. Language enables the delivery of information and knowledge coded in different sociocultural, political, and economic contexts. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression in a language of their choice on the Internet and in the public domain, as enshrined within the international human rights instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and emphasized in the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Access to Cyberspace (2003). The 2003 Recommendation is an unique normative instrument which encourages international organizations, governments, civil society, academia and private sector organizations including IT industry, to collaborate in the development of multilingual content and systems, facilitate access to networks and systems, develop public domain content, and seek equitable balance between the interests of rights-holders and the public interest. 

Despite the immense value of languages, more than half of all languages are in danger of falling into disuse, with devastating impacts for the global linguistic diversity and the situation of language communities, particularly Indigenous Peoples. As part of its action to implement the United Nations resolution (A/RES/74/135), UNESCO as the lead United Nations agency supports the preservation, revitalization and promotion of Indigenous languages, notably in the framework of the Global Action Plan of the International Decade. 


International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032 !
International Year of Indigenous Languages (IYIL2019)
UNESCO World Atlas of Languages (WAL)
Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access to Cyberspace (2003)

Join the International Decade of Indigenous Languages 2022-2032

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Facts and Figures


are documented with approximately 7,000 still in use

About 1,400
languages enjoy legal recognition
Around 1,500
languages risk losing their users in the near future
Less than 2%
of languages in use

benefit from workable advanced technologies

Our Publications

State of the art of indigenous languages in research: a collection of selected research papers
Global action plan of the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (IDIL 2022-2032)
15 October 2021
The International Year of Indigenous Languages: mobilizing the international community to preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages
UNESCO World Atlas of Languages: summary document
A Decade of promoting multilingualism in cyberspace