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International Mother Language Day 2009 concludes International Year of Langauges

Official poster for IMLD 2009 The tenth International Mother Language Day (IMLD) today, 21 Feb. 2009, marks the end of the International Year of Languages (IYL).

As part of the observation of IMLD and the ending of IYL, a revised version of the UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger was unveiled on 19 February. It includes an online, interactive version.

Yesterday, 20 Feb., there was a panel marking IMLD and ending IYL.



  1. Matiul Alam on 21.02.2009 at 13:58 (Reply)

    This is just a beginning. Every individual, group, institution, community, and policy making body has to come with respected action plan (short term & long term) with goals to revive and empower all our mother languages

    1. Don on 22.02.2009 at 07:49 (Reply)

      Hi Matiul, You are right. Of course another essential aspect is to implement the plans – one has seen too many cases of plans made that were never put into action. I think we will also need something more on the international level in the near future, such as an International Decade of Languages, to complement and link efforts focused on specific languages, communities, countries or regions.

  2. Brian Barker on 22.02.2009 at 06:56 (Reply)

    Although International Mother Language Day is now over, you may be interested in the contribution, made by the World Esperanto Association, to UNESCO’s campaign for the protection of endangered languages.

    The following declaration was made in favour of Esperanto, by UNESCO at its Paris HQ in December 2008. http://portal.unesco.org/culture/en/ev.php-URL_ID=38420&URL_DO=DO_PRINTPAGE&URL_SECTION=201.html

    The commitment to the campaign to save endangered languages was made, by the World Esperanto Association at the United Nations’ Geneva HQ in September.
    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eR7vD9kChBA&feature=related or http://www.lernu.net

    1. Don on 22.02.2009 at 08:00 (Reply)

      Thanks, Brian, for this info. It is an excellent illustration of how the role of (and indeed campaigns to promote) an international language can work in tandem with and complement efforts to develop first languages. One is aware of the efforts of the Universal Esperanto Association going back at least a decade to promote both linguistic human rights and an international auxiliary language – see for instance http://www.geocities.com/ueango/ .

  3. Matiul Alam on 22.02.2009 at 11:28 (Reply)

    Yes Don, we need a coordinated global action plan may be through UNESCO.
    Let us think more about this and approach UNESCO after we are little more organized.

    Many thanks Brian for the links and resources.

    Best, Matiul

  4. Professor Kajal rahmani on 22.03.2009 at 14:58 (Reply)

    Dear Linguistic Rights Groups:

    I congratulate you on your efforts. I like to be registered for your next Symposium.

    I am a linguist, socio-cultual anthropologist. My special intersts are ethnic minorites specifically, Kurds. I have made extensive studies on educational and psychological impacts of linguistic dominance on ethnic minorities.

    My on going case study, is about Kurdish communities in northewest ern of Iran. Based on our research, lack of linguistic understanding has deprived kurds from receiving health care and other civil services. This impedement has resulted in unequality of access to priviledges and has fustration Kurdish people.
    I am looking forward to having the opportunity to present my research paper at your next symposium.
    Kajal Rahmani Ph.D.

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