UN Declares 2008 International Year of Languages

the United Nations declared 2008 the International Year of Languages. The February 2008 UNESCO Courier focuses on world languages and culture with several interesting articles.

“The first instrument of a people’s genius is its language,” said the French writer Stendhal. Literacy, learning, social integration….Everything transits through language, which embodies national, cultural and sometimes religious identity for each person. It constitutes one of the fundamental dimensions of a human being. Yet specialists estimate that within only a few generations, more than half of the 7,000 languages spoken in the world face extinction, because they are not represented in government, education and the media. For this reason, the United Nations had declared 2008 the International Year of Languages, to be launched by UNESCO on 21 February, International Mother Language Day.

There are several interesting articles about languages around the world, bilingualism, and more! Happy reading!

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