International Mother Language Day 2022: (21st February)

International Mother Language Day

International mother language day is celebrated worldwide on 21st February every year.

It is celebrated to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and to promote multilingualism.

On 17th November 1999, UNESCO first announced it. In 2002, the United Nations General Assembly with the adoption of UN resolution 56/262 formally recognized it.

This celebration is the part of a broader initiative “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”.

The UN General Assembly adopted it on 16 May 2007 in UN resolution 61/266. In 2008, it was established as the International year of languages.

Bangladesh initiated the idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day. 21st February is the anniversary of the day when the people of Bangladesh fought for recognition for the Bangla language in Bangladesh. West Bengal also celebrates this day.

International Mother Language Day History:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declared 21st February as the International Mother Language Day in 1999.

Since 2000, it was observed throughout the world. It was a tribute to the Language Movement done by the Bangladeshis (then the East Pakistanis).

In 1948, Pakistan government declared Urdu as the sole national language of Pakistan. At that time majority, people from East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) & West Pakistan used to speak Bengali/Bangla.

The people of East Pakistan demanded Bangla one of the national language in addition to Urdu. Dhirendranath Datta from East Pakistan raised this demand in the constituent Assembly of Pakistan on 23rd February 1948,.

Police opened fire on rallies on 21st February 1952. Hundreds of people injured & Salam, Barkat, Rafiq, Jabbar and Shafiur died.

This was a very rare incidence in history where people sacrificed their lives for mother language. After that, Bangladeshis celebrate the International Mother Language Day as one of their tragic days.

In Bangladesh, there is a holiday on that day. Rafiqul Islam and Abdus Salam, Bengalis living in Vancouver, Canada suggested the resolution.

On 9th January 1998, they wrote a letter asking to take action for saving the world’s languages from extinction by declaring an International Mother Language Day.

Rafiq proposed that date 21st February in the memory of people killed in Dhaka during the Language Movement.

Mother language/tong tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education.

Actually, Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. It also develops awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world.

The Top 10 Business Languages of the World in 2018 by GDP (IMF) are…

English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Japanese, Hindustani, French, German, Russian   & Portuguese. 

Now let us have a look about the most important business languageso the world. Some of them are English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, French, Japanese, Hindi/Hindustani, German, Russian, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish & Italian.

English is truly a global language. Over 378 million native speakers and over 1.1 billion total speakers it retains its top spot as the language.

It is no longer any secret that, China is an economic powerhouse. Over 1.1 billion total speakers among its ranks. That is similar to English.

Spanish is advisable for any forward-thinking marketing campaign or export strategy. The sheer volume of native Spanish speakers presents businesses with an excellent opportunity.

It is the third most popular language on internet. Spanish-speaking countries are some of the fastest-growing economies.

Arabic is an historic, complex language. It that has given birth to scientific, mathematical and philosophical advances.

It is making a 21st century comeback as a business language. It is said that Arabic-speaking countries means that your business’ ability to speak the language has never been such a sound investment.

French is spoken in all five continents of world. It accounts for 20% world trade in goods. It is not hade to see why this language is a major business a language, as it has over 220,000,000 worldwide speakers.

Japanese is a classic language for international business. It is a language of only 125,000,000, Japanese.

Just because of the incredibly high purchasing power of consumers. Because, Japan is an extremely high-tech, diversified and online economy. Japan is the third largest global eCommerce marketplace

Hindi or ‘Hindustani’:
Many linguists think that Hindi & Urdu are same. For them it is said this language is Hindi/Hindustani.

Moreover, English proficiency is good in this part of the world. This is a language of 0ver 500 million can gain your business a competitive edge.

German language comes from Europe’s largest population, largest economy and with the fifth-largest global economy. It is a major business language needs little further explanation or justification.

It is impossible to overlook the importance of Russian for international business. Russian is the second most popular internet language. Its online marketing opportunities are endless.

Portuguese is an important business language for the immense growth and promise of the Brazilian economy.

Portuguese represents a very smart investment; if you are you are looking to get ahead of the curve as a business. 

Dutch language is claiming only 23 million native speakers among its ranks. In compare to world population, Netherlands has the highest Internet usage as a proportion.

Polish is an Eastern Slavic language with over 40,000,000 speakers globally. It is the second most spoken Slavic language after Russian. If you are a UK exporter, there is no mistaking the importance of speaking Polish.  

It is very substantial economic influence of Italy. Italian language is coupled with native Italian speakers accounting for over 54 million Internet users. They make Italian a sound investment – particularly for UK exporters.

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In India there are many languages spoken by Indians. Very few of them are Hindi, English, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu, Kannada, Odia, Malayalam, Punjabi, Sanskrit etc.

Following are some oldest languages of world.

  • Tamil (5000 years old)
  • Sanskrit (5000 years old)
  • Egyptian (5000 years old)
  • Hebrew (3000 years old)
  • Greek (2900 years old)
  • Basque (2200 years old)
  • Lithuanian (5000 years old)
  • Farsi (2500 years old)
  • Irish Gaelic (1500 years old)
  • Icelandic (1200 years old)
  • Chinese (6000 years old)
  • Arabic (1500 years old)

Following is the list of official languages by states and territories states of India.

  • Andhra Pradesh: Telugu & English
  • Arunachal Pradesh: English
  • Assam: Assamese, Bengali in three districts of Barak Valley & Bodo in Bololand Territorial Council areas
  • Bihar: Hindi & Urdu
  • Chhattisgarh: Hindi & Chhattisgarhi
  • Goa: Konkani, English & Marathi
  • Gujarat: Gujarati & Hindi
  • Haryana: Hindi, English & Punjabi
  • Himachal Pradesh: Hindi & Sanskrit
  • Jharkhand: Hindi, Angika, Bengali, Bhojpuri, Ho, Kharia, Khortha, Kurmali, Kurukh, Magahi, Maithili, Mundari, Nagpuri, Odia, Santali & Urdu
  • Karnataka: Kannada & English
  • Kerala: Malyalam & English
  • Madhya Pradesh: Hindi
  • Maharashtra: Marathi
  • Manipur: Manipuri & English
  • Meghalaya: English & Khasi and Garo
  • Mizoram: Mizo, English & Hindi
  • Nagaland: English
  • Odisha: Odia
  • Punjab: Punjabi
  • Rajasthan: Hindi
  • Sikkim: English, Nepali, Sikkimese, Lepcha, Gurung, Limbu, Magar, Mukhia, Newari, Rai, Sherpa and Tamang
  • Tamilnadu: Tamil & Engliash
  • Telangana: Telugu & Urdu
  • Tripura: Bengali, English, Kokborok
  • Uttar Pradesh: Hindi & Urdu
  • Uttarakhand: Hindi & Sanskrit
  • West Bengal: Bengali, English, Nepali in Darjeeling and Kurseong sub-divisions, Urdu, Hindi, Odia, Santali, Punjabi, Kamtapuri, Rajbanshi, Kurmali and Kurukh in blocks, divisions or districts with population greater than 10 percent