International Mother Language Day Celebration

Dr. Baldomero Lago - Chief International Officer UVU

Dr. Sayeed Sajal - Asst. Professor - Computer Science UVU

Meg Singer - Program Director Native American Initiative UVU

Dr. Michael Ballard - Asst. Professor - ASL & Def Studies UVU

Leone Saaga - Program Director Pacific Islander Initiative UVU

Languages, with their complex implications for identity, communication, social integration, education and development, are of strategic importance for people and planet. Yet, due to globalization processes, they are increasingly under threat, or disappearing altogether. When languages fade, so does the world's rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression — valuable resources for ensuring a better future — are also lost.

At least 43% of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered. Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world.

International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The month of February was chosen in memory of university students in Bangladesh who were killed on February 21, 1952 while campaigning to officially use their mother language of Bengali.