19 February 2020

UNAI Quiz: International Mother Language Day

Twenty years ago, the United Nations proclaimed 21 February as International Mother Language Day in recognition of the importance of promoting and preserving linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The day encourages UN Member States to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world and to promote unity in diversity and international understanding through multilingualism and multiculturalism. Today, there is a growing awareness of the pivotal role mother tongues play in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, as well as strengthening cooperation and attaining quality education, all of which contribute to sustainable development.

 

Many of the world’s languages and cultures are in danger of disappearing in the coming decades for a variety of political, economic and social reasons, endangering cultural and intellectual heritage. UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger estimates that 3,000 indigenous languages spoken in the world are endangered. In a region like sub-Saharan Africa where close to 2000 languages are spoken, it is probable that at least 10 per cent of them will disappear in the next hundred years. India, the United States of America, Brazil, Indonesia and Mexico also have the greatest number of endangered languages due to their great linguistic diversity. Only a few hundred languages have been genuinely given a place in the education systems and the public domain, yet evidence today clearly shows that education in a person’s mother tongue is crucial for effective learning. There has been notable progress in better understanding the importance of mother tongue-based multilingual education, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment has been secured to enhance its development in public life.

 

Test your knowledge of the World Mother language now!

Correct! There are estimated 6,000 languages spoken in the world; 43 per cent of these languages are endangered, with only a few hundred given a place in educational systems.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. There are estimated 6,000 languages spoken in the world; 43 per cent of these languages are endangered, with only a few hundred given a place in educational systems.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. There are estimated 6,000 languages spoken in the world; 43 per cent of these languages are endangered, with only a few hundred given a place in educational systems.

Correct! 40 per cent – or 2.3 billion people – of the global population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand. However, there is now a growing awareness and understanding of the importance of indigenous languages, especially in early schooling. The increasing global recognition of indigenous knowledge systems gives hope that indigenous languages will thrive and spread in spoken and written forms. Many indigenous communities have already instituted their own systems of revitalizing their languages. In Japan for example, the Ainu tribe set up a learning system in which elders teach the language to the young people, helping to preserve and promote it for future generations.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. 40 per cent – or 2.3 billion people – of the global population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand. However, there is now a growing awareness and understanding of the importance of indigenous languages, especially in early schooling. The increasing global recognition of indigenous knowledge systems gives hope that indigenous languages will thrive and spread in spoken and written forms. Many indigenous communities have already instituted their own systems of revitalizing their languages. In Japan for example, the Ainu tribe set up a learning system in which elders teach the language to the young people, helping to preserve and promote it for future generations.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. 40 per cent – or 2.3 billion people – of the global population does not have access to education in a language they speak or understand. However, there is now a growing awareness and understanding of the importance of indigenous languages, especially in early schooling. The increasing global recognition of indigenous knowledge systems gives hope that indigenous languages will thrive and spread in spoken and written forms. Many indigenous communities have already instituted their own systems of revitalizing their languages. In Japan for example, the Ainu tribe set up a learning system in which elders teach the language to the young people, helping to preserve and promote it for future generations.

Correct! Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages continue to disappear. Every two weeks a language disappears, taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Out of the 6,000 existing languages in the world, more than 200 have become extinct during the last three generations. Countries and regions with great linguistic diversity have the greatest number of endangered languages. The sub-Saharan Africa region, for example, is home to nearly 2,000 languages – nearly one third of total world languages; at least 10 per cent of them will disappear in the next hundred years.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages continue to disappear. Every two weeks a language disappears, taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Out of the 6,000 existing languages in the world, more than 200 have become extinct during the last three generations. Countries and regions with great linguistic diversity have the greatest number of endangered languages. The sub-Saharan Africa region, for example, is home to nearly 2,000 languages – nearly one third of total world languages; at least 10 per cent of them will disappear in the next hundred years.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. Linguistic diversity is increasingly threatened as more and more languages continue to disappear. Every two weeks a language disappears, taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage. Out of the 6,000 existing languages in the world, more than 200 have become extinct during the last three generations. Countries and regions with great linguistic diversity have the greatest number of endangered languages. The sub-Saharan Africa region, for example, is home to nearly 2,000 languages – nearly one third of total world languages; at least 10 per cent of them will disappear in the next hundred years.

Correct! The Universal Declaration of Human Rights holds the Guinness World Record as the most translated document in the world. It has been translated into more than 500 languages.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights holds the Guinness World Record as the most translated document in the world. It has been translated into more than 500 languages.

Incorrect. The correct answer is C. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights holds the Guinness World Record as the most translated document in the world. It has been translated into more than 500 languages.

Correct! UNESCO proclaimed 21 February as International Mother language day in November 1999 during its General Conference. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation in its resolution A/RES/56/262 of 2002. UNESCO reaffirmed its commitment to the use of multilanguage education in 2003 and emphasized the central tole of mother tongue instruction in achieving quality Education for All.

Incorrect. The correct answer is B. UNESCO proclaimed 21 February as International Mother language day in November 1999 during its General Conference. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation in its resolution A/RES/56/262 of 2002. UNESCO reaffirmed its commitment to the use of multilanguage education in 2003 and emphasized the central tole of mother tongue instruction in achieving quality Education for All.

Incorrect. The correct answer is B. UNESCO proclaimed 21 February as International Mother language day in November 1999 during its General Conference. The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation in its resolution A/RES/56/262 of 2002. UNESCO reaffirmed its commitment to the use of multilanguage education in 2003 and emphasized the central tole of mother tongue instruction in achieving quality Education for All.

Thank you for taking the UNAI Quiz on International Mother Language Day. Click submit for additional resources!