The 1st International Day of Multilingualism

[ 2 ] 25/03/2019 |

A group of language enthusiasts and linguists are proposing the 27th of March as the International Day of Multilingualism. Not the International Mother Language Day (21 Feb) or the European Day of Languages (26 Sept), but a day to celebrate multilingualism! It’s a lovely initiative, aiming to establish the normality of people and entire populations speaking more than one languages in their daily lives, reinforcing our right to speak and embrace all of our languages.

The 27th March was chosen for the International Day of Multilingualism because this is the date engraved on the Rosetta Stone (27 March 196 BC), arguably the world’s most famous multilingual text, engraved with Ancient Egyptian, in both hieroglyphic and Demotic text, and Ancient Greek. The Rosetta Stone was the key to unlocking new understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics because linguists in the 1800s were able to decode the hieroglyphs by translating the Ancient Greek text and comparing it to the Demotic text, looking for overlapping phonic or ideographic clues.

The founders of this initiative explain that the overlapping of languages, the clues that one language provides for another, and the way that we use languages in a multi-layered, multi-lingual way in our lives has provided the inspiration for the triangles symbol in the logo for the International Day of Multilingualism. Many languages, and many ways of learning and speaking them. All just as valid and valued. This is what we celebrate on the first International Day of Multilingualism. Multilingual is normal!

You can also support the first International Day of Multilingualism on 27th March 2019 by:
1 – sharing a photo/quote/fact related to languages across as many of your social media accounts as possible
2 – using the #multilingualisnormal hashtag in all posts
3 – posting at 09:00 and 21:00 GMT on Wednesday 27th March 2019
4 – scheduling multiple posts to create a simultaneous wave of support

Let’s get the topic trending, and get people talking about talking!

You can join the International Day of Multilingualism Facebook group here, and discuss ideas on how to take part with other interested parties. The official website can be accessed here.

Related posts:

International Day of Multilingualism: 27 March
International Day of Multilingualism 27th of March
Multilingual is Normal

Category: Uncategorized

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