Indigenous Languages

‘Preserve, revitalize and promote’ indigenous languages, or lose a ‘wealth of traditional knowledge’, UN chief says

Secretary-General António Guterres underscored the urgency to “preserve, revitalize and promote indigenous languages” in his message for the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, celebrated on Friday.

Wednesday’s Daily Brief: Syrian detainees, Zimbabwe hunger crisis, Kabul attack, Mexico disappearances, new tech to feed the world

Wednesday’s top stories: Syrian detainees “failed by Security Council”; Zimbabwe experiencing “worst-ever hunger crisis”; Guterres welcomes new Mozambique peace accord; deadly Kabul attack; Mexico “responsible for enforced disappearances”; indigenous languages at risk; and how innovation should be used to feed the world.

UN celebrates books as ‘bridges across cultures’

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO has long celebrated the power of International Book and Copyright Day, marked on 23 April, but this year, special attention is being paid to the protection of indigenous languages, many of which are threatened with extinction.

Mother Language Day celebrates multilingualism and cultural diversity

Thursday, 21 February is International Mother Language Day – a day set aside to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. It is estimated that every two weeks a language goes extinct. But why try to protect these languages?  What is the real significance of this Day? UN News’s Paulina Greer posed these questions to the Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the UN Ambassador Masud Bin Momen. 

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Call to revitalize ‘language of the ancestors’ for survival of future generations: Indigenous chief

Hundreds of ancestral languages have gone silent in recent generations, taking with them the culture, knowledge and traditions of the people who spoke them. To preserve and revitalize those that remain, the United Nations on Friday officially launched the International Year of Indigenous Languages, at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Cool” tech can keep endangered languages alive says Google exec

“Cool” technology can play an important role in keeping the world’s endangered languages from dying out.

That’s the hope of a senior software engineer from web giant Google, who’s been attending a conference on indigenous languages this week at UN headquarters.

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Mothers helped save Hawaiian language from extinction

Mothers were crucial to so-called “language nests” that brought spoken Hawaiian back from the brink of extinction.

That’s according to activist Amy Kalili, who has been part of the US state of Hawaii’s indigenous language movement since the 1990s.

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