International Mother Language Day | 21 February

An International Mother Language Day illustration of people from different cultures doing greetings in their languages

What is International Mother Language Day?

Here is a short and simple description about what the International Mother Language Day is all about. It is an annual global event held on 21 February to raise awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and promote multilingualism.

International Mother Language Day (IMLD) aims to raise awareness among people of different cultures and countries about the importance of mother tongue, mother tongue education and its role in preserving language diversity. It also facilitates healthy intercultural understanding.

History of the day

Proclamation of the International Mother Language Day was done by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The idea to celebrate International Mother Language Day was the initiative of Bangladesh.

 The UN General Assembly welcomed the proclamation of the day in its resolution of 2002.

In the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly A/RES/61/266 on 16 May, 2007 called Member States “to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world”. 

In fact with the same resolution, the General Assembly in 2008 proclaimed the International Year of Languages to encourage unity in diversity and global understanding through multilingualism and multiculturalism and named UNESCO to serve as the lead agency of the year.

The importance of the International Mother Language Day?

The day is a good opportunity to celebrate the richness and diversity of languages.

Learning about other languages is important because it teaches you how to communicate with people from different cultures. Learning different cultures will give you an insight into what life is like for others who do not speak your language, which can only be positive if we live in a world where all cultures are respected and valued equally.

Language skills are vital in today’s world; they help us understand each other better, communicate with others easily and get our point across effectively (whether verbally or non-verbally).

It gives us a chance to have an awareness of the richness and diversity of languages around the world.

It gives us a chance to have an awareness of the richness and diversity of languages around the world.

A language is a unique way of communicating with others, and learning another one can give you many benefits. 

Learning a second or third language is not just useful for people who want to travel outside their home countries; it also helps boost your brain power by increasing your cognitive flexibility and creativity. 

And if you’re interested in learning more than one language at once (or even four), consider enrolling in our Spanish-language immersion course!

International Mother Language day observance in Zimbabwe

In a country where minority languages have never enjoyed equal status because of deep social discrimination or legal discrimination, which often leads to their disappearance, IMLD calls on all people in our country to appreciate the value of mother tongue and encourage its development as a civic virtue through education and research projects.

It gives us a chance to:

  • Learn about different languages.
  • Learn about different cultures.
  • Learn about different countries.
  • Learn about different people.
  • Learn about different foods!


Mother Language Day is a great opportunity to learn about different languages around the world. It gives us the chance to have an awareness of the richness and diversity of languages, which can be used in many ways including being able to communicate with people from other countries. The day also gives us a chance to celebrate our mother tongue, which is an important part of identity as well as culture!

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