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Monday, 26 February 2018 09:01

Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World

International Mother Language Day (21st February), saw the launch of The Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World. The document appeared in 39 languages, from Afrikaans and Arabic to Welsh and Zulu, with more translations to follow. It was written by the participants of the Salzburg Global Seminar’s session on Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World (December 12-17, 2017 salzburgglobal.org/go/586). The document calls for policies that value and uphold multilingualism and language rights. It also underlines the fundamental role played by translation and interpreting in multilingual societies. The statement can be found here: http://education.salzburgglobal.org/statements/a-multilingual-world.html

In today’s interconnected world, the ability to speak multiple languages and communicate across linguistic divides is a critical skill. Even partial knowledge of more than one language is beneficial. Proficiency in additional languages is a new kind of global literacy. Language learning needs to be expanded for all – young and old.

However, millions of people across the globe are denied the inherent right to maintain, enjoy and develop their languages of identity and community. This injustice needs to be corrected in language policies that support multilingual societies and individuals.

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