Let’s Make Noise for Small Languages!

This year is a good year to language-related resolutions: UNESCO declared 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages.

Every few years, the United Nations decide to give a theme (or several themes) to a year. They do so, in their words, to “promote, through awareness and action, the objectives of the Organization”… and that is how 2019 became the Year of Indigenous Languages, but also the Year of Moderation (hum, pardon..?) and the Year of the Periodic Table of Elements!

Now, on a personal note, I think that pairing a celebration of languages and of one the most fundamental advances of modern science is very, very cool. I am obviously biased, but I can only encourage you to learn about D. Mendeleev’s genius.

Back to languages. Last time the UN celebrated languages was in 2008. So if we have to wait a full solar cycle for another such occurence, let’s make sure to make the most of it!

UNESCO is organizing the official launch of the IYIL2019 at their headquarters in Paris, on January 28th. It’s free and open, but registration is required. I will have the incredible luck and honour to attend this event as one of the representatives of Rising Voices, the project of Global Voices that “aims to help bring new voices from new communities and speaking endangered or indigenous languages to the global conversation”, and I can’t wait to be there!

I will post about IYIL2109 regularly here, but maybe not in the way most would expect when we talk about indigenous languages. So do come back…

Photo by Jonas Geschke on Unsplash

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