Facts about International Mother Language Day February 22, 2019 Your mother tongue is an essential part of your identity and your heritage. Many languages today are under pressure and some mother tongues are in danger of disappearing totally due to the pressure of globalization. To help celebrate the importance of language, the United Nations has created International Mother Language Day to focus on nurturing and preserving mother tongues. Many Languages are endangered According to the United Nations an estimated 6000 languages in the world are endangered and every two weeks a language disappears removing all the cultural and intellectual heritage associated with the language. International Mother Language Day was created in February 2000 to highlight this and promote multilingualism. The world’s languages have been under such threat that the United Nations General Assembly declared 2008 the International Year of Languages to promote international understanding and a greater appreciation of multilingualism. Today there is a better awareness of the important role languages play in cultural development and strengthening bonds in society. International Mother Language Day has its roots in Pakistan In 1948 tensions in Pakistan resulted in the Pakistan government deciding that Urdu would become the sole national language. This naturally resulted in protests from the Bengali-speaking majority of East Pakistan. Bengali speakers continued to campaign for the right to use their own mother language and on 29 February 1956, Bengali became the official language in Pakistan. The date for International Mother Language Day – the 21st of February – honours the lives of four students at the University of Dhaka who lost their lives in police unrest as they campaigned for their right to speak Bengali. The theme of 2019 International Mother Language Day International Mother Language Day is celebrated on 21 February every year to develop a greater awareness of the world’s linguistic diversity and the many cultural traditions around the world. The theme of 2019 International Mother Language Day is “Indigenous languages matter for development, peace building and reconciliation”. International Mother Language Day in South Africa International Mother Language Day is a day observed in South Africa as the country is committed to preserving the many languages that make up its rich cultural heritage. On this day South Africa celebrates its eleven official languages: Zulu, Xhosa, Afrikaans, English, Northern Sotho, Tswana, Sotho, Tsonga, Swati, Venda and Ndebele. According to the latest census Zulu is the most common language in South Africa and is the most widely understood. The second biggest South African language is Xhosa, which has been spoken in South Africa since the 1500s! The youngest language in the world is Afrikaans and is the third most spoken language at home in South Africa. If you are a South African living or moving abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through financial emigration, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today. Send us a message Leave your details below including a short message and a financial consultant will contact you. Select a country* Australia Canada New Zealand South Africa United Kingdom United States of America Afghanistan Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory British Virgin Islands Brunei, Nation of Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern and Antarctic Lands Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and Mcdonald Islands Honduras Hong Kong Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran (Islamic Republic of) Iraq Ireland Isle Of Man Israel Italy Ivory Coast (Cote D'ivoire) Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia, Federated States of Moldova Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar (Burma) Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island North Korea Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Island Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka State of Palestine Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Timor-Leste (East Timor) Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United States Minor Outlying Islands United States Virgin Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Vatican City Venezuela Vietnam Wallis and Futuna Islands Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Select a service* General Enquiry Forex only Financial Emigration/Policy surrender Policy surrender Tax related Not required Send Email Licensed South African Financial Services Provider FSP # 42872 You have Successfully Subscribed! FinGlobal Newsletter Subscription Subscribe to the FinGlobal newsletter to receive all the latest news and information regarding our services and South African Expats. I agree to be emailed Subscribe You have Successfully Subscribed!