International Mother Language Day 21 February

Languages are who we are

Nelson Mandela once said that “if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language,that goes to his heart”. The language of our thoughts and our emotions is our most valuable asset. Multilingualism is our ally in ensuring quality education for all, in promoting inclusion and in combating discrimination. Building genuine dialogue is premised on respect for languages. Each representation of a better life, each development goal is expressed in a language, with specific words to bring it to life and communicate it.

Languages are who we are; by protecting them, we protect ourselves.

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