In case you missed it, today is International Mother Language Day. One might wonder what the point is to celebrating your mother language, but when it comes down to it, mother languages truly deserve some love. Here’s why… International Mother Language Day has been celebrated since 2000, but it has an interesting, longer history: A day to celebrate our mother languages, peace, and multilingualism born out of a movement to defend people’s rights to use their first language.
Mother (or first) languages get a tough deal. In our world today, we spend a lot of time working to move away from our mother tongue. Multilingual skills are prized on the job market, seen as a personal goal to give us more mobility and to travel with ease, or be actively engaged global citizens.
But, who are we without our mother language? We can’t even learn a second or third or n-th language without our mother language to start from. Our mother language shapes who we are, even when other languages are in the driver’s seat.
The truth is, mother languages — much like our mothers themselves — often get overlooked as just “being there”. Take a moment today to think about your mother language and how it’s served you. Consider how it’s even helped you to learn another language… then go learn that language right now!