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UNESCO highlights IT's role in protecting mother languages

English.news.cn   2011-02-18 06:24:21 FeedbackPrintRSS

PARIS, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will promote the protection of mother languages by employing new information technologies, the Paris-based organization said on Thursday.

The protection campaign, which is devoted to the International Mother Language Day on February 21, aims to "encourage users to share stories, photos and videos" by using new information technologies, such as the social media Twitter and Facebook, in a move to promote linguistic diversity.

The UN cultural branch plans to hold an information meeting and debate, themed on"Projects on Linguistic Diversity and New Technologies,"and will gather linguists, experts and representatives from concerned countries and international organizations.

According to a UN report, half of the world's 6,000 languages are now endangered.

Each language "is a unique source of meaning for understanding, writing and expressing reality" and the international day is "a moment to recognize their importance and to mobilize for multilingualism and linguistic diversity," UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a message to mark the day.

A number of projects on mother language protection are been undertaken in Chile, Brazil and Africa. The International Mother Language Day, celebrated every year since 2000 on February 21, aims to raise awareness of the importance of cultural and linguistic diversity and of multilingual education.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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