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. Nelson Mandela.
You speak about 4,800 words a day. It has been estimated that the number of actively spoken languages in the world today is about 6,000. The language of a society changes slowly but steadily with the result that an educated person will not be able to read or understand words in his language written 500 years ago.
Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.
International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999 (30C/62).
International Mother Language Day has been observed every year since February 2000 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. The date represents the day in 1952 when students demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.
On 16 May 2007 the United Nations General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/61/266 called upon Member States "to promote the preservation and protection of all languages used by peoples of the world". By the same resolution, the General Assembly proclaimed 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.
A few interesting facts about the English language: The theme of the International Mother Language Day 2018 is: Preserving linguistic diversity and promoting multilingualism to support the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).
The most common letters in English are R S T L N E. ‘E’ is the most commonly used letter in the English language. The longest word in English has 45 letters: ‘pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’! Approximately one new word is added to the English language every two hours and around 4,000 new words are added to the English dictionary every year.