February 21st is International Mother Language Day! This day marks the anniversary of when the people of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) protested for the recognition of their mother Language, Bangla. For over 20 years, it has been a worldwide celebration promoting multilingualism and language preservation.
International Mother Language Day is also an opportunity to acknowledge the struggle for the recognition of mother languages around the world. Many minority language speakers have historically had their mother language suppressed in the name of the majority language. It’s important to know this history so we can recognize it and can fight against the remaining stigma today and establish language-honoring solutions like multilingual education and globally accessible information.
What is a “Mother Language”?
Someone’s mother language is the language that they grew up speaking in their childhood. It’s the first language that they view the world through. It’s the language of their family, their home, and their community. And each mother language is valuable because it carries with it the culture, meaning, and history unique to itself.
What’s Special about International Mother Language Day 2022?
This year’s theme from UNESCO, “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities,” is close to our hearts here at Amara. Our staff and volunteers are passionate about creating a diverse media ecosystem where voices of all languages can be heard. Because every voice has the potential to make positive change, to help protect endangered languages, and preserve meaning and value unique to each language. Multilingualism in online content is essential to creating an inclusive media ecosystem and we are committed to facilitating that through our platform. Our free subtitling editor and volunteer team space has helped make content more accessible to language communities all over the world.
Celebrate International Mother Language Day with Amara!
We want to take this opportunity to thank the remarkable volunteers here at Amara. Our volunteer teams create subtitles in hundreds of languages to make content accessible to local audiences. Your subtitling and translation efforts make content more accessible and foster multilingualism in online spaces. Subtitling videos in your mother language is a great contribution to a more inclusive media ecosystem. And that’s something we can all be proud to be a part of!
If you want to get involved in a volunteer team, please consider checking out the Amplifying Voices initiative. Each batch of videos on the Amplifying Voices team covers a critical topic in our world today, including endangered and at-risk languages. Feel free to check out this team or our many other volunteer teams on Amara to get started.
If you don’t see your mother language supported on Amara, we encourage you to email our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org with the language name, reading direction, and variant if applicable to your language. We support hundreds of language codes on Amara, and we will be happy to add yours to the Amara family!