RE: 2008 UN Year of Languages. 2008-02-21 International Mother Language Day

From: Don Osborn (
Date: Thu Feb 14 2008 - 01:18:13 CST

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    Eric Muller wrote:
    > I plan to submit the "UDHR in Unicode" project and I was thinking of
    > contacting some of the other projects to try to get more translations
    > as well.

    Hi Eric, I should have mentioned that also. Great idea to take advantage of the Year in this way.

    Peter Constable wrote:
    > Well, publication of ISO 639-3 was *last* year; but completion of
    > RFC4646bis will be *this* year. I think those are pretty significant
    > projects promoting the indigenous languages of the world.

    Good points. When you get down to it there are a lot of activities that connect one way or another to language. Many of those are ongoing and the Year doesn't change that - but it (1) is a chance to publicize and (2) in putting all these diverse activities in one virtual public space raise awareness of the range of work underway and needed. On the topic of 639 and especially the RFCs, for instance, I think there are probably a lot of language specialists and linguists who have little or no idea what these are.

    John Hudson wrote:
    > Thereby demonstrating a remarkable infelicity of language and ponderous
    > cliché. I wonder
    > if the UN has a whole string of such slogans -- woman matter! children
    > matter! minorities
    > matter! water matters! -- the insistent formula of which seems unlikely
    > to inspire the
    > respect that the things themselves plainly deserve.

    Well, you'll be happy to know that the slogan has been translated into 200 languages:

    At the school where I did my graduate studies some years ago there was a change of university president, and the new one brought in a slogan "People matter!" which got some funny reactions.


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