21 February 2014, Friday, 16:46

International Mother Language Day is celebrated in Bashkiria

author: Arina Rakhimkulova

On February 21 the whole world celebrates the International Mother Language Day. It was established in November 1999 by the decision of the 30th session of the General Conference of UNESCO and is celebrated every year.

UNESCO estimates that half of approximately six thousand languages in the world may soon lose the last speakers. In 2009, UNESCO recognized 136 languages in Russia as endangered.

Bashkortostan traditionally refers to regions with a great number of multilingual people. Almost half of the population speaks two or more languages, of which 382.5 thousand people — three or more. The Ministry of Education and the Committee RB for UNESCO Affairs pay great attention to the preservation and development of native languages. 14 native languages are studied at republican schools: Bashkir, Russian, Tatar, Chuvash, Mari, Udmurt, Mordovian, German, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Latvian, Polish, Jewish, Armenian.

International language festivals under the auspices of the Committee RB for UNESCO Affairs have become traditional events in the republic, where students and universities lecturers, pupils of UNESCO Associated Schools, Centres and Clubs of UNESCO, scientists, linguists and language lovers of Bashkortostan, Russia and foreign countries take part. The III International Language Festival in the Republic of Bashkortostan was held under the auspices of UNESCO, at Ufa State Petroleum Technological University in December 2013.