Native Languages of the Southwest at UT Arlington
From the 2012 Oklahoma Breath of Life Workshop; the Alabama group, with UT Arlington Linguistics &Student Lori McLain Pierce

Department of Linguistics & TESOL | The University of Texas at Arlington


International Mother Language Day, February 21

International Mother Language Day, first proclaimed by UNESCO in 1999, falls on February 21, and is a day celebrated worldwide to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism."

For the second year in a row, UT Arlington's Native American Languages Lab is celebrating IMLD by joining a Twitter campaign to promote #MotherLanguage Day. This exciting social media campaign involves three simple steps. The effort is spearheaded by Rising Voices, with fellow organizers coming from Indigenous Tweets, Living Tongues Institute and the Endangered Languages Project. More details at TweetMotherLanguage. In 2014 and 2015, Native American Languages Lab Director Colleen Fitzgerald wrote advocacy pieces in support of International Mother Language Day, here's the Huffington Post column from 2015 and the 2014 Native Times column online.In 2015, we also participated with activities that included our sponsorship of the indigenous language UTA Powwow contest, with winners awarded cash prizes onsite at the Powwow.

Here are the basic steps so you can join in:

Step One – Tweet in Your Mother Language

Throughout the day, tweet using your mother language. Please share “why is it important to use your language on the internet?” or tweet greetings or your favorite words/phrases in your language. You might also choose to tweet a translation in order to encourage speakers of other indigenous and minority language communities.

Step Two – Add Hashtags

Add the hashtag #MotherLanguage Add the hashtag of the language (i.e. #Lakota, #Yoruba)

Step Three – Join the Conversation!

Find others using the #MotherLanguage hashtag and retweet them Follow others tweeting in your mother language. Search for the hashtag of your language. Connect with other people celebrating language diversity :) Join in the global celebration of multilingualism, indigenous languages, and celebrate human rights as language rights by tweeting!