Developments

English Language Day


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English Language Day aims to entertain and inform people about the history, culture and achievements associated with the language. The day often features book-reading events, English quizzes, poetry and literature exchanges, and other activities that promote the English language.

English Language Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

English is one of the two working languages of the UN Secretariat and one of the organization’s six official languages. English is often referred to as a “world language”, or the lingua franca (bridge language or common language used by speakers of different languages) of the modern era because it is widely spoken. The UN first celebrated English Language Day on April 23, 2010.

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For a language that was used by only 3 tribes about 1500 years ago, English has official or special status in at least 75 countries with a total population of over two billion.

UN English Language Day is held every year on 23 April by UN’s Department of Public Information in the year 2010 “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization”. This year in 2019, the UN English Language Day is going to be celebrated on 23 April 2019, Tuesday.

For the English language, 23 April was elected for the reason that it is the date “traditionally observed as both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare”. Other dates were nominated for the celebration of the UN’s additional five official languages.

English Language Day targets to educate and inform people about the history, culture and attainments related with the language. The day often features events such as book-reading, English quizzes, poetry and literature exchanges, as well as other activities that promote the English language.

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English Language Day at the UN is celebrated on 23 April, the date traditionally observed as both the birthday and date of death of William Shakespeare. The Day is the result of a 2010 initiative by the Department of Public Information, establishing language days for each of the Organization’s six official languages. The purpose of the UN’s language days is to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization.

Under the initiative, UN duty stations around the world celebrate six separate days, each dedicated to one of the Organization’s six official languages.