World

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Court Rejects Special Status for Russian in Moldova

Last month, Moldova’s constitutional court rejected a law that would have given special status to the Russian language (Language Magazine, January 2021). The law was passed last year by the pro-Russian parliament previously led by Igor Dodon, who lost re-election to current president Maia Sandu of the center-right Party of Action and Solidarity. The Constitutional…

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Fostering Multilingualism for Inclusion

Sunday’s celebration of International Mother Language Day, the UN’s annual commemoration honoring linguistic diversity and multilingualism, focused on inclusion, both in the classroom and in society. “Fostering the use of the mother tongue means, precisely, at the same time fostering access to education for all, as well as the dissemination of cultures in all their diversity….

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Pakistan Set to Make Arabic Mandatory

After a near unanimous vote, the Senate of Pakistan has adopted a new education policy requiring students in the capital city of Islamabad to learn Arabic from grades one through twelve. While the policy currently only affects students attending school in Islamabad, it is expected that the policy will soon be extended nationwide. All but…

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Tibetan Language Advocate Freed

Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan language rights activist who was imprisoned by the Chinese government on charges of inciting separatism, has been released upon completing a five-year sentence. Wangchuk was featured in a 2015 documentary by the New York Times, which detailed his efforts to advocate against the government’s linguistic assimilation of ethnic minorities; this same…

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New Academy of Hebrew Language in Jerusalem

The Academy of the Hebrew Language has announced that they will build its next global center in the National Quarter in Jerusalem. The Academy, which was established by the Israeli government in 1953, held a design competition in collaboration with the Association of Architects and Urban Builders in Israel to choose which architect will design…

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Planet Word Opens in DC

Planet Word, the world’s first museum dedicated to language and its first voice-activated museum, opened its doors to the public on October 22. Planet Word founder and CEO Ann Friedman hosted a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony, which included appearances by mayor of Washington, DC Muriel Bowser, former president Barack Obama, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, fashion designer Diane…

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Planet Word Brings Language to Life

Planet Word, the world’s first museum dedicated to language and its first voice-activated museum, opened its doors to the public on October 22. Planet Word founder and CEO Ann Friedman hosted a virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony, which included appearances by mayor of Washington, DC Muriel Bowser, former president Barack Obama, singer-songwriter Paul Simon, fashion designer Diane…

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State Dept. Promotes Critical Language Learning

The U.S. Department of State has launched a new website, languages.state.gov, with the intention of developing a “new generation of critical language speakers.” The website aims to be a one-stop platform for U.S. government language program resources, where U.S. Americans can take a quiz to identify language programs that fit their goals and explore U.S. government scholarships and…

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Tamil Politicians Fear Imposition of Hindi

Politicians in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have been raising concerns over the country’s National Education Policy, arguing that the policy could be used as a way to impose the Hindi language, according to the New Indian Express. While the policy emphasizes that instruction will be given in students’ mother tongues or the local…