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English Language Day observed across the world

English Language day is observed every year on 23 April to celebrate the multilingualism and cultural diversity of the UN.

Apr 23, 2017 10:06 IST
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 UN English Language Day 23 April: United Nations English Language Day

The United Nations English Language Day 2017 was observed globally on 23 April 2017.

The Day is observed every year on the date that is traditionally observed as both, the birthday and the date of death of William Shakespeare, the greatest writer ever-known in English language.

Background

• The day was established in 2010 by the Department of Public Information, as a result of its efforts to establish language days for each of United Nation’s six official languages.

• The other five official languages of the international body include Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.

• The main aim behind the move is to celebrate the multilingualism and cultural diversity of the UN and to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the organization.

• Under the initiative, UN duty stations around the world have been dedicated to one of the organization's six official languages and hence, celebrate six separate days.

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About English Language Day

• The day was first celebrated by the United Nations on 23 April 2010.

• It aims to entertain as well as inform people about the culture, history and achievements associated with the language.

• The day features book-reading events, English quizzes, poetry and literature exchanges and other activities that promote the language.

• Aside from being one of the UN’s six official languages, English is one of the two working languages of the UN Secretariat.

• It is often referred to as a world language or the bridge language (common language used by speakers of different languages) of the modern era because of its widely spoken status.

• English has official or special status in at least 75 countries that have a total population of over two billion.

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