UNESCO’s Arabic Language Day is on Friday 18th December 2020. The event seeks to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity. You can find out more about Arabic Language Day 2020 on the UNESCO website.
Arabic is one of the most ancient languages still spoken widely in the world today. Arabic is also one of the major languages of the world and one of the six official languages of the United Nations.
Arabic is one of the official languages of all 22 members of the League of Arab States. There are over 290 million Arabic language speakers worldwide. The Arabic alphabet is used by other languages such as Persian, Kurdish and Urdu.
Some words used in the English language which are borrowed from Arabic are Algebra, Chemistry, Giraffe, Syrup, Jasmine, Sugar, Guitar.
The six official languages of the UN are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
In 2010 the UN announced six languages days, one for each of the official languages. The days are:
UN Arabic Language Day – December 18th was chosen for Arabic Language Day because it is the date in 1973 that the United Nations General Assembly decided to adopt Arabic as the organisation’s sixth official language.
UN Chinese Languages Day – April 20th to pay tribute to the figure attributed with the invention of Chinese characters.
UN English Language Day – April 23rd to coincide with the birthday of William Shakespeare.
UN French Language Day – 20th March to coincide with International Francophonie Day.
UN Russian Language Day – 6th June to coincide with the birthday of Alexander Pushkin.
UN Spanish Language Day – 23rd April in honour of Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes who died on the same day in 1616.
You can join the global conversation by following the hashtag #ArabicLanguageDay and enjoy a programme of round table discussions on Zoom.