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. He was born on April 23, 1564 and died on April 23, 1616. The Day is the result of a 2010 initiative by the Department of Global Communications, 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.
The theme of the year 2022 is “Using technology for multilingual learning: Challenges and opportunities”.
English is one the most widely spoken languages across the world. The day was first marked by the United Nations’ Department of Global Communications in 2010. The day was marked as an initiative for establishing language days for each of the UN’s six official languages.
An interesting fact that needs to be noted is that 1500 years ago, only three tribes spoke English, whereas now it is spoken by around 2 billion people. About 75 countries have given official status to this language.
Language Days at the UN aim to entertain as well as inform, with the goal of increasing awareness and respect for the history, culture and achievements of each of the six working languages among the UN community.