April 23 marks the annual global observance of the United Nations English Language Day. The UN observance day, which is specifically set aside to inculcate respect, promote awareness, history, culture, and achievements associated with the language, was first celebrated in 2010. Various engaging, fun-filled activities like quizzes, recitation and book-reading are organized to celebrate the event.
As the world celebrates the beauty of English Language on this day, we present to you every important point that you need to know about this UN Observance Day:
1. English occupies the status of one of the two working languages of the UN Secretariat.
2. What is remarkable about this eventful day is that the ‘Bard of Avon’, William Shakespeare’s birthday and death day falls on April 23. The dramatist who left an indelible impact on English language with his insurmountable contribution to the field of literature, playing the key role in popularizing the language, is the true champion of the language.
3. The renowned playwright is responsible for coining 422 new words and phrases, such as ‘dauntless’, ‘lacklustre’, ‘arch-villain’, ‘new-fangled’, ‘multitudinous’, and many more.
4. Interestingly, World Book and Copyright Day is observed on this day too.
5. Owing to its widespread usage to perpetuate international relations, English has come to be known as the ‘world language’ or the lingua franca (bridge language that is opted by speakers of various languages).
6. The commemoration of this day stems from the UN initiative to honour its 6 languages’ cultural diversity, celebrate multilingualism, in the international platform.
7. There are 6 different days dedicated to 6 languages by the Department of Global Communications of the UN to uniformly champion the international body’s all 6 official languages. English Language is one of them.
The 5 others include:
• French Language Day (March 20)
• Spanish Language Day (April 23)
• Chinese Language Day (April 20)
• Russian Language Day (June 6)
• Arabic Language Day (December 18)
8. 1500 years ago, only 3 tribes spoke English whereas now around 2 billion people speak the same language, globally; out of which 75 countries have bestowed official status to English language.
Although the day is not declared as a public holiday, it is celebrated internationally as the UN Observance Day to propagate harmonious communication.
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