David Crystal is proposing that we give every language its ‘special day’. As he reminds us, we already have two: the European Day of Languages on 26th September and the World Mother-Tongue day on 21st February.
Crystal’s posting on his blog has drawn attention to work done by the Winchester English Language Project, which will celebrate 13th October as English Language Day. Why 13th October you ask? Because it was on 13th October 1362 that the Chancellor of England opened parliament with a speech in English for the first time. It was also in the same parliament that a Statute of Pleading decreed that law-suits should be in English, making English an official language of law and law-making, when hitherto this domain had been dominated by French.
According to their website, the English Project has decided to make this year’s theme ‘citizenship and the language of the law’.
If you would like to get involved in some of the activities being planned, go to http://www.englishproject.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=572&Itemid=452 to find out how.
Thanks to the English Language Project for permission to use the picture of its logo.