Endangered Language Alliance


IMLD in NYC 2020

Garifuna speaker and teacher Milton Guity explains the IDNYC program in Garifuna

In honor of International Mother Language Day, an opportunity to celebrate all of the world’s approximately 7,000 languages, we’re proud to announce the release of a first-ever set of official videos in Indigenous and minority languages for The City of New York!

ELA has been working with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs and other city agencies on a unique project — recording official city messages (inside City Hall!) in at least 15 languages that, for the most part, have never been used in official city materials or been given this kind of acknowledgment. It also means that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers will be able to get important information in their mother tongues, in this case about IDNYC, the municipal ID program that serves over 1.5 million New Yorkers, a large number of them immigrants.

The 15 languages that will be represented are from all over the world — from Indigenous Latin American languages like Mixtec and Kichwa to stateless languages like Yiddish, Fulani, and Tibetan.

Since 1999, the United Nations has designated February 21 as International Mother Language Day in memory of the 1952 Bengali Language Movement. Please RSVP for this unique, free event bringing together communities, city officials, and New Yorkers from all walks of life.

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