Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World
Photo by Peter Hershey on Unsplash

While attending an International Mother Language Day function in Bangkok last month I heard about the Salzburg Statement and decided to learn more about it. The statement is basically a call on educators, businesses and governments to promote language diversity as a global norm.

The Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World offers “recommendations on policy making, teaching, learning, translation and interpreting. The Statement calls on all stakeholders to act, which includes researchers and teachers; community workers, civil society and non-governmental organizations; cultural and media voices; governments and public officials; business and commercial interests; aid and development agencies; and foundations and trusts.” (See: Info on Salzburg website

Some of the recommendations are:
“In today’s interconnected world, the ability to speak multiple languages and communicate across linguistic divides is a critical skill. Even partial knowledge of more than one language is beneficial. Proficiency in additional languages is a new kind of global literacy. Language learning needs to be expanded for all – young and old.

“However, millions of people across the globe are denied the inherent right to maintain, enjoy and develop their languages of identity and community. This injustice needs to be corrected in language policies that support multilingual societies and individuals.

“We, the participants of Salzburg Global Seminar’s session on Springboard for Talent: Language Learning and Integration in a Globalized World, call for policies that value and uphold multilingualism and language rights.” 

The consultation was attended by 30 experts from different disciplines across the globe. The Salzburg Statement is also available in Bangla and Urdu (Hindi is in progress).

I am curious what more will come out of this Salzburg thinking as the promise is: “The Salzburg Statement for a Multilingual World will be supported by a comprehensive report and blogs on key topics published during 2018.”